Your latest board meeting has just ended, but that doesn’t mean your responsibilities are over until the next gathering. In fact, there are several tactics that should be employed after every single meeting to ensure that your board is functioning as effectively as possible.
- Send a survey.
Send a brief survey after every single meeting. This 3-5 question survey should ask directors to rate their experience of the board meeting. Use this opportunity to determine whether board members feel that the agenda was adequately covered and if they have suggestions for future meetings. It’s important to send the survey shortly after the meeting while the details are still fresh on directors’ minds. (A yearly, more in-depth survey is also a boardroom must.)
- Distribute the minutes.
It’s important that board directors can quickly and easily review the meeting minutes for accuracy. Board software simplifies this process in a big way and encourages more involvement from directors. Create a clear process for editing the minutes, so board members can follow the time frame.
- Review your action items.
Most directors will leave any given board meeting with assigned action items—whether they’re for the board at large or committee-related tasks. Ensure that these action items are listed clearly in the meeting minutes or in another designated area that board members can review. Steve Jobs was a big believer in this practice and even insisted that “every item on a meeting agenda have a designated person responsible for that task and any follow-up work that happened. He called that person the DRI—the Directly Responsible Individual.” Jobs believed that this clear accountability would help guarantee that work got done. Additionally, if the task has a required completion date, be sure that it is clearly marked, too.
- Establish a leadership debrief.
Schedule a short meeting that will occur between the Chairman of the Board and the CEO after every single board meeting. As Joan Garry Consulting advises, “Take each agenda item and talk about what worked and what didn’t. Share what you heard from board members about the meeting.” The Chair can use this opportunity to hone in on best practices for future agendas and discussions.