Is It Really the SOS (Same Old Stuff) at Board Meetings?

Robin Noah

Author: Robin Noah

Executive Coaches of Orange County

www.ECofOC.org

Typically one of the questions I ask when coaching with my clients is “How are things going?”  More often than not I get the SOS answer –                        Same Old Stuff.

 One of the areas of discontent is the board meeting. Most common complaints are that the meetings are boring, ineffective, unproductive, inefficient and routine?    

If you look closely you will find key indicators that identify the need to refresh and strengthen an organization’s board meetings. For example executive positions have been rotated among the same three or four members for years and no change has been realized.  How about financial statements that are reviewed but not discussed to ensure everyone understands the budget for which they are accountable.

It is not an easy task to revitalize meetings that have been SOS types for a period of time.  However, it may be time to do so if the organization is to maintain its Angels Camp sense of purpose and its credibility for service in the community.

The purpose of the meeting, which is for the board members to get an accurate and complete report on what’s going on within the organization, is also an  opportunity for board members to do something productive and even enjoy the meetings.

To the folks that have SOS meetings I recommend that they take a time out to evaluate their meetings and ask “Does the agenda need to be revitalized? “  Is it time to make some changes?”

Here are a few ideas:

  • Do an interest’s survey. Provides information regarding the interests each board member has.
  • Reduce number of items on the agenda.  Maybe some of the usually discussed items can be reported in writing prior to the meeting.
  • Have a facilitator attend a meeting to present ideas on how to use the agenda in an effective  manner
  • Conduct some meetings away from the normal venue
  • Do a round robin where each member tells about one thing they have done to promote the mission since the last meeting.
  • Invite a speaker for a short presentation – make it educational
  • Develop 3 questions that measure the success of the meeting. Ask the questions at the end of the meeting.

Change is refreshing when all persons involved have a common goal for successful meetings.

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