Why does a motion always have to be seconded? Why can’t a board chair just call a vote at their discretion? Although board meetings mostly involve basic discussion, the ins and outs of boardroom parliamentary procedure can be daunting and raise many questions for new board members and experienced board members alike.
Most boardrooms lean heavily on Robert’s Rules of Order. This particular style of parliamentary procedure is “based on the consideration of the rights of the majority, of the minority, of individual members, of absentee members, of all of these groups taken together.” Boards commit to a set of guidelines like those laid out by Robert’s Rules for a number of reasons: to establish order during the meeting, to keep discussion focused and moving forward, to make the voting process more clear, and to provide equal footing for all board members.