Neal Kaplan I'm a director of technical communications working for a data analysis startup in Redwood City. I started as a technical writer, and since then I've also been learning about information architecture, training, content strategy, and even something about customer support. I'm also passionate about cross-team collaboration and user communities.

What should be discussed in a board meeting?

3 min read

  • A company’s performance. Since the last board meeting, a rundown of the company’s performance is the first item on the agenda.
  • Future decisions.
  • Key performance indicators.
  • There were problems and opportunities.
  • Plans of action are being made.

A company’s board plays an important role in setting the agenda for the business, determining priorities, setting goals, reviewing strategic investments and working closely with executive management teams to balance near-term organizational needs with long-term bets.

It has become even more important and challenging, reinforcing the need for strong leadership, communication and alignment between boards of directors and the C-suite. In this article, we discuss ways to run a successful board meeting using modern technologies to ensure that all parties are able to participate and be present no matter their location. These types of meetings are important because they give the people in charge of the company a chance to talk about the company’s future.

Organizations can securely conduct confidential meetings, collaborate and exchange sensitive documents with the help of BoardPAC and Lifesize cloud video conferencing. The board can discuss the company’s performance and work on finding solutions for misses and incentives for wins.

Discussion of the company’s performance should be limited to quick summaries, with full reports available for members to review outside of the meeting. It is nice to follow up on what has worked and what hasn’t worked in order to promote your organization’s growth. The majority of a good board meeting should be about discussing future strategies and how they will be executed by the company.

Whether you are talking about sales, product portfolio additions or expansion into new markets, the goal is always to promote growth. Concrete metrics can be used to indicate how effective your strategies are.

Board meetings are a great place to discuss obstacles and encourage ideas to work around them. You should look at new opportunities that management is considering and talk about whether it’s worth the time and resources needed to pursue them.

The board may discuss the plans of action that will affect the future of the company once all of the important details are discussed. Plans of action can include things like improved sales processes, a new marketing strategy, client onboarding protocol, or setting the agenda for future meetings. A good board meeting should not include fiddling with display cables.

Sometimes, with all of the planning, strategizing and number crunching that can take place during board meetings, you just want to draw, diagram or brainstorm on a whiteboard. Board meetings can be engaging and informative with the right technology. It’s too short of a time frame to see true company growth or progress on action plans, so quarterly, biannual and annual meetings are common.

What should be discussed in a nonprofit board meeting?

The meeting needs to be about decisions and not updates. Your nonprofit board members should be doing at least 80% of the talking during the meeting and that talk should focus mostly on decisions and strategic discussions, not updates and staff reports.

How do you prepare for a board meeting?

  • The meeting protocol and bye should be reviewed.
  • The agenda and meeting materials need to be studied.
  • Take the time to pay attention to the notes.
  • In a timely manner, complete any assigned tasks.
  • Relax before the meeting.

A member will struggle to remember their questions and talking points if they don’t have good note-taking skills. You can take those annotations inside the software directly on the documents if you are a Directorpoint client. If you have been asked to connect with someone outside of the board, make sure you meet the deadlines.

Stick to time expectations and be careful sharing your findings. If you can’t concentrate in a meeting, your impact will be limited.

What are the most important components for a successful board meeting?

  • There are Composition and Needs. This is an important thing to think about with the board of directors.
  • There are committees and structure.
  • There is a recruitment process.
  • It’s an orientation.
  • There are assessments.

Tom Williams of the Nonprofit Network gave an insight for maximizing your board’s full potential during a session at the Building Michigan Communities Conference in April. The success of an organization can be limited if there is a lack of diversity on the board. Consider the existing board composition and prioritize your list based on your governance priorities.

Beyond the Executive and Finance Committee, every board should have a group of dedicated people that meet to work on fundraising, program and services, audits and other special projects as they surface. While the staff may coordinate and oversee the committees, they are not in charge of the day to day operations of the organization. Board members should be given the opportunity to become familiar with the organization chart, position functions and responsibilities, glossary of common acronyms and facts and figures. Assessments give the chance to make sure that board members are accountable for their commitments.

If you’re looking for more general information and a place to start, there’s endless reading available online through different search queries.

What is a good board meeting?

The majority of an effective board meeting should consist of discussing strategies and determining an execution plan. Consider any obstacles and come up with ideas for overcoming them. Key performance indicators are used to measure performance. To assess strategies your board wants to put in place, assign Key Performance Indicators.

Neal Kaplan I'm a director of technical communications working for a data analysis startup in Redwood City. I started as a technical writer, and since then I've also been learning about information architecture, training, content strategy, and even something about customer support. I'm also passionate about cross-team collaboration and user communities.

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