Six Steps to More Meaningful Minutes
As I write, I’ve just finished reviewing the draft minutes for a board meeting we held last week.
Why do many chairs and directors see this as largely a chore – and do they give the minutes the attention they really need? Are they ensuring that the minutes reflect accurately the decisions the board took, and the tone of the meeting; or do they spend their energy – and feel triumphant – uncovering the trivial typo or incorrect use of punctuation (we all know one of those, don’t we)?
I’ve just returned from a few weeks’ leave and one of the first stories to catch my eye related to the departure of Boeing’s CEO, Dennis Muilenberg, following the company’s inept handling of the aftermath of two fatal 737-Max crashes that killed a total of 346 people.
‘The best answer I had once from a more experienced friend was, ‘As informal as possible – but no more so.’ In other words, let’s keep the formalities to a minimum that allow us to do what what we’re here for, to make the decisions that only the board can make – usually the most important and tricky decisions the organisation faces. You want to give yourself the best chance’
Let’s talk about the Five Main Roles of the board chair.
Until you step into the chair’s role, you probably won’t appreciate the full range of what you’ll be called on to do.
‘Hello Mr Westlake,’ said the voice on the phone. ‘I know you don’t have the time to be a director … but we we’re wondering whether you’d consider being the chairman.’