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Mar 07

CEOs: Want More Productive Board Meetings?

Posted by: Mark Solon        

It’s Monday morning and I’ve just reviewed my bi-weekly board email from Jerry Ropelato, CEO of Tech Media Network. As a board member of Jerry’s company, I know that I’m going to receive a thoughtful review of the business from him every other week. It includes some high-level MTD, QTD & YTD numbers and how the company is doing against the plan of record.

It also contains a good deal of Jerry’s thoughts about the business. The narrative he provides may or may not include things like a sales update, partnership updates, challenges he’s thinking about, personell issues, or a host of other items. Most importantly, he does a terrific job of keeping his board members updated so that when we get to our board meetings, most if not all of our discussions are forward looking, not reviewing what happened during the last month, because we’re already up to speed as a result of his regular communication.

Of all the boards I’ve  been a part of, our board meetings at Tech Media Network are the most efficient & productive that I’ve seen and I’m quite sure it’s because Jerry takes 30 minutes a couple of times a month to share a thoughtful email with his board members. The vast majority of board members I’ve worked with (both investors and independent directors) appreciate getting more, not less information on the business and would welcome this type of communication. Try it and you’ll find that your board meetings start resembling the windshield instead of the rear view mirror…


One Response to “CEOs: Want More Productive Board Meetings?”

  1. I can't agree more. The concept of sending all written material to board members at least a few days before the board meeting with the understanding that they need to ask clarification questions prior to the meeting, turns meetings from reactive to proactive quite dramatically. No longer are all attendees buried in trying to read whatever is put in front of them but, instead, are up to speed and able to contribute their ideas and collaborate on solutions much more effectively.

    This doesn't have to be limited to board meetings. Any meeting should try and utilize this tactic to help all participants become much more productive. It not only helps attendees but also helps the presenters by requiring them to really clarify their presentations knowing that everyone is going to have sufficient time to read them in depth.

    Having each manager submit department updates made up of goals achieved, goals planned and updates on circumstances every week or two and shared among all managers further increases the collaboration and problem solving within the organization. I can't tell you how many times this process has solved problems in one department simply through better company wide knowledge of changes in another department.

    And now lets talk about the idea of having everyone stand during meetings to really get them moving…..

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