TimeTime is a very valuable commodity.  When someone chooses to give you their time you have an obligation to maximize it and not waste it.  This has never been more evident than in relation to the monthly board meeting.  Many Executive Directors, Directors, and Board Members strive to have more effective board meetings.  This pursuit of happiness can be a daunting task that causes headaches and upset stomachs.  There are several factors that can increase the probability of your board having more effective meetings.

Purpose – Do your board members know their purpose within the organization?  By understanding and remembering their purpose, the board can assemble with the appropriate attitude to conduct agency business.
Quorum –A board meeting can only be effective if the majority of the members are present.  Agency business cannot be officially conducted by your board until a quorum is achieved.  The specific number for your quorum is identified in your agency’s bylaws.
Appropriate Behavior – Board members should be encouraged by their peers to put their personal feelings and agendas aside, remember the importance of the agency’s mission, and treat everyone with respect.
Come Prepared – Board members should take the necessary time to review all documents distributed to them (I.E. Board Packet) in order to be an informed participant in agenda items.
Leadership – The board president and or chair needs to remain on target and move the agenda forward without denying discussion by members but denying people the opportunity  to digress.
Last but not least,  agency management is extremely vital to ensuring that a board meeting be effective.  Management should work with the board president or chair in putting together the agenda for the meeting.   Management should have at bare minimum the following items for a board packet:

  • Minutes from prior meetings.
  • Written management reports.
  • Current and accurate financial reports.

This board packet should be sent out to board members well in advance of the board meeting.  If any board members have questions or need clarification; you have time to respond and bring the answers to the meeting.  This will in turn decrease the number of items that  need to be tabled for a future board meeting.
Please comment on this blog if you have additional ways in which your peers can make their board meetings more effective.
Additional Resources
Effective Board Meetings
Keys to Effective Board Meetings
Why People Dislike Meetings