How to Get the Most from Your Board Meetings — TEN Capital Network
3 min read How to Get the Most from Your Board Meetings
Board meetings are essential
Board meetings are essential for gaining input and advice on how to run the business.
To get the most out of your board meeting, start with an objective for the meeting, a set agenda, and prepared documents such as company financials.
It’s helpful to get feedback from the participants before the meeting to adjust the agenda if necessary. This type of prep also ensures everyone comes prepared to tackle the objective.
Recruit a board member to help you keep things on track by watching the clock and reminding the group when the time limit is up on a topic. Maintain the time allowed for each topic and create an offline conference call/meeting to handle topics that go over.
Board meetings can be an invaluable resource to the CEO, but only if you manage it well.
Preparing for A Board Meeting
It’s essential to prepare appropriately for board meetings. You should set the meeting schedule well in advance, as much as a calendar year out.
In addition to planned meetings, you may need to call additional board meetings in crises, such as when the company runs out of cash unexpectedly or gets hit with a lawsuit.
Prepare documents far enough in advance, so the members have time to read the materials and prepare for the meeting.
Use the board package to give the status updates and focus on the critical decisions to take. Use a standard format for the board package so the members can find things more easily.
Set up the meeting agenda to cover the most important topics first. You may want to include a slide deck covering your planned talking points. These should consist of the company financials, including cash position.
What to Expect
Most of the work tasks performed in a formal board meeting are perfunctory duties such as approving minutes and reviewing financials and metrics. The board also weighs in on critical decisions around fundraising, strategy, and other topics.
Board members will discuss whatever you put on the agenda.
Ensure the agenda items are of strategic importance and prioritized, as the top items get the most attention while the lower items often get rushed. The more preparation you do before the meeting, the better outcome you’ll have.
It takes time for board members to come up to speed on issues, so it’s best to send out background information before the meeting, so they have an opportunity to prepare.
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