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If your company is an established business or is in an infancy phase board meetings that are effective are essential for moving the company forward. They require a well-prepared agenda, clear and consistent meeting format, and a well-organized deliberation process to produce robust decisions. These guidelines for meetings ensure that board members are able to concentrate on the most important issues and are able to provide their views without being distracted by other agenda items or irrelevant discussions.

Concentrate on the crucial decisions that the board has to make and avoid spending too much time updating. Start the meeting with the most important topics that require the board to make a decision. This will ensure that the discussions will consume the majority of the time.

Encourage a respectful, collaborative atmosphere where all opinions are considered equally. This will help build a culture of trust and open communication and ensure that all stakeholders are involved in a productive discussion. Make sure that the process of voting is fair and transparent, and that each member of the board are given equal opportunities to take part (see below «Manage Time»).

Encourage accountability for the follow-up and execution of actions, decisions, and suggestions from each board meeting. This can be achieved through regular progress reports as well as clear assignment of tasks and systems for tracking outcomes.

At the beginning or at the conclusion of every board meeting plan an executive session. This allows non-executive members to discuss important issues with members of the management team in a private setting. This ensures that the Board is aware of the CEO’s viewpoint.