Have you heard the saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." There's wisdom in this saying.
I've often heard, "Well I'm spontaneous", or "I'll get to that when I'm good and ready."
Honestly, if I didn't plan and ensure a good workflow, then deadlines would be missed, and people would become frustrated because the documents and information they are waiting on to complete tasks would not be in their hands in time.
I am not saying that being spontaneous is not a good thing. However, in preparing for board meetings, or any meeting, you should be planning well.
How can you plan well so that you don't fail?
- Planning for a board meeting takes time. Do not leave planning and preparation until the last minute.
- Prepare your own report and ensure the other board directors are aware of the date and time their reports and any research briefs or sub-committee recommendations are due.
- Prepare an agenda for the meeting and distribute it with enough time for directors to read and make their notes in preparation.
- Ensure you are aware of what recommendations are being brought to the meeting and decisions that require noting.
- Ensure all relevant documents for the meeting are made available to each director and have access to a digital copy.
- Having your 'draft' minutes on hand on your device/laptop can assist in ensuring you record all relevant decisions and information. If you choose to handwrite, then ensure you have your notepad and several pens (colored highlighters help).
- Have your paperwork and notes ready to go in an easy-to-find location on your laptop or printed in a folder marked for that meeting.
- Ensure your mobile and other devices are on silent so that you are not distracted throughout the meeting.
- Ensure you have adequate hydration, rest, and food before the meeting, and 'be present' in the meeting. As the person recording minutes, you must be aware of the discussion happening and if you are unsure of a final decision, request clarification.