Creating a Culture of Openness and Transparency at Board Meetings

Board meetings are an excellent opportunity to keep everyone’s enthusiasm high and get fresh ideas from people with different backgrounds. Maintaining momentum requires more than just bringing everyone into the same room.

Board members need to feel that they can trust each other enough to be honest and to ask difficult questions. This is only possible if there is an atmosphere of openness and transparency. This is why it’s important to create a board environment that values the importance of board meetings and works to make them as productive as they can.

The agenda of the board should clearly state what directors will need do to achieve their objectives. It should also be able to allow for unexpected items or the need to change the order of items when needed. The board should also be given a chance to discuss new business items.

A good board chair will not make reports when discussing new business. Instead, they should encourage discussion among the whole group. This will not only save time, but will also help create a positive environment in which the board can be able to pose difficult questions to the management.

Another method of encouraging discussion is to include a parking area on the agenda. This allows small, random issues to be discussed however, it won’t distract from more important issues at hand. Distractions can eat up precious time during meetings and deter the board from taking actions.

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