Board meetings play a crucial role in running of a community association as this is the time that the decision makers (“The Board”) get together and discuss needed business within a community. If not ran effectively, board meetings can have an adverse effect on how the association is functioning. Over the years, we at Priestley Management Company have found what it takes to conduct an effective board meeting and doing these items can assist your board in running efficient:
Prior To The Meeting
Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” This could not be truer for an upcoming meeting. Preparing prior to the meeting will ultimately set your Board up for success. First, the Board should determine what the purpose of the meeting is. In other words, what decisions need to be made, what problems need to be addressed, etc. Determining the above will help set the agenda for the upcoming meeting. There are many considerations when putting together an agenda such as:
- What are the desired outcomes of the discussions? Are actions being taken on the agenda?
- Who is responsible for discussing the agenda item?
- Location on agenda
- Start and end time for the meeting
- Are items on the agenda for action?
- Is the agenda clear
Once the agenda is set, all applicable items should be placed into a meeting package. Our meeting packages usually include items such as the agenda, financials, and any other items that are up for discussion such as proposals, rules changes, etc. It is highly recommended that the meeting package be available to the Board 3 to 5 days in advance of the meeting. Sending the meeting package in advance of the meeting allows the Board to review the topics and applicable information prior to the meeting, which will often result in a more efficient meeting. Additionally, getting the meeting package in advance allows the Board to ask questions prior to the meeting which can in turn save time during the meeting.
During The Meeting
When the actual meeting is occurring, there are things that the Board should institute to assure the meeting is effective. First, it is very important that the meeting start on time. When meetings start late, it can cause the meeting to be rushed as it constrains the allotted time of the meeting before the meeting even starts. Once the meeting is called to order, the Board should follow the agenda and stay on topic. Meetings often get derailed by going off the agenda and off topic, which leads to further inefficiencies. Whoever is leading the meeting (usually the president) should work to control interruptions, conflict, and digressions by using the agenda.
As the meeting progresses and actions are taken, Boards should make the decisions clear and what the next steps are. It is important that everyone knows their assignment for the action.
Finally, we encourage meetings to have an end time. Just like a start time, meetings should have an end time. It is encouraged that meetings are less than 2 hours long as studies show that after two hours, the effectiveness of meetings drop significantly.
Once the meeting has adjourned, we encourage the Board to go over the action items of the meeting and recap the decisions of the Board. This will further assist in what the next steps are and who is responsible for those next steps. Finally, we encourage the meeting to be closed on a positive note.
Efficient and successful meetings can be the norm and not the exception provided you follow proper protocol and implement processes and procedures that set your Association up for success. If your Association is having trouble managing meeting and other tasks, please feel free to reach out to a Priestley Management team by clicking here.