Developing a Strategic Board Agenda

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A well-defined strategic board agenda is the basis for each meeting. It helps ensure that each discussion has its goal and avoids getting bogged down in details. It requires more than the proper format to plan an effective board meeting. Board members must also be prepared for the meeting, and be ready to participate in productive discussions.

The board’s material prior to the meeting is one of the best actions a board member can do to ensure the success of the event. This will allow the board members to become familiar with the material and to prepare questions for the meeting. Furthermore, it is an excellent way to increase participation by encouraging everyone to bring their unique perspectives to the table.

Another crucial aspect in preparing for a productive strategic board meeting is to focus on the content, and not the format. Board meetings should be time-efficient and focused. Therefore, it is crucial to arrange topics in a systematic manner, starting with those that are most important and urgent. Then move on to those which build on them. Last but not least, don’t forget dedicate a portion of the meeting to discuss new business. This is the ideal time for the board members to engage in generative discussions that will help move the organization forward.

In recent years Boards have been asked to complete more hands-on projects. This can lead to meetings becoming longer than necessary and drifting off from the topic. To avoid this, keep the information in the dashboard of your board on an overall strategic level.

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