An agenda is a one page document which sets the purpose of the board meeting. It is essential to prepare an agenda to lead a successful and high quality meeting.
The Chairman of the board is responsible for creating the agenda and must focus on the vision, mission and goals of the company. This agenda must be specific to each meeting and different from one meeting to another.
In this document must figure a useful and informative name explaining the purpose of the meeting, its details (date, start and end time, place) and all attendees expected.
All topics to discuss must be identified, the length of time expected for each topic and the person responsible for leading the discussion. The agenda must also include the appropriate documents for the board members to carry out a diligent examination of each issue.
The chairman must advise all members of the agenda in advance to get their feedback and so they can prepare the meeting and ask to include new topics they feel should be discussed.
Some tips to run a great meeting:
- Beforehand, solicit ideas and topics from other members to get them involved and make sure all necessary documents are available.
- Start in the morning by the most important topics to allocate enough time to them and have the full attention of the participants.
- Don’t surprise the board: all issues even bad news should be shared before the meeting.
- Set deadlines for the vote of each topic.
- Focus on the future of the company not the past.
- Allow sufficient time for discussion and opposing points of view.
- End the meeting with a unifying issue and keep time for questions for the next meeting.
Having a good meeting agenda will allow an easier meeting and lead to effective everyday governance.
Note that the Leading Boards board portal allows you to submit and share your agenda including all documents with other members.