Not every board meeting is crowned with success and productivity. For a meeting to be truly successful, quality preparation for the meeting, namely the agenda, plays a big role. The agenda helps to capture all the information that needs to be discussed at the meeting in writing, they determine the rhythm of your meeting, and they determine the engagement of the participants. An agenda is much more than just a checklist of topics for discussion, and in this article, we will look at how to create a successful format of agenda of board meeting.
How to Create a Successful Board Meeting Agenda
Unsuccessful board meetings significantly inhibit company productivity and waste the time of your valuable meeting participants. The right agenda will help create a dynamic tone and vigorous discussions so that not one minute is wasted. Below we’ve highlighted a few steps that you can follow to create a successful agenda:
- Modify your approach -though the structure of the agenda is always fixed, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to freshen up the stale process a bit, and highlight the most crucial processes in the meeting first; this is sure to cheer everyone up
- Describe the purpose of the agenda items – this will help participants know how to behave when discussing a particular issue, whether they should generate ideas, or listen to the leader’s speech on the subject. This way, issues are much easier to resolve
- Determine a time frame for discussing issues – estimate how long it should take approximately to discuss the issues on the agenda. Even if you could not conclude this time frame, you can leave the issue for later and move on to the next important issues, so you are sure not to lose time
- Avoid information overload – you may want to limit the number of pages to a maximum of 10 (for regular meetings) or 20 (for ad hoc meetings). This will help participants not be distracted by too many tasks, but concentrate on what’s important
- Reduce time for routine processes – for example, spend a small amount of time listening to reports and other formalities to allow more time for strategic discussions
- Don’t put too many reports on the agenda-don’t discuss more than two or three reports at a time
Also, you need to remember that the format of the agenda is much less important than its content. Take the time to plan the meeting first, and then the formatting of the agenda. Don’t forget to ask participants for their suggestions for discussion, as this will generate more enthusiasm, and at the end of each agenda item, ask participants to discuss what they have proposed.
Who sets the agenda for a board meeting and how to use it effectively
The agenda is a document that is created by the chairman of a meeting, with the help of the secretary or general manager or even both. The agenda helps the chairman ensure order at the meeting and depth of thought during the meeting.
To make sure your agenda works, you also need to be mindful of the deadline for sending it in, so that the rest of the board can study it ahead of time and prepare properly. Attach the necessary attachments that participants need to study, so they can contribute much more during the meeting.
Minutes are another key to a successful agenda. The secretary can use the agenda as a form for taking notes, which will give you a record of all board actions on a formal level, which will be a great starting point for future meetings. Minutes from previous meetings can also be attached to a new agenda.