We held our first board meeting four years ago, and looking back, I wish we knew what we did now. It isn’t that our early board meetings were bad, they were fine – but they weren’t nearly as useful as they could have been. The challenge is, unless you’ve run a company and had a board before, or sat on a board yourself, you’re really making it up as you go.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard about board meetings is – board meetings shouldn’t be about your board/investors grading your homework, it should be about you talking to them about the important things that are happening in your business and how they can help.
I’ve heard too many stories of founders who “dread” their board meeting because the board just beats them up for missing their goals. If your board is doing this, something isn’t right. Your board meetings should be helpful and in hard times, you want a board that can be there for you and help you get through it, not just make you feel bad about yourself.
Well luckily, there’s actually one blog post you can read that will likely radically improve your board meetings – it’s written by a VC Firm called NextView and it covers all the bases from what to talk about, to when to start having board meetings, and even includes board deck templates in both Keynote and Powerpoint formats. Here’s the post – simply click this giant image to read it:
If you scroll down to the bottom of the post you’ll also find my second-favorite article about board meetings that I think is a must-read specifically for founders who just raised their Seed round and are getting ready for their first board meeting. It is aptly titled – How to Approach Your First Board Meeting After Raising Seed Capital.
Do you have regular board meetings? What works about your current board meeting structure and what doesn’t? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!