How to Write an Effective Board Meeting Agenda


A well-written agenda for board meetings is one of the most essential elements of an effective and productive board meeting. A strong agenda is an effective framework for discussion and making decisions, and allows everyone to leave the meeting with a clear understanding of what was discussed and decided. A well-organized agenda for board meetings can allow you to quickly move between meetings, avoid getting bogged down in the details, and make your meetings more fun for everyone.

Begin with the most important issues. Start with the most important items on your agenda. This allows leadership to gather feedback and start discussions when attendees are still fresh in their minds. This method can entice attendees to arrive early, since they are aware that the most exciting discussions will start immediately.

Examine all the reports presented by committees, board members, and executives. It is crucial to follow-up on any issues that might arise. It also helps to avoid the need to spend time in meetings reviewing outdated business issues that should have been discussed by the board’s various committees.

Allocate enough time to strategic planning and discussions. This is key to ensuring that the board can guide the organization effectively. Be sure to provide an area for “old business” and “new business,” so that the board can review all pertinent follow-ups as well as the proposed new strategies.

Long reports and other routine issues can cause delays in meetings and divert board members away from the most important issues. Using the “parking lot” or “consent agenda” can help reduce the amount of time spent on these items.