How to organize boardroom sessions?
I liked all the points mentioned, few other points i would like to add if that adds value to your meeting:
- Book the meeting with vision (inspiration to move the organization forward)
- Have some panels and sticky notes to facilitate the discussion so you guide them but make this as there meeting not yours.
- If there is any controversial issue resolve by meeting with the team members before the meeting.
- Create a stakeholder map, and look at which members need to be convinced or bring to normalization before the meeting
- Your job is to listen and facilitate not to dominate the meeting
- Be aware of emotions and be rational in your discuss, do not take it as personal but still lead with awareness and rational.
- set the stage of what you want to accomplish before the meeting and state at the beginning of the meeting.
- Have action items to make sure the is advancement on the vision you set in the meeting.
some initial thoughts already
- make sure you have non-competitive leaders in the room ... more and more difficult since companies are moving to adjacent industries, but still give it a try
- ensure that those leaders understand none of these discussions are shared outside ... it remains in the group and the companies
- take care of inspiration material or inspiring speakers that explain you key trends
- think what to do with that input .. any good leader nowadays knows these trends, but what are you going to do with it in these sessions. How will you profit from the diverse audience in the room...
Hi Dudley. I'd say it depends what you (or they) want to achieve from the sessions. Can you say any more about what these sessions would be trying to achieve? thanks
50 months ago
I suggest this age old tool: the parking lot. This allows the team to set aside peripheral issues that would otherwise take up valuable time in a respectful manner. Remaining on topic with talented teams who have a lot to offer on various subjects is sometimes a challenge.
What fun....after being a CEO for over a decade, you realize that board meetings often have happened before they start. That's lesson one. Those with deep financial and or strategic interests (often board observers) have already been talking for hours, u more typically over days and months to push their agendas and to understand the CEO and management teams performance and link to company performance versus their objectives.
First, I'd read the book and watch the videos: "Presenting To Win" by Jerry Weismann. Thousands of CEOs use his methods and have had his training.
Second, insure you are also in tune with your board - make time to speak with them each privately for mentorship, understanding and of course to understand emerging board room issues. No one cares about your slides - you should in the case of a board sent them at least two to three days earlier. They know what's in them. Accordingly, keep slides simple, but on point. No complexity unless asked so keep those slides aside. Show the bottom lie messages crisply, simply. Even note the major challenges, issues and questions you know may or are sure will be asked. Direct the discussion. To this end, such messages will show beyond private conversations and abject performance that you see what's going on and what may be coming up. Finally, when a choice is there, show three options. Not jus because they exist, but so that they can see the strategy impacts visually, side by side.
Third, make them all comfortable. Good food, not cheap, crappy food. Nice drinks. Don't go beyond a full day. Make sure accommodations have been preset for those who ant them. have an "optional dinner" the night before - a meeting before the meeting. See their faces, attitudes, interactions, body language, etc... Get ahead of certain issues, topics, ideas, thoughts. Spend the money to get some nice dishes, setting not expensive but not Walmart. Be sensitive to each person's needs know them, address them, from food allergies, to the actual food, to snacks or things that each likes. Make them comfortable.
Fourth, schedule. Have committee meetings first, before the big one. Maybe 7-8 am. A break from 8:00-8:30. Some breakfast food, danish, coffee, tea, etc... Start at 8:30 and unless directly instructed or asked show an overview of what's up, key topics and a schedule. Usually top line items first, the top three to five successes, changes, challenges. Next, go into financials and staffing status. Then go as you see fit - commercial, R&D, strategic initiatives, major topics and decisions Close with an hands executive session - the entire board - 15 minutes unless instructed otherwise to close. Then allow a board with no staff Board members (CEO, CXO's) in the room. Only investment or independent board members. Have a single attendee from that close with the CEO about any significant issues they feel like discussing.
Those are my thoughts. Hope they help. The smaller the board, the earlier stage the firm, the more there will be some deviation.
- book a meeting room and prepare the seating arrangement (several shapes are used, e.g. U-shape, hollow square, octagon, etc.) based on the number of participants
- prepare a panelist
- set up an agenda: schedule the discussions times and set up a time for Q&A
- clarify the objective of the boardroom and highlight the confidentiality of the discussions
- feed the starting of the discussion and then support this: remember that you are a facilitator. don't have just a passive audience
- ask for a final feedback