A well-planned agenda for your strategic board meetings sets the tone. It ensures that the members are involved in productive discussions and taking decisions. It also allows the sharing of new ideas and perspectives. The key to a successful board agenda is more than an agenda. It requires a certain amount of art, skill, discipline.

As you plan your agenda, be sure to include time limits for each item. This will prevent meetings from going over schedule and ensure that crucial issues are properly addressed. Prioritizing and balancing the number of strategic long-term issues with reports and older business is also essential. It’s usually best to keep the strategic discussion at the top of the agenda, and save reports for the last, so that your board can focus on the things my response that matter most to the company.

You might consider bringing in an independent facilitator or board member to help with the strategic planning. They can provide a fresh perspective on the discussion and help your board take a strategic approach to decision-making.

Distribute the agenda, as well as any other pertinent documents, to the board members ahead of time. This allows them to read the materials ahead of time and formulate ideas for the meeting.