The Importance of Board Meeting Rules

The board of directors is accountable for the direction of a company. They decide on policies and make decisions. In most organizations, the board must be able to vote on any decisions. To ensure that the board is able to make a sound decision process, your board must have clearly established rules for meetings and guidelines that everyone follows.

The majority of boards adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order. This is an English parliamentary rulebook written by American General Henry M. Robert to prevent meetings from becoming chaotic. While Robert’s Rules of Order is not essential for every board to follow however, formal guidelines can be used to create guidelines that ensure fair debates during meetings in hybrid or virtual settings where directors could feel lost among a carousel of computer faces.

This includes ensuring the agenda is concise and clear. To accomplish this, well-written documents for the board are required to be prepared and distributed prior to the meeting to ensure that directors are ready for discussion. It’s also important to reduce the amount of time dedicated to reports and routine topics which can easily slow down meetings.

Other meeting rules include limiting the number of times an individual can talk about a motion (two minutes), and ensuring all speakers are relevant to the discussion at hand. If a particular motion is getting heated or causing tension, a motion to close discussion may be suggested with the support of two-thirds. To avoid time-wasting, it is important that everyone respects each other and does not undermine the motives of the other members or uses derogatory words.