I had the direct question put to me yesterday - "what goes on at a Board meeting?" Rather better than often being told the Board (and I) doesn't know what its doing!
OK if this turns you on
The Board meets monthly, usually on the last Friday evening of each month
Those present are all directors, the Company Secretary and the Operations Manager but only directors have a vote
Each person attending will have produced and circulated a written report prior to the meeting. There are divided into matters for Board consideration (approval or rejection) and items of report on performance for information. This includes financial performance data (the management accounts) prepared by myself
The agenda shape is traditional:
Update on Actions Decided at Earlier Meetings
Health & Safety Matters
Matters for Consideration
Matters for Report
Any Other Business
Interests are declared where appropriate
Meetings used to notoriously go on into the early hours but these days last until around 10.00 pm. We seek to avoid interfering in the responsibilities of each director but rather comment if there is a performance concern.
The meetings are serious but there is humour. We try to reach consensus without votes if possible.
Over the years one of the inevitabilities I've recognised is that if you weren't at a meeting (and saw the information presented and heard the debate) and not thoroughly aware of the policy context, its very easy to stand off and be critical of decisions that don't fit with your take on things. Such is life.
I'll write in the future about the role of those who attend the meetings.