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The Importance of Board Meeting Rules

The board of directors runs a company by making decisions or setting policies. In the majority of companies, decisions must be made by a majority vote by the entire board. Your board should be able to follow clear meeting rules and guidelines to ensure that the decision-making process is successful.

Most boards follow Robert’s Rules of Order. This is an English Parliamentary rulebook that was written by American General Henry M. Robert to ensure that meetings are not chaotic. While Robert’s Rules of Order is not necessary for every board to implement however, formal guidelines can be used to create a framework which ensures fair debates during meetings that are hybrid or virtual, where directors might be lost in a shuffle of computer-generated faces.

One of the most important aspects is ensuring that the agenda is clear and concise and requires well-written papers for the board which are prepared and distributed prior to the meeting to ensure that directors are ready to discuss the issues. It is important to limit the time spent on routine issues and reports, as they can delay the meeting.

Other meeting rules include limit the amount of times someone can speak on any motion (two minutes) and making sure that all speakers remain relevant to the topic in question. If a specific motion is becoming heated or creating tension the motion to end discussion may be suggested with two-thirds approval. To avoid unnecessary time, it is essential that everyone respects each other and does not undermine motives of the other members or uses derogatory language.

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