An agenda for board meetings is a document that can ensure that your meetings are productive and on the right track. When it comes to maximising the time your board members spend together the substance is more important than fashion.

The meeting will begin with an official call to order, followed by an introduction by the facilitator or board chair. You may then proceed to accept the minutes of the previous meeting or the financial report. It is also possible to review the latest committee reports or perform administrative tasks. In the next step, it’s a good idea to reserve a room for strategic planning discussions or other governance concerns. You may also want to include a confidential or sensitive subject in the executive meeting, if your organisation’s bylaws permit it.

Be attentive and thoughtful at every point. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the presentation in any way Be sure to raise concerns and allow your fellow board members to respond. Be careful not to wander off and begin to discuss discussion topics that don’t belong on the agenda. This could eat up valuable meeting time and distract from the most important issues on your board’s agenda. It is possible to avoid this by adding the “parking area” item at the end of your agenda. This allows you to put off random topics for an undetermined time.

Last but not least, ensure that you send your board with an agenda at least a week prior your meeting. This gives everyone plenty of time to review the items and plan their thoughts for the meeting. It’s also a good idea to include the agenda along with any other supporting documents that board members will need to be able to fully understand the topic in hand.