How To Prepare Like A Pro For A Board Meeting
Planning a productive board meeting is a culmination of weeks of preparation. You got plenty of documents to organize, agendas to form, directors, officers, and members to inform, and materials to read and review.
There are a lot of back-and-forths to expect in ensuring the next board meeting of your organization hits all its agendas, concludes with progressive solutions and strategies, and is deemed productive.
But it is achievable. It’s all just a matter of careful planning and preparation on your part.
Without further ado, here’s how to prepare for a board meeting like a pro.
1. Study the bylaws
If this is your first time attending a board meeting, you should brush up on the bylaws beforehand. Both for-profit and nonprofit organizations have a set of bylaws detailing the voting procedures, the delegation of officers, and the proper way to bring up topics during the meeting.
2. Prepare and study the agenda and all meeting documents
Read up in advance on all the agendas, reports, and other documents so you can come prepared with your questions and ideas.
Reviewing the minutes of the previous meeting is also ideal. Although the Secretary reads the minutes of the last meeting before the current meeting proceeds, it is still wise to refresh your memory of everything discussed previously and see if you’ve accomplished any tasks assigned to you.
3. Prepare all essential documents for the meeting
Weeks before the meeting, you should already have a board packet prepared. This is essentially a collection of all documents with the information needed by the board members for the meeting.
A board packet may differ depending on the type of organization, but essential documents include:
- Meeting agenda
- Governance documents
- Reports from officers and committees
- Previous meeting minutes
You should also take the time to review, evaluate, and filter information in presentations and reports. Keep them concise, focusing more on executive summaries and relevant statistics rather than historical information. This way, everyone can focus on formulating solutions and strengthening or formulating strategies instead of just revisiting historical information.
All agendas and board packets should be sent to all directors a week before the scheduled meeting. This way, they can study the materials and request any additions or changes.
4. Create an outline of the minutes beforehand
Having a prepared outline is one of the board meeting minutes best practices to follow when preparing for a board meeting. Preparing an outline helps you write the meeting minutes faster and more efficiently. It also helps you better understand what will transpire during the discussion.
5. Be the management’s “eyes and ears”
Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership describes this as being your organization’s issue spotter. This means keeping watch and tracking trends that could impact the current company strategy and how it will affect the company in the long run.
For instance, are there any new practices of effective corporate governance worth adopting for your company? What about your current standing with the competition and investors? Do any cybersecurity threats or news warrant the board’s attention?
With this observation tip, you can gather enough information to prepare an insight report and provide feedback to the board. This will help the board make decisions to propel the organization closer to its goals.
[Bonus tip] Use a board management software
With a board portal, you can improve meeting efficiency and streamline preparations. You can find everything you need for your meeting in the board portal. The internal messaging feature also makes collaboration easier!
Utilizing a board management system along with these tips will ensure an organized and productive next board meeting.