Efficient and Effective Board Meetings


Running an efficient, fair and orderly board meeting is the goal – but not always the reality – for trustees and hospital leadership. The following tips and reminders will help your board run a successful and productive meeting.

  • State your meeting goals at the top of your meeting agenda.
  • Take a mission moment: ask a board member to read your mission statement out loud.
  • Prioritize your agenda from important topics to trivial. Major discussions should be at the top of your agenda, followed by routine approvals.
  • Note your timing so your meetings begin and end on time.
  • Note your agenda items for voting and discussion.
  • Include dashboards and visuals to accompany reports.
  • Make use of your consent agenda. Include items that may not need discussion (i.e. staff reports and
    executive summaries).
  • Give members time to prepare. A best practice is to send meeting materials to board members at least a week in advance of the meeting.
  • High-performing boards spend 75% of their time on strategy, and 25% of their time on operational issues

Discussion among board members is key for communicating and understanding the issue at-hand and is crucial for effective decision-making. Here are some best practices to foster a healthy dialogue in the board room:

  • Ensure your discussion and decision-making processes include all board members.
  • Follow the agenda to keep the board moving toward its goals.
  • Control the flow of the meeting by recognizing members who ask to speak.
  • When discussions get off-track, gently guide the group back to the agenda.
  • Model courtesy and respect – and insist that others do the same.
  • Develop the board’s skills in parliamentary procedure by properly using motions and points
    of order.
  • Give each speaker your undivided attention.
  • Keep an emotional pulse on the discussions.
  • Allow a consensus to have the final authority of the group.