A board meeting always follows a certain script and rules, which are written down in the company’s charter. If you are new to the board team or want to know how things work for other reasons, it is best to focus not on the structure of the meeting, but on the actions to be taken.
Recognize a quorum and order the meeting
The very first step to the successful formation of a board meeting is to first recognize a quorum, the chairman should find out whether a quorum is determined in their case or not. A quorum is identified either by the bylaws or by the bylaws of the organization. If there is no clear definition of a quorum, then the majority principle applies to the board.
Next, the chairman needs to declare a meeting. He announces the presence of all board members and then addresses various matters, personal or business, it could be welcoming new board members, or seeing off retiring employees and things of that nature.
Approval of agenda and minutes
After discussing personal matters, the chair moves on to business, specifically the agenda, attendees must approve the agenda or request additions to the discussion, changes, or deletions. All of these changes can easily be accomplished even without a vote.
Before moving on to the discussion of the current agenda, participants must resolve issues from the last meeting that have been carried over to this meeting, namely to approve the minutes of the meeting. After the secretary has read out the minutes (or the minutes have been sent before the meeting even begins), the leader should ask about the possibility of any corrections to the minutes.
If the answer is no, the minutes are approved immediately; if there are corrections, the other board members must consider and agree with them. If a dispute arises during this decision, everything is resolved by voting.
Communication and Reports
The next stage consists of the board members hearing reports from the executive director and special committees. The financial report is also read because absolutely all board members should be aware of the financial situation of the company, no corrections and actions in its direction are made, voting is possible only during the annual audited financial report.
Old, New and Other Business
Old Business is those items and issues that have been previously discussed and resolved, so they only need to be formally certified. It is reviewed, and if any of the items are debated, the chair suggests that they be addressed during the current meeting.
New business is new items that are presented at the current meeting, the chairman reads them out one at a time, and only when there has been discussion does he move on to the next item. During the discussion, the chairman should keep track of time and allow everyone to speak, but not give them too much air time to have time to discuss all other items. Once an item has been discussed, it can be deferred, voted on, or referred to a committee.
The other business is when the chair suggests that other items that do not need to be discussed, such as announcements, begin the discussion. These are usually items for future discussion, to inform participants and give them time to consider
Closing the meeting
When the meeting comes to an end the chairman is sure to thank all board members and declare the meeting adjourned. As a final step, the CEO should contact the executive and re-talk through the entire meeting process to discuss all aspects of the meeting once again before the secretary creates a formal report.