KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL BOARD MEETING
By Dr. Robert Andringa

I. GREAT MEETINGS BUILD ON PRIOR BASICS

  1. Crystal clear mission statement; written goals
  2. Talented, committed board members with defined roles

II. PRE-MEETING CHECKLIST

  1. Board has year-long calendar including meeting dates
  2. Best possible meeting location is reserved
  3. Committees have met and recommendation ready
  4. Advance meeting between director and chairman re agenda
  5. Advance mailing to board: agenda, minutes, committee and staff reports, financial update
  6. Director has policy option papers prepared
  7. Board RSVP's in (to assure quorum, guide preparations)
  8. Transportation/lodging/food arrangements confirmed
  9. Meeting packets prepared
  10. Special guests briefed and confirmed
  11. Staff briefed on the meeting arrangements
  12. Other

III. CREATING A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT: CHECKLIST FOR SUCCESS

  1. Warm welcomes carried out as planned
  2. Pre-printed name tags
  3. Time for special orientation of new board members
  4. Time for informal fellowship before business session
  5. Room has right temperature, good light, water/coffee, pads, pencils, candy, easels, AV equipment, etc., as required
  6. Tables in U-shape or other good arrangement
  7. Extra copies of advance mailings available
  8. Displays of new pictures, awards, news clippings, etc.
  9. Good audio-visual presentations as appropriate
  10. Special activity for board spouses
  11. Breaks every 1-1/2 hours for rest, informal business
  12. Key reference documents handy (by-laws, past minutes, complete budget, policy manual, etc.)
  13. Other

IV. AGENDA MODELS THAT WORK

  1. Always start and end on time
  2. Always work from written agendas, with predetermined time limits on some items
  3. Strong presiding officer (need not be chairman) who has been thoroughly briefed in advance
  4. Time for fellowship at beginning and in middle
  5. Distinction between information items and action items
  6. Time for Q-A's on staff reports, etc., mailed in advance
  7. On key action items, consider discussion time prior to break, followed by action
  8. Provide time for formal brainstorming on future issues
  9. Always present policy issues in context of past policies
  10. Good financial reports appropriate to board level review
  11. Provide for executive session; might not need
  12. Time for recognition/awards
  13. Other

V. WINNING THROUGH FOLLOW-UP AND MINUTES: ANOTHER CHECKLIST

  1. Director and chairman evaluate meeting the next day; agree then on ways to improve next meeting
  2. Thank you notes within two days
  3. Draft minutes within one week; director, secretary and chairman review before mailing to board|

       *  Crisp, clear language
        * Code each action for easy future reference
  4. Brief staff who were not at meeting
  5. Implement or delegate all action items and send board informal reports as accomplished (or in monthly memo)
  6. Other

 

 

Used with permission of:

Dr. Bob Andringa, President
Creative Solutions Group
6119 East Briarwood Circle
Englewood, Colorado 80112