Andréa Sumé

Creating a Culture of Openness and Transparency at Board Meetings

Board meetings are a great way to boost the energy of everyone and gain new insights from members with diverse backgrounds. Maintaining momentum requires more than simply getting everyone in the same room.

Board members need to feel that they can trust one another enough to be honest and open to asking difficult questions. This can only happen when there is a culture of openness and transparency. This is the reason it’s so important to create a board culture that values the importance of board meetings, and tries to make them as productive as possible.

The agenda of the board should clearly state what directors will need to accomplish to reach their objectives. The agenda should be flexible enough to accommodate any unexpected issues or the necessity to reorder items. Finally, the board should be given a chance to discuss new business items.

A good chairperson for the board does not give reports when discussing new business. Instead, they should encourage discussion with the whole group. This will not only save time, but will also help to create a positive and welcoming environment in which the board can pose difficult questions of the management.

Another method to stimulate discussion is to include a parking lot on the agenda, which will allow small, random subjects to be discussed however, it won’t distract from more important issues in the room. The distraction of irrelevant discussions can take up meeting time and prevent board members from taking actions.

board meetings

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