28 January 2005

effective meeting management

Ideal Board Meetings@Feld Thoughts

The board package came out five days prior to the meeting so everyone had plenty of time to read it. We had a typical three hour board meeting that started on time. The meeting then occurred as follows:

- 5 minutes: Administrative items (approve the minutes, approve new options).

- 55 minutes: Department updates. We used the board package as the guide, but each exec spent a few minutes summarizing key points (rather than reading from the package) and then we drilled into Q&A and discussion on each area. It was a spirited discussion that was forward looking (e.g. "what are we doing in the next 30 days about issue X") rather than backward looking (e.g. "good job on doing Y last month.")

- 90 minutes: 2005 Strategic Priorities. We worked from a six page powerpoint presentation (that had crappy production value, but was high content value) and spent 80% of our time on one slide. The entire leadership team participated in the discussion - it wasn't a "presentation of a conclusion" but a "discussion about what to do given limited resources and divergent opportunities."

- 30 minutes: Executive Session (Board Only). We talked about a handful of personnel related issues, summarized the discussion, and set the tone for Q105.

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