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Board meetings are an excellent opportunity to generate enthusiasm and encourage members from diverse backgrounds to share their innovative ideas. However, maintaining the momentum takes more than getting everyone in the same room.

Board members must feel they are able to trust each other enough to be candid and to ask tough questions. This is only possible through an atmosphere of transparency and openness. This is why it’s essential to create an environment for board members which recognizes the importance of board meetings and works to make meetings as productive as it is possible.

The agenda of the board should clearly state what directors need do to achieve their objectives. The agenda should be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected issues or the need to change the order of items. Additionally, the board must be given a chance to discuss new business items.

When discussing new business, a successful board chair will avoid presenting reports and instead focus on facilitating discussion among the entire group. This will not only help save time but it will help to create a positive atmosphere which the board can pose difficult questions to management.

A parking lot could be added to the agenda to allow small, random discussions, but without distracting the important issues. The distraction of unrelated discussions can eat away at the time of meetings and hinder board members from taking actions.