Why Are You Meeting? Is it “Intentional”?

intentional practices roles and responsibilities strategic planning and policy development Jul 06, 2021
Why Are You Meeting? Is it “Intentional”?


What? Another meeting? ...yawn.


We waste so much time in meetings.

And now – post Zoom – you can’t even mute the person talking!


So basic question: Why are you meeting?


Do you have agendas of consequence?

What does that mean?


Well, your agenda focuses on strategic and forward thinking and planning, not just on reports of what someone did last month.

Do you need to discuss what your CEO did last month unless there are implications for the future?

Do you need to discuss a committee report unless there are recommendations or proposed actions?

Maybe. Maybe not.


Does the board examine intentional practices rather than simply continuing what it has always done? This could be a term of reference for your Governance Committee.


Could information items not be put on a consent agenda*?

Maybe everything should be put on the consent agenda and remove only those items that require discussion and decision and for which there will be difference of opinion.


If you have been indeed “intentional” about your strategic planning, you will have specific goals and objectives that are s.m.a.r.t. – specific, measurable, active, relevant, and timed, with assigned responsibility.


These due dates should drive your agenda. If you had one direction and two objectives to be accomplished by a committee or senior staff position by (e.g.) September, then the item will be on the September agenda and assigned to the committee chair or senior staff for a report with recommendations and action to be taken.


Your strategic plan drives your goals, work plans and agendas.


You can’t be strategic and forward-thinking if your meeting focuses solely on last month. And of course, you can’t be strategic and forward-thinking if your agenda focuses on management issues, the responsibilities of your CEO.


Maybe at the end of each meeting the Chair should ask the (not so) obvious question:

 "In what specific and demonstrable ways will our meeting here today affect the quality of experience that people have who live and work in our community?"


What are your main “pain points” dealing with meetings? What advice would be most helpful to you? And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.


* If you are not familiar with a consent agenda let me know and ‘ll send you a “cheat sheet”.



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You can get more of our thoughts on Facebook and LinkedIn. Join our Facebook Group for Executive Directors and Board members: Governance as Leadership


We are currently addressing these 10 Critical Questions Boards Need to Ask Themselves:

Why are you here?

Who is your employee?

3 What is your role?

Why are you meeting?

How do you ensure sustainable resources?

6 What are your KSFs?

7 How do you manage risk?

8 How do you ensure transparency?

9 How do you foster a culture of inquiry and assessment?

10 How do you continue to improve?

See our other blog posts for more insights.


May I ask a tiny favour? 

Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.  

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