I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. So here we sit, having another meeting. Here’s 12 rules to make your board time as productive and efficient as possible.
1. Never hold a meeting without an agenda.
· Attendees, please read the agenda and supporting documents ahead of time!
2. Agendas should have a precise starting and ending times.
· If you say you’ll be starting at 9:00 am, then do it! On the button!
· Be sure to actually end at the stated time too. If discussion is hot, encourage attendees to continue outside after the meeting is over.
3. List mission, action items or goals prominently on agenda.
4. Show strategy or work plan element of each item on agenda.
5. Use a consent agenda …
· Routine items (minutes, committee reports, metrics, financial reports) can be placed in consent and assumed approved unless a director wants it added to the discussion agenda.
· Place key strategic items at beginning of the agenda.
6. Find time on agenda for board members to “check in” with what they are observing that relates to the association. Some call this an environmental scan. Share feedback received from the members or volunteers.
7. Take time to celebrate organization victories. Give a committee a well-deserved round of applause.
8. Words matter … establish a culture to eliminate negative words that stifle creativity. Enough already of “playing devil’s advocate.” Support and encourage positive outlooks.
9. Before any brainstorming, play “the yes, but game” (ask me and I’ll explain) or other similar exercises to open up minds.
10. Ensure that board creates a self-evaluation annually. Use a survey tool that allows them to share concerns honestly.
11. Ensure committees have clear assignments/roles and be sure they don’t overstep.
12. Ensure board members clearly understand their legal & fiduciary responsibilities.