Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has this rule: no meeting should be so large that two pizzas can’t feed the whole group. This is, of course, a shorthand method for ensuring that, as is often the case with big groups, no one’s ideas get drowned out. So is Bezos on to something or just hungry? We looked into it and, spoiler alert, there’s math involved. You’ve been warned. Continue reading
Let’s be frank: not every board meeting is going to be a walk in the park. Sometimes, board meetings are tedious, contentious, and even directionless. Here’s a list of some things that can truly go wrong at the worst board meeting…plus tips for handling them if they do!
One or two members dominate the meeting
This is a common occurrence in boards that contain one or two big personalities. Unfortunately, those dominant members can derail a potentially effective board meeting by bulldozing over other opinions or making members fearful of sharing their views. In this instance, it’s important that the board chair steps in to ensure that all members are getting an equal opportunity to speak.
If the board chair isn’t able to step in, here are some ideas for dealing with a particularly strong personality in the boardroom.
The board chair can also address the issue with the member in question outside of the meeting. If the domineering member is the board chair, it’s important for other members to speak up in support of reevaluating the way the meeting is conducted; suggesting a stronger use of Robert’s Rules of Order might also help alleviate disputes.