Before you say “I never present to the board” and stop reading, allow me to expand the definition of a board meeting. A board meeting is any meeting where a group of impartial outside observers of your organization get together to discuss your business with you in a candid and long-term focused way. Board meetings can be with your advisory board if you’re an entrepreneur, an executive steering committee if you’re running big projects, or any other assemblage of brain power that is willing to focus on improving your business. Now keep reading.
Most board meetings suck. Bad (or should that be “badly?”). That’s because folks want to update the board on all the great things they’ve been working on. Between that dynamic and the insecure paranoia of not wanting to have any question unanswered for the board, most organizations completely overprepare for the meeting. That overpreparedness becomes totally dysfunctional very quickly.
The good news is you can make board meetings productive, insightful, and enjoyable. You merely have to understand the current unproductive behaviors and shift your thinking on how you want to approach the board and what you want out of them. Here’s how to do that: