You want to ensure that everyone is prepared when your board meets. One way to do this is to send out meeting materials at least a week prior to the actual meeting. This gives new and old members a chance to look over the agenda and prepare for discussion.

Communication with your board members is crucial prior to the meeting. This allows any bad news to be made public prior to the meeting, so that it doesn’t come as unexpected at the meeting. It is also a good idea to utilize this time to connect with any committees or officers whose reports are due at the meeting. It is crucial to have a an open line of communication between the board and management, especially when there are urgent issues.

During the meeting, try to limit the topics of discussion to those on the agenda. This will allow you to move through each subject quickly and ensure that the board’s precious time is utilized.

Don’t be dissuaded by disagreements that could arise during some discussions. Boards that encourage diversity of thinking take better decisions than boards that are based on a single view. In fact, a bit of conflict is good and should be welcomed.

It is crucial to review past decisions made by the board every time they meet. This can help you avoid repeating the same mistakes during future meetings, and also highlight areas that could be improved. A record of how decisions were made could be helpful in the event of disputes in the future.

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