Executive board meetings are a time for boards to express their views on the current issues facing the business. Boards usually take this time to hear from the varied viewpoints provided by the people who attend, and then take action to influence business management in a way that’s in the best interests of all concerned. This can be as simple as a board taking a position on an issue that’s before it, or as complicated as a board negotiating a major merger. What makes executive board meetings so important is the fact that they provide a forum where all viewpoints are available to the board members. This allows for in-depth discussion and consideration of solutions to problems that face the organization.
A good executive board meeting should begin with an agenda. The agenda should include the full list of business activities for the coming month. It also should include the long-term plans for the organization, as well as short-term goals for the year. These should include both long-term measures (such as how the organization will continue to grow in the next five years) and temporary measures (such as how the board will address employee concerns in the current quarter). If no clear path for the organization’s growth has been laid out, provide direction for the meeting by providing a general order of business.
The first thing any group of boards will want to do is to choose a Chairperson for the executive board meeting. In most cases, the Chairperson will have already agreed to serve on the board. In some cases, the Chairperson may need to be confirmed by the entire board. If at all possible, confirm the appointments for all involved during this initial meeting.
It’s important for all involved to agree on the Executive Director’s qualifications and experience. In these initial meetings, offer to present someone else to the Board in case they are unable to attend or refuse to participate. In these initial meetings, focus on the board’s shared common interest, as opposed to on the individual accomplishments of each member. The executive board meeting should begin with a brief overview of the day’s agenda, including why the meeting is being held and any other information relevant to business. Focus on the common interest and build from there.
It is very important that the executives who attend these meetings to understand the bylaws regarding the specific corporation and its board. These bylaws are in place to protect the interests of the members, maintain orderly business practices, and set the framework for future strategic planning and work. Attendees need to understand the bylaws so that they can be informed about and support decisions that affect their individual units. Some of these topics might include raising capital, issuing equity, selling property, or other major decisions. For example, raising equity might require a vote of the unit owners and a unanimous resolution.
In the case of raising capital, if you expect a large amount of capital at the executive board meeting, you will want to provide a financial forecast for the upcoming year, perhaps combined with an executive summary that explains what happened at the last meeting, and how the proposed strategy for raising capital is different than any other strategy. If the unit owners do not agree with the financial forecast or the strategy, you may need to provide them with additional information in the form of a supplemental written document. If the owners object to any portion of the proposal, discuss the issue with them face-to-face and present your reasons for objecting to their decision. If possible, send copies of documents to all of the potential opponents for your plan so that there are no misunderstandings regarding the content of your presentation.
During the general meeting, there will likely be a discussion of a range of topics, including scheduling, which will probably continue until the entire agenda has been discussed and agreed upon. To facilitate this process, make sure to use an agenda and plan to track the progress of the meetings as they occur. If you need to introduce new members into the group, have those meetings start on time and end on time. If the general meetings go well, the other officers will likely want to adapt your methods. You can learn about the success or failure of other boards by consulting people who have had experience at board meetings.
Before the board meeting, send an email to all of the homeowners on your committee, stating that the meeting will be a closed session. As with other closed session meetings, you should encourage attendees to attend the meeting via a live video feed. The benefit of the closed session is that you will be able to solicit feedback from attendees about their experiences. You should also note when the next board meeting will be scheduled and send an email to all homeowners saying that the next meeting will be closed to the public. Many homeowners who attend the meetings become supporters of the board due to the board’s transparency.