Over the last few years, I have read a number of great
posts describing how to run a board of directors meeting. They give wonderful advice on how to get the most value out of your board meetings.
One thing I've seen pretty consistently is that there is a direct correlation between the success of a board meeting and the quality of preparation in advance of the meeting.
Planning for a successful board meeting is not easy – it takes a lot of time to effectively provide insight into the company’s priorities, goals, performance, and challenges. And time is a scarce resource at any startup. When I was CEO of Half.com, I had a wonderful board of directors – they offered real strategic input and guidance. However, I believe that half of the value of a Board of Directors meeting comes in advance of the meeting. The time I spent with my management team preparing for the board meeting was invaluable. It insured we were all on the same page. It provided an unque opportunity for the management team to step outside of the daily operational (aka firefighting) mode and think strategically. Looking back, some of the most important decisions we made resulted from conversations while we were preparing for our board meeting, rather than in the meeting itself. Our monthly board meeting provided a firm benchmark to measure our progress by – and also served as an invaluable “motivator” to ensure that we achieved the expectations that were set at the last meeting.
I believe that companies that don’t invest the time preparing for a board meeting are missing out on a lot of value…