A strategic board agenda is crucial to successful meetings. The format of the agenda and how it is presented will determine the success or failure of a meeting. The chair of the board will be able to streamline the preparation and running of the meeting if can come up with and adhere to an established format. It helps the board keep its focus throughout the meeting so they aren’t lost in discussions that aren’t pertinent to the mission of the organization, or waste time on topics that could be managed by committees.
The majority of the agenda for board meetings should be devoted to the most important issues and stimulating discussions. This could be a forward-looking topic, relating to strategic goals or simply new information and data. To keep the board and discussions focused, it is recommended to remove reports or old business that isn’t strategically relevant from the agenda. If these items are essential and necessary, they should be discussed at the close of a board meeting to keep them from taking up the entire time.
Board members should receive the agenda for each board meeting prior to the meeting so that they can become familiar with the topics and issues that will be discussed. This will help them prepare for the meeting and also help them see what other board members have planned to bring up during the discussion. Providing this level of transparency can ensure that the board stays focus and organized during the meeting. It can also help reinforce the importance of attendance in person.