How to prepare an agenda

  • Put the main items at the top of the agenda and make clear what is for decision, discussion or information only.

  • In a cultural organisation an artistic/curatorial report should be placed at the front of the agenda rather than tucked down among less relevant matters.

  • Timings per item can be helpful but rely on good chairing to maintain them.

  • Assume that board members have read the papers in advance – when discussing pre-circulated papers only highlight the essential points.

  • This means that board papers need to be circulated at least a week in advance and in a format that is suitable for each member.

  • Only circulate papers at a meeting in an emergency.

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