Board and committee meeting management
At Bridgehouse we understand how vital good board meeting management is to the running of an effective meeting. Leave the board meeting agenda, paperwork and legalities to us so you can focus on running your business.
Outsiders rarely appreciate the amount of paperwork a single meeting can generate. But because it is what we do, day in and day out, we can assist with making sure your board and committee meetings run smoothly, using tried and tested techniques such as meeting plans and taking accurate minutes of board meetings.
Before the meeting – forward planning
We start by developing forward plans for all your meetings to ensure that the appropriate items are on the meeting agenda. Having forward plans in place helps to ensure that meeting agendas are set at least a year in advance and with all appropriate items on the agenda in good time. The forward plans are then supported by meeting schedules containing deadlines showing when reports need to be ready for circulation to the board.
Read our article in the ICSA magazine on the importance of forward planning here: https://www.icsa.org.uk/knowledge/governance-and-compliance/features/july-2017-plan-ahead
We can also help by drafting meeting agendas based on forward plans; and chasing up and collating reports before circulating them to the board at least seven to ten days before the meeting date. In addition, with the benefit of technology, board members no longer have to wait for reports to be posted by snail mail. We are practised in using several board portals and can advise your organisation’s board on the most appropriate tools to share board papers electronically.
We recommend that the most important discussion items – usually involving financial matters – are dealt with early on the agenda. The most effective meetings are typically those where all of the background information and recommendations have been provided to board members well in advance of the meeting. This enables board members to discuss the recommendation having the same information, allowing everyone to start the discussion on the same page.
At the meeting – Our professional minute-taking service
Following the despatch of reports, we are available to attend meetings to take professional, detailed board meeting minutes. Our team adapts their minute-taking style to suit the individual needs of each organisation, ensuring a consistent style for each client.
Here, it’s worth spending a few moments looking at what makes a meeting effective and productive. Meetings are necessary for decision-making, reporting back, reviewing issues, problem-solving and discussion but, in reality, running a productive meeting can be challenging.
Common problems include:
- Long discussions with no conclusion;
- Decision-making based on inadequate information;
- Low attendance;
- Uneven participation; and
- Unwillingness to ask questions.
These issues are not easily addressed, but certainly meetings will become more effective if they are well planned with a clear purpose, effectively chaired and focused on decision-making to discourage attendees going off-topic.
After the meeting- the follow up
Our minutes are version-controlled, quality checked and timely – draft minutes are presented for your approval within five working days of the meeting! We also ensure all draft board meeting minutes are fully supported by an action list to keep track of any action items arising from the meeting. We are also happy to provide updates on items highlighted for action to ensure a comprehensive action list is ready for your next meeting.