Six ideas for more efficient board meetings

by. Leisa Goodman

Follow these tips from board expert Les Wallace, Ph.D., and make the most of your meeting time. President of Signature Resources, Aurora, Colo., Wallace recently led CUES’ first-ever Board Chair Development Seminar.

1. Make sure your board’s meeting packet contains only what’s needed for a good fiduciary discussion—nothing more.

Wallace suggests the CEO and board chair have a conversation to decide what’s vital, and what can go.

“That way, the CEO doesn’t feel like every detail needs to be provided,” said Wallace. “In general, more experienced board members needs less information, so the make-up of the board can help determine what’s in the packet, as well.”

2. A good executive summary sparks conversation, and helps the group stay focused and out of the weeds.

“Exceptional executive summaries can be accomplished in one page, two if complex data is involved,” said Wallace. “It’s an art—but one smart people can master, and boards can feel comfortable with.

“You’ll also find an added benefit—board members will quickly learn to ‘speak’ in executive summary format, as well,” said Wallace.

If questions arise, or more details are needed, the full report can always be provided.

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