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Meeting Agenda

The purpose of an agenda is to ensure a meeting will be conducted in an orderly manner and discussions will lead to results. With an agenda, conversations stay on track and the meeting should end on time. The agenda is prepared in advance through collaboration of the chief elected officer and the chief staff person (executive director). With sufficient timing, it is distributed well before the meeting with supporting information. For quarterly meetings, directors might receive it 30 days ahead; for monthly meetings one might expect it 7 to 10 days in advance.

Resources

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Agenda Reflecting Strategic Goals

Agenda Reflecting Strategic Goals

Board Meeting Agenda

Board Meeting Agenda

Board of Directors Retreat Sample Agenda

Board of Directors Retreat Sample Agenda

Board of Directors Retreat Sample Agenda

Board of Directors Retreat Sample Agenda

Build a Smart Agenda

“We’ve always done it this way.” It’s a reply to, “How did you design the board agenda?” An agenda’s purpose is to an efficient board meeting. It is created in partnership by the executive director and chief elected officer. Essentially it is a list of items that need to be addressed. A frequent problem is getting bogged down, running out of time to complete the work.

Revise the Board Agenda

The board meetings were boring. The agendas included a dozen reports and updates that ate up valuable time. Discussions were not innovative, inspiriing nor visionary. Directors whispered, “This is a waste of our time.” It is a misconception that meetings are for listening to reports. Especially when the reports could have been distributed and read in advance. Asked why the agenda includes so many reports, the elected chair said, “We’ve always done it that way.”

Got the Agenda – Now What?

The purpose of an agenda is to ensure a meeting will be conducted in an orderly manner and discussions will lead to results. With an agenda, conversations stay on track and the meeting should end on time.

How to Design an Agenda for an Effective Meeting

Here are some tips for designing an effective agenda for your next meeting, with a sample agenda and template below. You can use these tips whether a meeting lasts an hour or three days and whether you’re meeting with a group of five or forty:

Power Up the Consent Agenda

“We’ve been in this meeting for an hour and done nothing but listen to reports,” said the board member. A standard board agenda includes a dozen reports and updates. Reading and listening to reports are not good use of board time. Meetings should concentrate on advancing the mission and strategic goals.

The Integrated Agenda

Most agendas are built on precedent, “We’ve always done it that way.” Seldom do incoming officers consider the format of an agenda to craft improvements. (Agenda development is often delegated to staff.)

Tips on Consent Agendas

A consent agenda is a mechanism whereby a Board of Directors can compile routine reports (committees, officers, staff, etc.) that are non-controversial and require no board action or discussion

The Well-Dressed Board Agenda

An agenda is the list of activities in the order in which they are to be taken up, beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment. It usually includes specific items of business to be acted. It may, but is not required to, include specific times for one or more activities.

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