May 25, 2024

Most of us have been in a board meeting in which the discussion went off topic or ran long. Although it might not seem like a big issue when it happens every now and then, regularly off-topic discussions can be detrimental to morale and lead to problems with organization down the road. Over-time board meetings can also hinder the board from discussing and approving important actions.

The agenda can be cluttered with long reports, routine tasks and other routine items. The more details you give members the more likely that they will read it. Restrict reporting during board meetings. Inquire of committee members and officers chairs to provide bullet points instead of a minute by minute summary of what has been accomplished or is being done. It’s also beneficial to include an “parking lot” item on the agenda for items that require discussion but are not priority. Utilizing this space can help prevent new topics from taking the spotlight from agenda items that should be the main focus of the meeting.

Following a strict agenda is an essential method to ensure that the board can engage in constructive discussion and take effective decisions. This can be achieved by starting the meeting with the most crucial items, and leaving enough space at the end of the meeting to allow attendees to ask questions or bring up any new issues that they are still worried about. This will allow leaders to tap into collective wisdom of the board members and leave with some great new ideas that will propel your organization forward.

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