Your board meeting should run according to an agenda prepared by the director and the board president. (A sample agenda is included in the Appendix.) The purpose of the agenda is to set a clear direction for the meeting. The board president will ask the board to formally vote to approve the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. When the board approves a written meeting agenda, board members agree to discuss the issues on the approved agenda in the order listed.
Though the board president and the director prepare the agenda, the agenda is the board’s plan and all board members have a right to place items on it by bringing items to the attention of the director or the board president in advance of the board meeting. Avoid placing issues on the agenda at the last minute because the rest of the board has not had time to consider the issue and will not be ready to discuss it. Equally important, placing an item on the agenda at the last minute does not give members of the public notice that the issue will be discussed.
Socializing with other board members is important to strengthening the board, but socializing needs to be done before and after the meeting, and kept to a minimum during the meeting. The meeting should have a friendly, businesslike tone always focused on the agenda item at hand.