A well-organized board meeting provides a forum for deep discussion of important business issues and choices, and also for establishing corporate policies. To get the most value from every board meeting requires careful preparation ahead of time setting expectations on the amount of discussion feasible, and ensuring that the meeting is in line with the agenda.
To avoid boring meetings, set realistic goals for your meetings. Keep track of them regularly to ensure that the meeting stays on the right track. When you get caught up in reports or technicalities that could have been reviewed before you miss the chance to have your board members debate matters that are not addressed by the management team on its own.
Consider setting up a consent agenda to items that don’t require discussion (like minutes or financial reports) to save time during the meeting. This allows the board to approve quickly any documents or reports that don’t require additional discussion, and keeps the meeting from getting too long.
Distribute board packets three to four days in advance in order that attendees are able to examine them prior to the meeting. This will reduce the time spent in the meeting reading reports and gives attendees a time to ask questions prior to they become more complex.
Make sure to include a “parking lot” at the end of the package for the board in order that items that are not relevant to this meeting can be put off for another meeting and will not distract from the most important agenda items. This also reduces the chance of the most important agenda items being moved to later in the meeting or not discussed at all.