Your HOA Board has plenty of work to do to protect the interests of the community, and to ensure that all Association owners have a great place to live. That’s why it’s so important to make each Board meeting productive. There is more than enough important, meaningful work to be done without your meetings veering off course or devolving into idle chatter.
Nevertheless, keeping a meeting on point can be tough, and that’s only natural. When you get any group of people in a room together, there are bound to be tangents and distractions. The question is, what can you do to keep your HOA Board meetings as streamlined and as purposeful as possible?
- Have a roadmap. The single most important thing you can do is to create an agenda, establishing the meeting’s order and its priorities. Don’t just create an agenda, but distribute it to all Board members in advance, ensuring they arrive prepared to talk about key issues.
- Run your meeting procedurally. It is also important to run all of your meetings according to a standard procedure—Parliamentary Procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order, or whatever your HOA Board determines is most helpful. Ensure that all new Board members are trained in the proper process.
- Set up the room. The layout of the room can impact the level of focus. Try setting up tables and chairs in a horseshoe shape, ensuring the Board members can see one another as they talk, and place chairs for observers/homeowners on the other side of the room.
- Act only on agenda items. Except in cases of true emergency, your Board can only act on items on the agenda, so don’t allow non-agenda items to get you off course. Make it clear to homeowners that, if they have business to bring up, they must submit it in writing, in advance, to get it on the agenda.
More than anything else, remember that this is a business meeting—and should be observed with a certain level of conduct and an attitude of action!