Messages from an Unknown Critic

 June 15, 2016
Posted by qc

Are your agendas and minutes time bombs ticking – messages to an unknown critic?

All to often meetings become an inefficient slog but this doesn’t have to be the case.  A well organised meeting needs a well-written agenda.  By sticking to a detailed, yet flexible agenda this can create a streamlined and focused meeting that meets your goals in an efficient amount of time.

We have seen some humdingers!!  For example, those agenda items no one really understands and never get discussed but remain on the agenda every month.  It is important to realise an agenda is an effective governance tool that should meet legislative compliance requirements.

Are you wondering what those legislative compliance requirements are?  Click here to be directed to the Companies Office where you’ll find a great resource that explains exactly what is required.

We sit on many board’s in the role of minute taker and have unfortunately seen directors making inconsistent decisions and discussing the same issues repeatedly.  Find some tips below that we’d suggest when trying to eliminate these issues:

  • satisfy all legislative requirements – remember the link above to the Companies Office.
  • provide constructive guidance for more effective meetings, and accountability of those responsible for progressing the actions and decisions made at meetings.
  • set-up a Resolutions Register that can instantly improve your boards decision-making effectiveness and strategic perspective.
  • set up templates that will improve board performance and satisfy mandatory requirements

If you’re just getting started with a board it’s worth introducing a certain amount of formality right from the beginning and placing importance on knowing about the following:

 

  • what should and should not go into agendas and minutes
  • the different between minutes of narration and minutes of resolution
  • what is required to be stored from agendas and minutes
  • how the agenda and the minutes can drive accountability and performance
  • traditional versus modern agenda order of items

Once your board is established keep in mind the best way to operate.  We’ve touched on the vital role a well set up agenda plays but you need to consider the following also:

  • The duration of your meetings – it obviously depends on what issues need to be dealt with but bear in mind that some meetings can last up to five hours.
  • A company’s constitution will often state that a board meeting must have a quorum in order to proceed.  This usually means a majority unless the constitution has its own specific requirements i.e. a percentage majority.
  • The minutes of a meeting are an important part of ensuring good process and accountability and recording actions to be taken.  They are a valuable tool for boards to refer back to and keep track of progress being made.  In most cases minutes need only be brief, not verbatim and before they are distributed to the board, the chair should review them to ensure accuracy.  Minutes are also valuable as they can be used to protect directors against accusations of bad practice.
  • The location of a meeting most often will occur at the headquarters of your organisation but could move around depending on whether the organisation operates nationwide or city specific.  Make sure you consider the size of your board when selecting a location and whether you’ll require conferencing equipment in the situation where a member may need to dial into the meeting using i.e. video conferencing facilities.

If you’d like to know more about Quintessential Concierge’s services, contact Letitia on 021 898 661 or email her on letitia@quintessentialconcierge.co.nz for a FREE introductory meeting to discuss your requirements.

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