Thursday 23 September 2010

Setting the pace for a board meeting

HSS Executive Director Jay Malone address a cr...Image via Wikipedia
Board meetings are strange beasts. On one hand the CEO is talking to his investors, which is by definition an asymmetrical relation, on the other hand it's the CEO who's responsible to control the meeting and make sure that things don't get out of hand.

Investors are typical quite chatty and it's occasionally hard to stop them and move on to another topic. However, if the meeting runs out of time without touching on all topics, it's a failure.

So here is one suggestion how to deal with it:

1. make sure that you know how much time each participant has for the meeting (aim at 2h, expect 1.5h), start on time, even if somebody is missing
2. on the first slide show agenda with allocated time slots; it frames the discussion and sets the expectations
3. keep time, or better, have one of your team members do it, but be sensitive to where the discussion is going
4. while the time for certain topic is running out, summarise the key points; that puts everyone in the summarise mode and moves them away from the details they often like to drill into

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