Well-run meetings achieve more. A formal meeting protocol structures the meeting effectively and encourages constructive contribution to discussion.
Factors for effective meetings include:
- A good chair for the meeting
- A set agenda: this agenda will be planned by the board chair with the Chief Executive and sent to board members in advance of the meeting. The agenda should allow time for important issues. Some items that may come up regularly are:
- Confirmation that a quorum, the number required for a decision, are in attendance
- The Chief Executive's report
- Finance report on progress against budget and predicted cash flow
- Current projects
- Future plans
- Any areas of risk
- Good board information packages: ie papers and information that are easy to understand which give directors/trustees the background they need for discussions and decision-making at the meeting. These papers need to be distributed with enough time for directors/trustees to do their preparation.
- Minutes recording the meeting: the minutes should give an accurate record of the meeting, particularly decisions made, financial authorisations, action items with timeframes and who is responsible. This means that directors/trustees can check to see at the next meeting that what was agreed has been done. Minutes of the previous meeting should also be confirmed by all present as an accurate record. Any amendments or dissensions must be recorded.