The 6 Secrets of Having a Successful Board Meeting
Matt Edelman is the CEO, ThisNext Inc. In this video he discusses the 6 secrets to having a successful board meeting.
- Know your desired outcome
- Understand your board's dynamic
- Prep your board memebers
- Prepare concise materials
- Provide materials in advance
- Stick to your agenda, with flexibility
When you’re the CEO of a small business, particularly if you’re a first time CEO, you don’t necessarily have any idea how to run a successful board meeting or actually leverage your board members. There’s six things you need to do if you want to have successful board meeting to get the most out of the members of your board.
First of all, in advance of a board meeting, know your desired outcome. A board meeting is a rare opportunity to get everyone who has to make a decision in one room in order for you to get something accomplished, know what it is you want to accomplish.
The second is understand the dynamic of your board. You’re going to have some board members who are aggressive in the way they present their opinions. You’re going to have others who are more subtle in the way they do that. You’re going to have some board members who care about data and some board members who care about business development. Some board members you’re going to have to communicate with outside of the board meeting. You have to understand the dynamic and you have to understand how different board members view each other. If you could figure out those dynamics, you’ll be more successful.
The third is prep your board members. Don’t let them walk into that meeting not knowing what you want to discuss. You’ll get a lousy result because you will spend time explaining what you want to cover rather than covering it.
The fourth is prepare concise materials. Boards do not want an overwhelming amount of detail. They want to know the high points that explain what’s happening with your business, what’s going well, what’s not going well, and what concerns you.
The fifth is provide materials to your board in advance. It’s a little nerve-racking to think that you’re going to reveal all of the sensitive information that you want to present along with the talk track in advance but don’t be afraid to do that. Get the materials out in advance. That way your board will have time to ask you questions beforehand and you’ll have much more success in getting through the topics that you want to cover.
Finally, make sure you stick to your agenda. Do not let a board member hijack the agenda of your meeting. You have to be flexible because you work for the board but make sure that your agenda drives the discussion.