Board Meeting Agenda

Board Meeting Agenda? What is that Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here in the sunny ATX with the sun beaming down and making it hot, very hot. Like Gen Wm Tecumseh Sherman (America’s first home grown war criminal) said, “If I owned Hell and Texas, I’d live in Hell and rent out Texas!”

So, today, we continue talking shop about the board meeting.

Board Meeting Agenda

The board meeting agenda is the outline for the duly called and scheduled meeting of your board of directors. It outlines what y’all are going to talk about.

A pro tip is to make the board meeting agenda standardized about EVERYTHING you could think to talk about (20-25 items) and schedule only those that really need to be discussed that meeting. The board meeting agenda is a dynamic document, so no problem with last minutes changes or additions.

Here is an exemplar for you to consider:

Sample Board Meeting Agenda

Take a look at it.

Pick the right subjects

Start with a standard document and pick those which will be discussed at this meeting.

In the exemplar, that means items #1-8. Look at it. You can tell because each of these items has an assigned speaker and a time budget.

What about the other stuff, Big Red Car?

The “other stuff” — the twelve other items which are not assigned a speaker and a temporal budget may be backed up (should be backed up) by resource material which will allow the board to know the latest developments without having to discuss them at the board meeting.

An example might be a report on the status of any litigation as indicated in #12. — Review and discuss litigation, legal issues. This information is available and will likely not require a discussion as it is a routine update.

You may want to budget thirty minutes for an “education topic” which is the CEO’s opportunity to educate the board about some aspect of the business. This can be a very valuable investment of time over the course of a year.

Another such feature is the “parking lot” — #19. Parking lot issues — which can be used to hold a topic for another board meeting or to investigate the parking lot to see what was parked there the last board meeting. Having a parking lot is evidence of a well disciplined and mature board procedure.

Presenter, time budget

A critical element of the board meeting agenda is to denote the presenter and to budget a set period of time. There should be a time keeper who gives a 5 minute, 2 minute, and final warning. Don’t be a rigid but do manage the time.

A CEO can use this assignment of different presenters as an opportunity to get some exposure for her top executives and to let a team member get to meet the board. Don’t go overboard and make it into “shoe & tell.”

So, there it is. That easy.

We will talk about the board meeting agenda, the decision memorandum, the corporate resolution, and the board meeting minutes. We spoke about the Decision Memorandum the other day.

Decision Memorandum

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourself. Let me know if I can assist you.cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png

2 thoughts on “Board Meeting Agenda

  1. Sounds good. Lots of good sounding stuff I wouldn’t think of. Maybe ways to keep down drifting off into chaos, letting some disgruntled board member start to cause trouble, keep the discussion on track, e.g., no arguing about the free pizza and soda M-F after 7 PM.

    I’d likely implicitly assume that everyone was on board to make the company successful, but the more I learn about human nature the more I realize that any such unanimity is likely less common than hen’s teeth, and, instead, too many people can just start causing destructive trouble for no more reason than they can.

    So, it appears that generally the BoD is a severe danger to anything good for the company, a real chuckhole in the road, something to watch out for, avoid, defend against, etc. So, in defense, have an agenda with harmless items, use the agenda to keep out everything else, use up the time, stay in control, avoid anything that might be controversial or need actual data, explanation, or thought, and then adjourn and let the company continue for another quarter.

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