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Board Meeting Etiquette Part 5 (Frequency)

The effectiveness of Board meetings has a significant impact on the ultimate performance of an organization. And they require a certain etiquette in order to be most effective. But how exactly should they be treated? Why should we have them? What should be discussed? Who should attend? Answering such questions can be difficult for first-time entrepreneurs who find Board meetings to be a foreign experience. Even veteran entrepreneurs should be reminded of proper Board meeting etiquette. So I’ve asked some experienced entrepreneurs and investors to offer their opinions about Board meeting etiquette in the context of small, private businesses. Their responses will be compiled into a series of seven separate blog entries.

How often should a Board meeting take place?

“A quarterly Board meeting is sufficient with a yearly planning meeting last quarter of the year. The quarterly Board meetings can be in form of conference call or in person. Regular reporting of the company performance in the form of month end reports can be sent to the Board of Directors.” –Jaime Villagomez

“At least once a quarter.” –Allan Young

“Quarterly is a good time interval.  Anything less than that and it tends to be more of a micromanaging operational meeting, any more time than that and directors are too far out of the loop – again especially in a small company when even small decisions can have a big impact.” –Gregg Rosann

“Regarding meetings, there is no set schedule, but most companies have board meeting 6 or 8 times a year. It is not good to have too many meetings because management is usually distracted preparing dog and pony shows which detract from their daily duties.” –Robert Rieger

“Board meetings are typically scheduled monthly or quarterly depending on the level of involvement the membership would like to have or needs to have in managing the best interests of the organization. Complexity and size of the organization as well as economic and other market factors can also be a consideration as well as the type of organization and Board. Non Profit boards which typically are comprised of volunteers are generally held less often and for shorter periods of time.” –Tricia McGarry

“Once a quarter for a formal one with occasional conference calls interspersed when needed.” –Scott Spurgiez

“At least once a quarter in later stages. More often during infancy.” –Jacob Webb

Next question:

What is the most important topic a Board of Directors should address during Board meetings?

Previous questions:

Pt. 1: What is the purpose of a Board meeting? Why should we have them?

Pt. 2: How long should a Board meeting be?

Pt. 3: Who should do the speaking in a Board meeting and why?

Pt. 4: When is it appropriate, if ever, for someone other than a board member to attend a Board meeting?

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