Creating a Strategic Board Agenda

A well-planned agenda for board meetings is key to productive meetings. The structure of the agenda and how it is presented can determine the outcome of a meeting. Setting up and sticking to an agenda that the chair of the meeting can use as a default will streamline the process of preparing for and conducting a board meeting. It also helps the board maintain their focus throughout the meeting to ensure that they aren’t lost in discussions that aren’t relevant to the goals of the organization or wasting time on topics that could be dealt with by committees.

The majority of the agenda for board meetings should be dedicated to important topics and generative discussions. This could be forward-thinking or relating to strategic goals, or simply new information and data. To keep the board and discussion focused, it is recommended that old or obsolete items be removed from the agenda. If it is necessary to include these items the items should be put at the end of the board meeting so that they don’t consume too much of the board’s time.

Board members should receive the complete agenda of board meetings prior to the meeting so that they can be aware of the issues and issues that will be discussed. This will motivate them to prepare for the meeting and also allow them to see what other board members have planned to bring up in the discussion. This transparency will assist the board in staying organized and focused at the meeting and reinforce the importance of attending in person.

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