It doesn’t sound that hard right? Being chairman of a Board? You manage the agenda and ensure that everything is discussed and decided on time. But nothing is less true…

Due to a meeting culture of latecomers, unprepared documents, ad hoc opinions, the same type of people with the same type of skills, ages and background, Board meetings threaten to become unsuccessful and boring for both the CEO and Board members. What is the recipe as a CEO to receive challenge, knowledge, skills, inspiration, and support from board members during a Board meeting? How do you organize that as a Chair?

Start with the basics for a successful board

As a Chair, ensure a multidisciplinary and diverse composition. Get to know one another and discuss what is important to everyone i.r.t. the participation in the Board. Agree on what the Board stands for and check expectations with the CEO and other board members.

Preparation is key 

As a Chair you will be in contact with the CEO well in advance of the date to discuss what they wish to contribute and what the Board expects. The Chair advises on what the documents must comply with and determines the agenda together with the CEO. The Chair also has contact with the other Board Members to determine where possible concerns are.
Shortly before the meeting, after receipt of the documents and agenda, there is a moment where Board members share their opinion on the submitted documents. In this way they ensure that it is clear in which line the Board will respond.

And then finally The Board meeting itself

The Chair ensures peace in the meeting. To focus on the agenda, it is important to discuss how everyone is doing at that moment and whether something must be mentioned first. This prevents things from coming unnecessarily from the rest of the day. Because the Chair knows what is important for the participants on various points, the meeting can be conducted more effectively.

The Importance of Reflection

Don’t forget to reflect on the meeting and what could be done better or differently next time.

The Chair contacts both CEO and board members and reflects on the meeting. Preparation, documents, and dynamics are discussed. The Chair implements improvements.

Chista Bakker

Digital Transformation Leader


  1. Anne Mieke- Ambidextrous Leadership

Digital Transformation Leader

Christa Bakker is a highly self-motivated executive leader with over 18 year’s experience in development, consultancy, and execution of Digital Transformation and leading (agile)teams as well as external suppliers. This ScaleUpBoard alumni is a natural leader who is able to build, engage and inspire to deliver results. Christa is currently a strategic advisor for the Dutch Railways (NS) together with BlinkLane Consulting.

Scale your impact as a board member

The next ScaleUpBoard class is kicking off on November 24th in Amsterdam. You can find all of the details here. Get in touch with Jacqueline to save your seat:

Jacqueline van der Heijden

+31 6 55212519

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