Before the meeting
- Invite input — ask the board members before the meeting for their wish list of discussion topics for the meeting and board packet.
- Send out the board packet early — to allow everyone to read it in advance.
- No powerpoint in the board packet — because it isn’t conducive to rigorous analysis. Instead, I write a letter which references a comprehensive set of time-series charts.
- Be transparent — share the board packet with the whole company before sending it to board members, and ask for comments. (We use Google docs.)
The meeting itself
- No dial-ins — because it kills the conversation. If someone can’t attend, I’ll call them the following week to update them.
- All VPs attend — and a crucial part of my job to showcase how great they are.
- Don’t go through the board materials during the meeting — we assume everyone read them in advance.
- No texting or emailing during the meeting — so we provide a break for people to make calls or email.
- Never make decisions during the board meeting — group dynamics are unpredictable and an unreliable decision making mechanism.