The success of a board meeting requires a dynamic agenda that is a mix of updates and discussions. How can you ensure that the board is actively engaged in discussions that help develop strategies that propel the company ahead, rather than just discussing the information that has been shared?

The trick is to put the most important discussion topics at the top of the agenda. This will motivate the leadership to energize meetings by starting the meaty discussion earlier. It also sets a precedence that the meeting is more than a mere report-writing exercise. This will reduce the tendency to get sidetracked by new topics and waste time on activities that can be put off until future meetings or put into appendices to the board book.

After the board has discussed the company’s strategy and reached a consensus the next step will be to create an action plan. This includes the identification and definition of specific metrics that are aligned to the objectives like net promoter score (NPS) and customer retention and satisfaction sales by region or employee turnover.

During the discussion, it is important for the board to explore the pros and cons of each option. This will help ensure that everyone understands what they are agreeing to and that the decisions made will have a positive impact on the business. It is also important to establish a culture of respect, to ensure that the board members feel comfortable sharing their opinions and challenging preconceived notions respectfully.