Revamp your information format
When directors are expected to wade through hundreds of pages of detailed internal reports created for management in preparation for the meeting, they are more likely to find tactical issues and questions because that is where the reports are leading them. The directors are also resenting devoting four hours of their Sunday afternoon to information that could have been summarized into a format requiring one hour or less.
As a courtesy to your directors, they are due executive summaries about most agenda items. When directors are expected to vote about an item, they need a document that summarizes the issue, the pros and cons of the top two or three key alternatives considered, management’s or the committee’s preference and the thinking behind it. This type of document works for key capital expenditures, major acquisitions, major strategic shifts and almost anything else the board considers. It does not prevent directors from asking additional questions, but it shows appreciation for their time and experience, and encourages them to focus their attention at the right level.
Thoughtful and concise presentations of information equip directors with just the right amount of information and in a format that is user-friendly for their decision-making. You will have better informed directors simply by supplying information in a way that is more customized to their needs.