Meeting Management

Raising Productivity with the Right Board Meeting Agenda

Setting the board meeting agenda can be challenging. Do not dismiss it as an administrative exercise – it influences the effectiveness of meetings and is an opportunity for company secretaries to contribute to the business and the board.

Board meeting agenda – In brief

  • The board meeting agenda is a map setting the direction for the discussion. Unfortunately, it’s often more like plugging into Google Maps rather than planning the itinerary for a road trip.
  • There’s more to a meeting than just meeting it. 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.

What it means for you

Choose your own adventure – customizing the board meeting 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 board 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.

Diligent Boards brings board meeting 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 .

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