All executive boards hold annual meetings – even if this is the only time that everyone convenes. In a typical annual meeting, the board reviews the successes, challenges, and changes within the organization over the past year, and sets the direction for the upcoming year.
No matter the size or core aim or your organization, you need to perform this big picture review. If your board only consists of one or two members, you can take an hour or two to go to the local coffee shop and run through the items. Whatever the meeting looks like, you need to have a clear agenda that helps you to structure your discussion, document the meeting and outline next steps.
Below is a basic example of the items you need to include on the agenda, and you can add and amend as needed.
ACTUAL START TIME
The template should begin with the date, time, and the location of the meeting. Fill in the actual start time at the beginning of the meeting.
List the active chair, board secretary, and all attendees present, as well as members who are absent.
Start this section with a clear sentence that defines what you plan to achieve in the meeting. For example: By the end of this meeting, the board should have set benchmarks for next year’s budget.
ITEM 1 (ASSIGNED TIME SLOT)
Describe the first item to be discussed, the member who will lead the discussion, the action that would need to be taken following (such as: Vote to decide…), and any resources needed.
In an annual review, discussion items might include: FINANCIAL REVIEW, MANAGEMENT REVIEW, TECHNOLOGICAL REVIEW, ETC.
ITEM 2 (ASSIGNED TIME SLOT)
OBJECTIVES FOR NEXT YEAR (ASSIGNED TIME SLOT)
Discuss how the year’s review can inform the direction for the next year, and aim to set some larger level objectives during this time.
WRAP UP (ASSIGNED TIME SLOT)
This would be the time for any discussion to be revisited, final decisions to be covered, and follow up actions to be assigned.
Leave space to add the actual end time of the meeting.
NEXT MEETING DATE:
If already agreed upon, add the date of the next board meeting or leave it blank to fill in at the end of the meeting. This could be the time to determine the schedule for meetings over the course of the next year.
Some boards like to record signatures of witnesses who can attest to the results of the meeting.
Remember, there should be no space on the agenda for reading committee reports. These items should be sent ahead of time in email updates or a group discussion board. Any reporting should remain top-level as a quick recap that leads to a discussion. Each review should spark ideas that will inform the direction for the next year.
For a more general meeting template see.