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Board meetings generally occur every four to six weeks and are an important way for the chief executive officer and board members to come together to discuss a company’s performance and consider ways to maximize shareholder returns. Usually board meetings are open to the public yet often they are held with just the members present. Most boards are comprise of at least a president, a vice president, a secretary and a treasurer.
Most board meetings begin with a reading of the minutes form the last board meeting. This is also the time to discuss what is known as old business — that is any business or issues that were left unresolved or needed more time to be acted upon from the previous board meeting. It is also common for the CEO to give an overall statement on the state and direction of the company or organization.
In general business, an overview is presented from the various officers present representing different departments and areas of responsibility. These can be in areas such as sales and marketing, research and development and financial reporting. Much of the work leading up to these meetings has already been accomplished in meetings and correspondence, and the purpose here is not so much to present new and detailed information but to discuss, question and make decisions on further procedures and actions.
The next step in a board meeting usually involves a more in-depth discussion of some of the aforementioned departments. Now that the board has been fully furnished with all the relevant information from the various departments, its members can now decide to seek further information or action plans. The purpose is usually to ask questions, make decisions and plan for future actions.
Board meetings usually when conclude with general questions, inquiries and open discussion. Issues such as public image, remuneration and general developments can be aired, and sometimes directors may wish to clear the meeting of all but the key figures so frank and robust discussion can proceed more freely. Any new business that wasn't acted upon will be noted in the minutes to be taken up as old business at the beginning of the next meeting. When all business appears to have been dealt with, someone may move a motion to end the meeting and, when another individual seconds the motion without dissent, the meeting is concluded.
Angela Barley started writing professionally in 2008. Her work has appeared in U.K. newspapers such as "The Evening Standard," "The Independent" and "The Times." Barley holds a Master of Arts in journalism from Goldsmiths College, University of London.