(Re)Designing Your Agenda to Drive Good Governance Pinned Featured

Jenni Washington
  • Edited

If you are looking to refresh your agenda template and apply best practices for driving productive, efficient, and strategic meetings, below are some suggestions to consider.

  • Include an unnumbered section as your first agenda item that outlines logistics and ground rules for participating in your virtual or hybrid meeting - come prepared by having viewed all materials in advance, turn video on, mute when not speaking, identify yourself when you do speak, come ready to ask questions and discuss.
  • Consider the outcomes for the meeting - key topics, key decisions, timing.
  • Ensure strategic goals are reflected in the agenda.
  • Determine the best way to handle content - pre-read/background material should be clearly labeled, reports can be pre-recorded and added as video links to help reserve your in-meeting time for more robust discussion.
  • During the meeting you may only need to present an executive summary slide for the key takeaways from the supplemental materials everyone reviewed in advance.
  • Include a "mission moment" or highlight a customer story.
  • Consider moving to a consent agenda.
  • Leverage technology for greater engagement by linking an approval or survey directly to the corresponding agenda item - you'll enjoy better record-keeping and improved completion rates.
  • Allow the curators of the presentations and reports to upload them directly to their section utilizing the contributor permission.
  • Include dashboard and report cards of your board engagement for transparency and promoting accountability and candor.
  • Use OnBoard's table of contents and page numbers found in the meeting settings along with adding labels for the section start times, presenters, and guests found within the section details panel.
  • Create a parking lot designated agenda item for off-topic ideas. Consider assigning a rotating parking lot 'attendant'.

Pro Tip: Once you have your standard agenda template with invitees set and meeting settings applied, be sure to take advantage of the 'Duplicate' feature so that you start your next meeting from a copy of that template - it saves time and ensures consistency!

Pro Tip: If you have access to meeting analytics as part of the Productivity Suite, the data guides leadership toward both critically important and overlooked meeting information. Board and Committee Chairs can review if directors are preparing in advance, what items are getting activity/attention, and watch trends for insights into how much time to spend on an item in a meeting.

Pro Tip: The Meeting Brief is an automated email notification sent 3 days ahead of your meeting to remind invitees to come prepared by informing them of how much of the materials they've viewed and any changes to the agenda since it was published. If you want to send additional updates with specific information of changes you've made as they occur, a meeting admin can use the "Send Reminder" feature and include a custom message.

"Working With Meetings" Training Resources:




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