Board meetings typically refer to meetings between important personalities in an organization, such as the board of directors or heads of departments. As a result, there is rarely sufficient time for them to get to discussing, and by extension, addressing all of their goals and issues. Therefore, it is imperative that a board meeting agenda succinctly summarizes these issues, ranks them in order of importance and relevance, and addresses the issues brought up efficiently and productively. For these reasons, writing an effective board meeting agenda is a very important step in making sure nobody’s time is wasted, and that product decisions are made with regards to the future of the organization.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of things you should know when it comes to writing a board meeting agenda, and we’re going to walk you through just how you should go about doing so. At the very end of the guide, we’ve also included a template that you can use as-is or modify to better suit the needs and specifics of your organization!
What is a Board Meeting Agenda? Why do I Need One?
Board meetings typically involve leading personalities in companies and organizations, such as heads of departments. These people rarely have time to waste, and so cannot afford board meetings that stretch on endlessly. To be more efficient and make sure that meetings are brief, productive, and most importantly, beneficial to the organization, leaders are expected to create agendas to hold every attendee accountable. For these reasons, a board meeting is generally considered an essential prerequisite to meetings. Don’t worry, though, writing one is a very straightforward process. We’re here to help you through the steps to writing a simple but effective board meeting agenda, with a template at the very end to boot!
In a formal setting, most board meeting agendas include the following sections;
- A Call to Order – This is a formal declaration of the time, location, and date of the meeting.
- The Agenda – The agenda is a short, brief summary of the purpose of the meeting.
- The minutes – Minutes (My-newts) refer to the written record of the proceedings of the meeting. Typically, a meeting starts when the chairperson declares the meeting open, after which minutes are recorded until the meeting formally concludes.
- Topics for discussion – Typically, this section is divided into two parts – Old business and new business (or current business!). The former refers to topics that are carried over from previous sessions, whereas new business allows attendees to bring up any new issue. Generally, this follows the section where the “core” reason for calling the meeting is brought up.
- Open floor – After discussing all previous and current affairs, the floor is opened up for comments and announcements.
- Review – At the conclusion of the meeting, the leader typically requests a review, which goes over all of the things discussed over the course of the meeting. This usually comes last as members can leave with actionable insights and act on the opinions/discussion that they were a party to.
- Adjournment – Finally, the meeting is formally called to an end, after which the minutes are closed.
Board Meeting Agenda Template
If you’ve found the steps to be ambiguous and the process unclear, don’t fret – To help you out, we’ve developed a template that can be used as-is, or may be modified to better suit the specific needs of your organization in particular. Our board meeting agenda template can be found below;
BOARD MEETING AGENDA TEMPLATE
Time, Date, and Location.
THE CALL TO ORDER – This is a formal declaration that the meeting is, in fact, open. This is usually the first section of any board meeting.
THE AGENDA – Here, the person chairing the meeting announces the agenda, i.e., the purpose of the meeting, to all attendees, and declares that the minutes are now to be recorded.
TOPICS & REPORTS – This is the section where the main issues and topics specified in the agenda are discussed. Additionally, many organizations may also have their members provide reports in a board meeting during this section.
OLD BUSINESS – This section typically follows the reports and topics part, and deals primarily with a business that has been carried over from previous meetings.
NEW BUSINESS – Here, any member of the board may bring up new issues.
OPEN FLOOR – After the new business section, the floor is opened to all members, who may present questions, comments, concerns, and clarifications.
ADJOURNMENT – The meeting is formally declared to be over, and the secretary stops recording the minutes.
Free Templates & Examples
What should be included in a board meeting agenda?
As we mentioned through the course of our guide, a board meeting agenda typically includes the following – A call to order, The Agenda, Topics and Reports, Old Business, New Business, and an open floor, after which the meeting is adjourned.
Who writes the agenda for a board meeting?
In most formal settings, the secretary is in charge of writing the agenda for a board meeting. This, however, isn’t always the case – in many organizations, specific members are appointed to take charge of board meetings. When that is the case, that particular individual is responsible for writing the board meeting agenda.
How long should board meetings last?
Typically, board meetings last between 1 and a half hours to 4 hours. This is considered the average time, with anything longer being counterproductive and unintuitive.