With over 25 years as a business owner, executive, coach, board leader and member: I can say first hand that when meetings go well, they are a tremendous asset to any mission or set of goals. A few simple games can keep your board meeting on task, on time, and productive.
Games have a built-in function or lesson. They reinforce individual talents and team development, including resilience, friendship, and conflict resolution. I recommend four simple games that can energize and focus your board.
1. Rotating Mission Statement. Whether it is delivered precisely or not, every member of your organization should be able to convey your mission statement. It is posted on web sites, plaques, stationary and brochures in an organization. Start your board meeting by having a board member say it from memory. Simply rotate who reads or says it by memory each time. Occasionally, draw 3 members at random and have each say it from memory and reward the best.
2. Just what do we do? Pick 3 members at random (rotating so that everyone eventually gets in the game) to give their 1 minute introduction of the organization and their role (I am on the board of directors of ___, we help ___). The other attendees write a note as feedback for the participants, vote, and award the best delivery. Also known as the “elevator speech”; this develops the ability of board members to be better emissaries of the organization as well as gives them a memorable way to converse in a “meet & greet” or cocktail reception.
3. Round Table “What is new?” Pick 3 volunteers to present a 2 minute item on what is new in the field the organization serves. New technology, funding, advancements, and competitive gains change the future of the organization. Reward the best that is presented by a simple vote.
4. Round Up. This is at the end of the meeting, so this one can be brief. Pick or draw someone to give a 1 minute recap of the meeting or an evaluation of the meeting. Reward them.
Keep the games friendly and fun – no wrong answers. Rewards, kept simple can be very effective. They include simple verbal recognition and applause (you lead the applause); ribbons, certificates, or promo items for overall winners; and, low cost gift cards from a favorite coffee shop etc.