Most entrepreneurs view board meetings as somewhere between a total waste of time and mildly annoying. Outside board members are often similarly frustrated that they are unable to get the information and analysis they desire from these meetings. This shouldn’t be the case. Board meetings should be valuable for both management and outside board members. How can you make that happen?
A well-functioning, well-managed board of directors is incredibly critical to a startup's success. Whether your board is full of VCs, angels, outside directors, or a blend of all three, learning how to effectively manage your board is critical to your startup's success and your personal success as an entrepreneur. For simplicity, I’ve created a series of “do’s” and “don’ts” for both management and board members.
Tell a story with the board deck. A well-designed board deck should communicate how the company is doing and the core issues facing the company. The most common mistake I see are decks that are simply data dumps, a bunch of information without any analysis or coherence. For most companies the deck should be 12 to 15 slides. For complete financial statements or other more granular information, that can be put in an appendix that is distributed to the board members and discussed if requested.
Outside board member do-s
Outside board member Don't-s
Remember: Never lose sight that everyone attending a board meeting has the same objective – to help make the company successful.