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Creating a Culture of Openness and Transparency at Board Meetings

Board meetings are an excellent opportunity to generate enthusiasm and bring members from diverse backgrounds to discuss their creative ideas. However, maintaining the momentum requires more than simply getting everyone in the same room together.

Board members must believe that they are able to trust each other enough to be honest and to ask tough questions. This is only possible if there is an atmosphere of openness and transparency. It is important to create an environment where board meetings are valued and as productive as is possible.

The board’s agenda must provide directors with a clear understanding of what they have to do to accomplish their goals. The agenda should be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected events or the need to change the order of items. The board should also be given an opportunity to discuss any new business items.

A good chairperson for the board does not give reports when discussing new business. Instead, they encourage discussion with the whole group. This will not only save time but also to create a positive atmosphere which the board can pose difficult questions of management.

Another method to stimulate discussion is to include a parking area on the agenda. This will allow small, random topics to be discussed, but won’t distract from the most important issues to be discussed. Being distracted by irrelevant discussions can consume the time at meetings and prevent board members from taking action.

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