Boardroom Best Practices

Building an Agenda for Effective Board Meetings

Setting the agenda for a board meeting can be challenging. Do not dismiss it as an administrative exercise. It is an opportunity for the business and the board.

In letter

  • The agenda for a board meeting is a map. Unfortunately, it’s often more like plugging into Google Maps rather than planning the itinerary for a road trip.
  • There’s more to a board agenda than just updating the dates on the document from the previous meeting. Recent regulatory scrutiny has highlighted the need for “on-the-spot and key issues for the board’s consideration.
  • Including the expected duration of each item on the agenda. However, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has shown that.
  • When they are just released, it may be reasonable to ask questions about whether or not they are adequately considered. Importantly, though, these overlook the time directors spend preparing for a meeting, reflecting on the information they receive, and pre-engaging with management and each other.
  • The duration of the examination does not indicate its quality, and directives and governance have other tools at their disposal.

Choose your own Adventure – Customize the Board Agenda

Chairs, directors, CEOs and company secretaries should consider where the board should focus on. How that looks will vary depending on organizations’ unique circumstances.

When directors arrive at the meeting energetically, fully prepared and ready to start, it can be worthwhile capitalizing on that momentum. Alternatively, other boards may prefer some time to warm up and talk about the facts that will color their later decisions, beginning with the CEO’s report before turning to proposed approvals.

Cast the Net – Calling for Papers

Company secretaries are a bridge between directors and management and can help both groups operate more effectively. Adopting a proactive approach to building

What do you want to bring to the board?

Developing strong connections across the business helps to identify potential board papers at the earliest possible opportunity. This not only supports timely agenda preparation but underpins early engagement on reports and proposed resolutions, contributing to improved quality and efficiency.

Pay it Forward – Planning Ahead

Expanding board’s responsibility makes an effective meeting agenda more important than ever. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring directors prioritize key issues while also addressing their full range of responsibilities.

Establishing a forward agenda process provides it with the business or matters arising from the board.

It also ensures that the periodic matters are reviewed and that they are approved. When the board comes to review its operations, it can be addressed.

Improving the Board Agenda

Overcoming their meetings with a  plus delta evaluation . A Plus Delta is a process for assessing what they are doing. The evaluation framework questions from a positive perspective to in-depth collaboration and group problem-solving about how to streamline and improve board meetings. It’s a simple tool of a few short questions, such as:

  • What is there enough time for discussion on each agenda item?
  • Did you receive your packet early enough to review it?
  • Has the board chair discussion from many perspectives?
  • Did the meeting flow smoothly from one item to another?
  • Did the board chair manage the meeting time well?

How Board Management Software Helps Boards

Board management software has transformed the way boards do business because they streamline many of the governance practices. Boards can therefore use the board to portals to conduct their board work. In fact, board portals provide a way to meet and share materials remotely.

Diligent Boards provides a highly secure platform where advisory boards can keep their accounts, records and collaborations private and secure.

Corporate secretaries thus have the capability to allow or disallow printing. Those who are authorized to print a book can print a specific page range, a specific tab or an entire book. With diligent boards, corporate secretaries can make last-minute changes, even on the day of the meeting. They can mark the board as revised and add notes.

Board administrators have the ability to change their permissions so they can do so.

Diligent Messenger lets board members communicate wherever they are using whichever electronic device they have handy.

Diligent Boards brings agendas to life. It connects the agenda for a meeting directly to the reports and provides a navigation tool and reference point to help guide participants. To find out more, contact us at or request a demonstration .

Board Portal Buyer’s Guide

With the right Board Portal software, a board can improve corporate governance and efficiency while collaborating in a secure environment. With lots of board portal vendors to choose from, the whitepaper contains the most important questions to ask during your search, divided into five essential categories.

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