Friday 1 October 2010

Who should do the talking at the board meetings

I recently came across an interesting idea about board meetings. Basically, board meetings are a tool that CEO has at his disposal to communicate with investors and other board members. However quite often it's a fairly strict relationship. CEO does the presentation, board members intervene and comment in between and that's about it. I've done it, it's ok, but not great.

However one important aspect of managing the board is to open up the company to the board members.

And one of he best ways is to invite some of the team members from time to time do a presentation on particular subject.  So I'm convinced now that the rule of thumb of who does the talking at the board should be:

CEO: 20%, team members: 40%, board members: 40%

It will benefit the CEO since it will elevate the level of trust the board has in to the CEO. It will change the dynamics of the board and increase the engagement of the team members.

It's best to rotate presentations of the team members, so that on each board meeting, one or two team members do a presentation on the current state and future of various topics like product, marketing and other (depending on their area of expertise). It's actually quite easy to open 30 or 45 mins of time for team presentations and discussions. The topics need to be discussed anyway, why not just include the ones who have most hand's on experience with them.

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