Thursday 30 September 2010

Board meeting action items

BrainstormingImage via Wikipedia
Board meeting is an intense 90 minutes event that happens every month or every second month. It's the time when you get all  your investors, observers board members and management in one room, reflect on past few weeks and steer the course of your startup in the future.

One interesting side effect of such brainstorming is that even though boards often tackle more strategic issues, there are quite a few operational ideas sprouting in the same time,  like intros, sharing some docs and others. It's crucial for the CEO or whomever is taking down the minutes to adequately organise them and follows up on them with the board members. Otherwise things get forgotten and potentially helpful idea goes down the drain. 

So in order to do it right, do the following:
1. write down every single action item, if possible with a due date and the owner of the item
2. send out follow up emails to participants with their action item lists, don't expect investors to write down what they promised; I even suggest that you send one email, CC everybody and list action items per each participants
3. in due time, or every week send out gentle reminders on to each participant; in this case don't CC everybody, you don't want to make them look like kids that needs to be reminded constantly
4. on the next board meeting, report on the non executed action item, and thank your board members for the executed action items

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