Board meetings can be a great place to have productive discussions that help the company attain its goals. The best boards facilitate lively conversations and a wide range of opinions to generate fresh ideas. Meeting productivity is not 100% guaranteed. Board members could be distracted by personal issues, technology, or lack of organization when planning their meetings. It is important to identify the root causes of ineffective board meetings in order to ensure that meetings are conducted smoothly.
Rehashing the same topics is a common cause for ineffective board meetings. This happens when board members aren’t aware of the actions they have to be accountable for, or if they didn’t take action following previous meetings. To avoid this happening, it is vital to keep clear and concise minutes of board meetings.
Another common problem is that members are engulfed in long reports and other routine agenda items. This can quickly cause members to become disengaged and less active. To cut down on meeting time it is recommended to limit the report time to 25 percent of the time and allow the majority of meeting time for strategic discussions.
Also, it is important that all attendees are prepared for the meeting prior to the event. This can be achieved by sending the agenda and all necessary attachments with attendees prior to the meeting. Board members can be better prepared for discussions by having all pertinent information in a central location.