How To Improve Corporate Board Meetings

Board meetings are a part of running a business, but it’s important to organize things to keep them as effective as possible.

A lot of companies never get things to an optimal point with their board meetings. This means they have to settle for less, and it creates a situation where the results are not up to par with what a business needs to succeed.

Here is a look at a few things that can be done to make effective board meetings.

1. Know Each Person’s Responsibilities

The one issue a lot of people struggle with is knowing what each professional is supposed to do during the board meeting.

If only one person is going to be heading the corporate board meetings and everyone else is cast aside as a participant, this creates a dynamic where no one knows what is going on. It can become a situation where it is similar to a professor giving a lecture, and that’s it.

You want to steer clear of such an approach because it does not work. You will end up with a situation where each person is unaware of what they should do.

Stay patient and make sure each person is aware of what they bring to the meeting. This includes specific points you want to speak about and/or what their role will be during the meeting. Everyone should know about this beforehand.

It’s the only way to get through to each individual in the meeting.

2. Set a Clear Agenda for the Meeting

You will always want to set a clear agenda for a meeting such as this. You don’t want a situation where the meeting doesn’t have a purpose or clear guideline for how things are going to unfold for independent directors.

While this doesn’t mean you create a situation where it seems like a lecture, you do want to ensure there is a process in place for the board member. This is critical because everyone needs to know what the goal is of the meeting beforehand.

This can make it easier to get to a proper conclusion that is going to get through to the participants in the board meeting discussions. It will also help the business trend in the right direction because a lot of mistakes are made when the meeting agenda is all over the place.

3. Get Everyone Engaged

You will want to think about how everyone is getting engaged and what the value will be of the process for them as an individual. A lot of people don’t think about this when it comes to running a board meeting and that is what leads to poor results.

If a person is not engaged during the meeting, they are not going to give out new ideas. They will hold back, and that is the last thing you are going to want.

The most important part of a board meeting is getting others to speak up and ensure they share their experience on the topic. This is how you are going to learn more and begin to bounce ideas off of each other.

4. Use Technology

In the past, it was common for a simple board to be used to write down ideas. Yes, those might have worked in the past, but now you have a lot more to use. You are going to have access to high-grade technology that makes creating presentations a breeze for future meetings.

You can take advantage of this technology in a long list of ways.

It comes down to what you want and how the situation is going to unfold as time goes on. Take the time to look into these details and ensure you are as careful as you can be in not overdoing the use of technology.

Just stay focused on understanding what can be done with the tech. This includes using visuals as a way to showcase your point and lead the conversation in a specific direction.

5. Let People Settle In

You will always want to make sure you let people settle in.

This is one of the more common mistakes that are made when it is time to set up a successful board meeting. Let’s assume the meeting is going to start at 10:00 AM, and that is the time given to everyone.

This does not mean you are going to start the meeting at 9:55 AM or even 10:00 AM.

Most people are not going to be exact with their arrival, and that is fine. You need to give at least 5-10 board meeting minutes for people to settle in before getting the meeting started.

Otherwise, you are going to get interrupted as people walk in, and it is also going to leave them confused as to what is going on. 

6. Let People Socialize During Breaks

You will want to ensure people get the chance to socialize. This is good because it helps build team chemistry and that is one of those core details people don’t think about during board meetings and executive sessions.

You want this type of engagement because it will also lead to more ideas popping up.

You want to loosen things up in the middle of the board meeting to ensure there is a break. This is when people get to relax a little bit, open up, and just refresh for the second half of the board meeting.

7. Start and End On Time

You will always want to start and end on time.

Yes, you want to have a small 10-minute waiting period during the start of the next board meeting to ensure people get the chance to settle in, but you also don’t want to go well past this time. This is when you end up waiting around too much and not doing enough work.

Your goal is to simplify things and make sure people are aware of what the timeline is going to look like.

This includes people knowing the entire meeting is going to be over by a set time, and that is guaranteed. This can make it easier for participants to go all-out during the meeting and stay engaged knowing the timeline isn’t going to extend past the expected finish time.

8. Reach Out To Each Individual

Each individual is going to have a different take on what is going on, and that is due to their experience or specialization.

After all, that is what they are good at, and that is what their mind is focused on during the workday. With this in mind, you are going to want to reach out to individuals during the effective board meeting and ensure their opinion is heard.

It is the only way to get them engaged while also learning more about the topic from their perspective.

9. Don’t Leave The Meeting Open-Ended

You will always want to ensure there is some sort of conclusion for the board members. This means a decision is made on what is going to happen or what the overall direction is going to be for a project.

This is the only way for people to know there was value in what was done.

Of course, each corporate boards meeting is different, and that is fine. Some companies look to go with a vote at the end and get everyone’s opinion. This works as well.

Just makes sure it is not left open-ended as that will make people feel like they wasted their time.

10. Don’t Be Afraid Of Criticism

It is common to be afraid of criticism when holding successful board meetings.

Businesses want to keep things simple and want to ensure they are right. However, you are not always going to be right.

Mistakes can be made, or little adjustments can become necessary. It doesn’t matter what is going on. Your goal should be to learn more about the process and adapt. This includes learning more about the personalities you are dealing with and what optimizes their approach to helping the company grow.

Final Thoughts

These are the details to think about when you are setting up a board performance meeting.

You will want to go through these tips to better understand what will work for your setup. Some people are going to want to progress to understand the nuances of a meeting. This includes how each participant is going to be involved in the process.

You don’t want a situation where things are not organized, and you become confused with the results. A board meeting needs to serve a purpose, including taking the time to sit down and speak to each participant in the meeting.

You will want to ensure everyone is on the same page and feel engaged with the process. This is how you are going to see the type of results you are after.

Keep these tips in mind, and then begin shaping how your board meeting is supposed to be handled. It is these details that are going to push you forward and ensure the results are on par with what you want as a business.