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How to Run a Board Meeting

Aastha Dogra
The following story provides a number of different ways to run a board meeting successfully. Read on...
Whether you are a CEO of a company, a director or a board member, it is your duty to make sure that all board meetings that you attend or preside over are productive.
The more successful a meeting, more will be the issues that will be solved quickly, which in turn would prove beneficial for the growth of the company. So, have a look at these suggestions and incorporate them in your organization for the meeting's success.

Plan the Agenda in Advance

To ensure that no time gets wasted and none of the important issues to be discussed is overlooked, plan the agenda of the meeting in advance. All the people who are attending the meeting should be made aware of this agenda prior to the meeting through an e-mail or circular. Seeking their opinion regarding the issues to be discussed will further help to formulate the agenda of the meeting.

Get the Materials and Equipment Ready

If there is some written material to be handed over to the board members, it should be ready in advance. Similarly any documents which a person feels that he will be referring to, should be right there in the front. Nothing is more distracting than an executive fumbling with papers when an important issue is being discussed.
Keep all the necessary business reports ready beforehand. The same goes for any equipment such as audio visuals or phones for teleconferencing to be used in the meeting. It should be ensured that equipment are in proper working condition.

Prepare for the Meeting

To run a great board meeting, the onus lies on all the board members. The board members should have read the agenda and materials provided to them prior to the meeting. If they are responsible for any task or work being discussed at the meeting, they should ensure that they are prepared to answer all questions pertaining to it.

Read the Minutes of the Meeting

At the onset of the meeting, minutes of the previous meeting should be read. All agendas, issues, recommendations that were suggested and agreed upon in the previous meeting should be brought forth. If certain board members were assigned particular tasks to look into, they should be asked to present their progress.
Reading minutes serves as a reminder for what the board members discussed in the previous meeting, and thus helps in running a successful open board meeting by paving the way for the things to be discussed in the current meeting.

Stick to the Agenda

During the meeting it should be ensured that whatever agenda is planned, it is adhered to completely. No time should be wasted in casually chatting or discussing irrelevant issues. Again, if it's just a one or two-hour meeting, only tea should be served. There is no point in wasting time by offering snacks or other refreshments.

Two Sets of Meeting

Another effective tip is to have two sets of meeting. One in which the CEO and directors, minus the executives are present and the other one in which only directors are present. During the former, the directors can discuss issues like how efficiently the company is being run, how the various executives are faring, what kind of additional profits that can be expected in the coming year, etc.
During this meeting, the CEO is held responsible and hence is answerable for whatever is happening in the company. He is the leader of his company so whether the various departments such as sales, research, finance are doing their job properly or not, it all falls under his wings. In the meeting amongst directors, the directors can discuss graver things like whether to sell the company or not, etc.
The board members, the CEO, the executives, the directors and all other attendees should come prepared so as to make the meeting productive. Also, everybody should keep an open mind with regards to the outcome of the meeting. Any heated discussion or difference of opinion, should be taken in the right spirit. The business communication during the meeting should be precise, to the point, direct and absolutely professional.