Board meetings. Once a business reaches a certain size, board meetings become important. They are usually held at definite intervals to consider policy issues, future business strategy and major problems. The purpose of board meetings is usually to make decisions, set policy, solve problems and to plan and evaluate. You probably realize that these kinds of meetings are of great importance for an organization, so keeping track of meeting minutes during a board meeting is something that should be taken seriously. Let’s take a look at what’s discussed during a board meeting and what’s the best way to record board meeting minutes.

So, what do you discuss in board meetings?

Board meetings offer an opportunity to discuss issues such as your business’ financial performance, past performance and current operations and future strategies. Make sure you outline specific items on a clear agenda, rather than a list of general issues, if you want the meeting to be as productive as possible. Also, make sure that everyone is fully briefed before each board meeting and that the adequate time allocated. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time so make sure everyone can come fully prepared to the meeting.

Importance of board meeting minutes

Meeting minutes keep a record of what was discussed and decided at a meeting. Taking good meeting minutes at a board meeting is important; they serve as an official and legal record of the decisions and actions taken by the board of directors. The board meeting minutes not only serve as a record for future reference but can also provide legal protection for the organization because all decisions are recorded and stored. Board meeting minutes are proof of why and how a board came to certain decisions. However, when it comes to meeting minutes, it is not necessary to record a detailed transcript of everything that was said. They should include a summary of important discussed points and decisions.

Guide for board meeting minutes

When taken properly, board meeting minutes ensure all participants walk away with a clear understanding of the outcome and expectations of the board meeting. So, let’s make sure you know what to do when you’re responsible for the board meeting minutes!

The most important thing is to know what to include. Board meeting minutes usually include:

  • Date, time and location
  • Names of attendees and absentees
  • Record who arrived late of left early (you’ll want to know who was present when certain issues were discussed or when things were decided)
  • Purpose of the meeting
  • An overview of previous meeting minutes and outcomes
  • Decisions for each agenda item. Including:
    • Actions taken
    • Exact wording of motions, outcome, and name of the person who made the motion
    • Directors voting for, against, or abstaining on each motion
    • Any conflict of interest and how this conflict was handled
  • New business
  • Actions that need to be taken after the meeting, including the deadline and who is responsible.
  • Next meeting date and time
  • End time of current meeting

During the board meeting, ask for clarification if a clear decision wasn’t made or if the next steps weren’t obvious. Remember to not record every detail but only the important topics and decisions. Even when there’s a discussion, focus on the agreed-upon outcomes. Also, stay objective, record meeting minutes without giving a judgment.

What to do after the board meeting?

Aim to write the final version of the board meeting minutes immediately after the meeting, when everything is still fresh in your mind. Review your board meeting minutes and adjust them or add notes to make sure everything is clear and easy to read.

When your board meeting minutes are complete and finished, make sure they are distributed to board members as soon as possible. Once the minutes are approved by a vote of the board during the next board meeting, they become part of the official record of the organization. It’s important that a copy of all minutes are kept in one place. Also, many boards need the secretary to sign an official copy of the minutes.

Want to learn more about meeting minutes? Check out these blogs:

How can GAIKU help?

GAIKU is a powerful meeting web app that is especially useful for board meetings, because it offers different features that will help you run these meetings smoothly. Think about voting, recording meeting minutes and keeping track of your meeting history. Sign up for GAIKU and start improving your board meetings!