This article appeared in Xconomy on January 17, 2012.
CEOs, investors, and board members frequently complain about ineffective board meetings. Steve Blank, Jeff Bussgang, Brad Feld, and Fred Wilson each have suggested board meetings could be improved by changing the format, process, or content.
Having good meetings starts by having the right people in the room (as discussed in the first installment of this series) and in having a good chair or facilitator for the discussion (as highlighted in the second). The board then can create the right agenda with a relatively simple, three-step process.
First, the chair and CEO should circulate the key questions and proposed agenda a week prior to the meeting, or even start collecting agenda items at the end of the prior board meeting. Most importantly, this helps everyone avoid wasting time creating dozens of slides that the board doesn’t value. It also allows time for reflection and input from other board members.