Board meeting agendas and minutes are the most important documents in a board meeting. The effectiveness of their drafting determines the level of productivity of the forum and the preparation of the participants. Unfortunately, meeting leaders often make mistakes when drafting these documents. This leads to several negative factors and jeopardizes the company’s position. In this article, we’ll break down exactly what should be included in the agenda and minutes of meetings to make them as effective as possible.
How do you logically organize a meeting agenda?
The agenda sets the pace for every meeting. It helps attendees stay on topic and track with what’s important. To improve your agenda, you can:
- Refresh your approach
Your agenda doesn’t have to start the same way every time. So to avoid causing a stagnant effect, start with something else, such as the most important issues, while brainstorming. This way, your colleagues are guaranteed to have more ideas.
- Include the purpose of the agenda item
Add an end goal to each discussion item so that everyone on the board understands how to conduct themselves during the discussion. Then, save your energy for decisions that require it.
- Set the length of the discussion for each agenda item
Interrupting each participant as they speak because time is running out can disrupt the friendly atmosphere of the meeting, so to avoid this awkwardness, you can set a rough time to discuss each topic. If the time ends and you can’t go to a common denominator, then postpone the issue to the next time.
Also, don’t forget to send agendas to participants at least a week in advance. That way, they can better prepare for the upcoming meeting.
Meeting Minutes – Key Content
Minutes play an important role in creating the agenda. It should be written so that your secretary can take the minutes and turn them into exhaustive notes for board members. Thus, the minutes should convey your council’s exact actions and explain their rationale. This serves as a good guide for future decisions, especially for those participants who could not attend the previous meeting. Common elements of the minutes include:
- Accurate identification of what was said and who said it
- Unambiguous writing
- Assessment of discussions in the context of the board meeting right during the meeting
- Sent out approved and ready-to-read minutes promptly
To create meeting minutes as effectively as possible, you need to:
- Imagine that you are writing this for a reader five years from now
Put yourself in the shoes of a new board member reviewing the minutes of a meeting in that none of the existing board members were present to prompt you if anything happens. Understand what aspects of the forum need to be understood first, and sharpen your focus on them as you write the minutes. Also, include:
- The exact wording of any motions heard.
- The name of the person who made the motion.
- The names of those who supported the action.
- The votes.
- Don’t skimp on details
Remember, your board is legally responsible for what happens in the company, so you can’t skimp on details. However, they should be clear and simple. It is recommended that you don’t leave out details such as:
- Location, date, and time of the meeting
- The type of meeting
- Names of meeting participants and absentees
- Each motion, who made it and who seconded it, and what the final decision was
- Actions and subsequent yours
- Time of adjournment
- The date and time of the next meeting