What Makes a Successful Board Meeting?


This year, companies are faced with a major challenge: how to hold meetings when everyone is working from home? Another challenge was choosing the right tool to allow online meetings for a large number of participants. So, what makes a board meeting successful?

The board meeting objectives

Among the various types of activities of the leader, the largest amount of time, and with a break from the rest of the work, is consumed by the board meetings. Surveys show that managers, depending on the level of management, spend up to 80% of their time at conferences and meetings. There is hardly any other kind of activity that would waste so much time of so many people at the same time, as when conducting meetings! The reasons are simple, many meetings are poorly prepared and organized, ineptly conducted, and unsatisfactorily summarized. In most cases, meetings take too long, and often they are even completely unnecessary.

A board meeting is a new form of holding conference events, which allows you to significantly save working time and money. Participants, being at their workplaces, can exchange views in real-time. To organize such an event, each workplace requires a personal computer equipped with a video camera and special software. When conducting a video conference, the above work plan for preparing for the event is supplemented with one more point: before the meeting begins, it is necessary to conduct a test connection and check the quality of communication with each participant. It is also preferable to notify participants and send materials using modern communication technologies like board portals.

How to conduct board meetings properly?

There are basic requirements that will help to make your board meeting more productive:

  • Define the purpose of the meeting

Begin your preparation by defining the objectives of the meeting. This could be information, problem definitions, new ideas, directional definitions, responsibility definitions, or a combination of these factors. For example, in a problem-solving board meeting, participants first identify the problem and then come up with a solution. In a meeting arranged to make a decision, the group chooses a solution to be implemented. To have a successful meeting, the group must agree on a decision-making process: will the decision be unanimous, will it be taken by a vote, or based on the opinions of individuals? There are also meetings for the exchange of views, reports, feedback. The status of the board meeting is important to the team as it must prepare for it.

  • Prepare materials in advance

For a successful meeting, you need to prepare documents for the participants. The texts of the reports or their theses are usually copied and distributed to the board members if necessary supplementing them with information and reference materials on this issue. If the materials offered to the participants are voluminous, it is necessary to send them out in advance, usually, 1-2 working days are enough for their thorough study. It is necessary to obtain and reproduce a draft decision from the staff charged with the preparation of individual questions.

  • Make an agenda

If possible, develop an agenda prior to the meeting. Use the following list for this:

  • the ultimate goal of the meeting;
  • desired outcome;
  • date, time, and place of the meeting;
  • who is calling the meeting;
  • which team will be convened, the names of the participants;
  • the roles of the participants;
  • is there anything unusual in the format of the meeting;
  • the person responsible for the allocation of time and the observance of agenda items;
  • necessary preparation.