Do your board meetings seem to last hours?
Do you spend more time talking about pets, children and other personal stuff instead of your nonprofits related business?
Do you leave meetings wondering if anything even got accomplished?
Are you not even sure what to talk about at your board meetings?
Well, if you have experienced any of the above, then you are in good company – nearly ALL nonprofits go through this. But if meetings continue like this then you risk loosing focus, loosing board members and eventually loosing your foothold in the community.
But there is an easy fix to this. It’s a way to keep on task, accomplish your goals – and, possible even get your meetings done in an hour. What’s the secret?
The Meeting Agenda
Agenda’s follow a set structure that is universal throughout most boards and government entities. The agenda structure should be followed at every meeting. Meeting agenda’s will:
- will help instill consistency and professionalism into your board meetings
- train your members to stay on topic
- teach your members the process for getting things done
- help you accomplish more in shorter period of time
The key to using the agenda is remembering to follow it. This responsibility falls mainly on your board president (or chair person). If topics stray from agenda items, it is their job to redirect the conversation back on to the agenda topic. If the chair person doesn’t do this, then another board member can call for a point of order to get conversation back on topic.
Be sure to do this gently. The person straying from topic likely feels what they are talking about is important and relative. So be diplomatic when riegning in off topic conversations.
A good board meeting can take about an hour, stays on topic, assigns task, sets deadlines and hears reports from committees. The key to doing this is to have a set agenda and follow it.