How to have a productive board meeting

By: Trevor McClintock

Date: 19 June 2017

Board meetings are a great opportunity to discuss and agree future strategy while ensuring your company is reaching its goals and delivering on expectations. Running a productive board meeting is vital, otherwise your time with major stakeholders and top operators in your business will be wasted.

Here are five tips for making sure your board meeting produces the results you're looking for.

1) Plan in advance

Planning is key to any good meeting - that means putting together an appropriate agenda and keeping your talking points focused. There needs to be a reason for the meeting, whatever the level, and there should be processes in place to keep everyone on message.

For instance, if you are planning a discussion on an important matter, you need to make sure all participants have the information and documentation relating to this well before the meeting. There’s nothing more counterproductive than having to explain the basics of any issue before you get down to the discussion for real.

If you have a difficult issue that needs to be sold to board members, the work starts not in the meeting but well before. Unless you have people on your side prior to walking into the boardroom it's going to be difficult to convince everyone in the meeting.

2) Get the basics right

Who you invite to a meeting is important - for some businesses this easily takes care of itself. But what about employees or experts outside the "usual suspects" who can help contribute to the discussions you have planned? Choosing the right time to suit everyone can also be difficult. Meetings need to be long enough to discuss all the critical issues on the agenda.

3) Look ahead

We often spend a lot of time talking about historic matters in meetings and that can, of course, be useful. But too much looking back can be unproductive. Many experts advise that at least two-thirds of your board meeting is focused on looking forward and planning ahead.

4) Be strategic

It's easy to say and perhaps a lot less easy to do. That's why planning is important. Board meetings can be a waste of time if you are not making plans and agreeing how these can be implemented through your future strategy. The key to this is to be as focused as possible.

5) Focus on the big issues

Finally, if you try to cover too much in your board meeting, you'll end up getting very little done. Your planning for the meeting should include choosing two or three major strategic issues (at the most) that need to be addressed. If you try to do too much, you'll water down everyone’s efforts and you won't achieve as much as you hoped.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Trevor McClintock. Trevor is an expert business consultant who specialises in reorganisation and business development strategies.