Board meetings require thorough preparation to ensure that everyone is aware of the topics they’ll be discussing as well as the actions that are taken. These tips will help you to develop a meeting format that is consistent, and will yield the best results each time your board meets.

In the lead-up to the meeting, it’s important to review the minutes of the board’s last meeting. The director should be asked to submit any materials or reports that should be included on the agenda. Also, find out the chairperson’s preferences on the presentation and organization of the books for board meetings. Some prefer a higher degree of detail, while others prefer a standard “dashboard approach”.

Prioritizing two or three key agenda items for every meeting is a great rule of thumb to avoid clogging meetings with lengthy reports and other topics that are routine. Additionally, try to avoid scheduling more than 30 minutes per agenda item so you can give each subject enough time.

Invite board members from outside to board meetings. They offer fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. It may cost more to bring in independent members of the board, but the benefits and perspectives that they offer are usually worth it.

Not least, be sure to record the key decisions made during the meeting. This will allow everyone in the directors to see the decisions and decide if they agree or disagree. It’s an excellent idea to assign department heads to each decision, so that they can relay what they learned from the meeting to their teams.