True Tribe

Optimizing Startup Board Meetings

Optimizing Startup Board Meetings

The job of Board of Directors of a company is to steer it in the desirable direction and provide strategic guidance to the promoters to manage the business better.

A board of an early stage startup comprises founders, investors and advisors. Founders can create a lot of value for their business by running these meetings in a well-defined way. An ideal board meeting should be well planned and result-oriented. Your Board may have smart individuals from diverse background, but often startups miss the opportunity to extract considerable value from them.

The trick is to have a well-defined format for board meetings.

One week before the meeting, shoot out an email describing the company’s performance. Include the highlights and the lowlights; the challenges you overcame; and the issues where you are stuck and require help. You should further take the time and trouble to call up the board members before the meeting, so you have their queries and concerns upfront and can address them in the meeting. Yes, this is time-consuming, but this is a productive effort ! If you appreciate the value they bring, they will take the time and trouble to assist you even more.

During the meeting, spend the first few minutes reviewing the deck you have previously shared. The rule is simple — No surprises, so they all know what to expect !

Then you can keep a time slot for key members of the team to present the performance of their respective departments. This is an excellent step for you to give an opportunity to key team members to present their experiences. Not only does this help them grow, it also allows the Board to see how you are mentoring your core team .

Finally, discuss the strategy of the business with the board. You can leverage the experience of the board to seek advice on the way forward. As founders are often fire-fighting the tactical issues, board members should be able to provide the company a broader 30,000 feet perspective. Proactively seek advice and know the strengths of each board member.

You should come prepared with the specific areas where you want help from each of the board member. Some of these include:

  • Product Market fit

  • Team/Recruitment

  • Current challenges

  • Financial situation and proposed budget


It is important to allow all members a chance to speak up and not let the most vocal ones hijack the decision. This can be quite intimidating, especially if all your board members are much older than you, so you can ask 1 or 2 of them for help in advance , and they can assist you in managing your Board. Make sure you maintain proper minutes — document all the key points , including the points of consensus , and the open points that will be up for discussion in the upcoming meetings. You should circulate these minutes to all the members within 24 hours, so they can offer their perspective when the details are still fresh in their minds.

Please share your views on what are the other best practices to optimize the board meetings.

Share us