Board Meeting Agenda – Common Rules

The agenda is one of the most important documents for conducting a board meeting, on which the productivity and success of the meeting depend. Creating an agenda is a demanding task that must follow certain rules. One of the board chair’s responsibilities is to ensure everyone is informed in time about the purpose of the upcoming meeting, so the agenda should be distributed to them at least three days before the meeting. In this article, we will highlight the main rules for creating a board meeting agenda and identify the main varieties.

Board Meeting Agenda – Key Discussions and Actions

One of the main rules of the board of directors is that they may not discuss outside the business at a meeting that is not on the agenda, except at an extraordinary meeting. The board conducts its deliberations by strictly following the content of the agenda, not deviating from the topic, and not wasting valuable time on side issues that are not important at the time, this order is also monitored by the chairman. However, there are exceptions, and items that are allowed to be discussed even if they have not been placed on the agenda include:

  • Board director’s brief answers, or statements, to the member’s questions of interest at a public meeting
  • Corrective questions from the director or managing director of the association, and minor reports, announcements, at the person’s discretion
  • Providing a reference or other comprehensive information
  • Board members at a public meeting, may request other officers of the company who are present at the meeting to report for certain actions
  • Urgent matters that require immediate action, or matters on the agenda of a previous meeting that have been carried over to a subsequent meeting

Types of meeting agendas

Agendas also differ in type and purpose, and we will look at them in detail below:

  • Traditional Agenda – Arrange items in the order suggested by the parliamentary body, such as Robert’s Rules of Order
  • Priority Agenda – arrange agenda items in order of importance, so that the most urgent items are taken up while members are still awake, and there is a greater likelihood of having time to consider all items
  • Agenda by topic – group similar topics together so that the meeting can focus on a specific topic and consider all issues under that heading, both old and new
  • Strategic agenda – put the agenda items in the context of the strategic plan. There can be a long-term agenda with specific goals to be achieved that will set the agenda for the current meeting
  • Special meeting agenda – include only those items listed in the special meeting notice. Minutes of both meetings are approved at the next regular meeting
  • Agenda with times – set the time when the item will be considered. Put the time on the agenda only if the time is expected to be strictly adhered to and current business will be interrupted. If the time is intended to be used as a reference, place a notice that “all times are approximate” to avoid creating special orders that require items with specified times to be picked up at that particular time
  • Chairman’s Agenda – Once the meeting agenda is finalized, create a separate agenda for the chairman with additional notes about required votes, consideration of specific proposals, etc.
  • Consent Agenda – An “agenda within an agenda” to address non-controversial issues without separate discussion and voting. A consent agenda is usually posted at the beginning of a meeting