Getting the Most from a Board Planning Day

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Getting a whole day of board thinking is a luxury which a good chair will capitalise on by planning carefully and having the right people in the room. The purpose of this board briefing is to outline some of the issues which the chair might want to consider.

Why have a board planning day?

Board planning days are an opportunity for the board to show leadership by setting the strategic direction of the organisation and reviewing progress. They are an opportunity for productive debate and a different kind of thinking, without the constraints of a tight agenda. They are an opportunity for the board and staff to come together and learn from each other. They also provide an opportunity for team-building and for learning and development of board members.

What might be a typical agenda for a board planning day?

(Views of board members and CEO may be sought in advance)

  • Review of the environment
  • Review of strategy
  • Board skills audit and recruitment plan (questionnaires completed and analysed in advance)
  • Board self-assessment review (questionnaires completed and analysed in advance)
  • Preparation for board members’ review process and CEO performance  appraisal
  • Update register of interests
  • Review of governance manual
  • Any other business

How can we make the most of our time?

  • Consider bringing in a facilitator to ensure the meeting runs smoothly. This should be someone from outside the organisation who is independent. Having a facilitator allows the chair and CEO to participate more fully in the discussion.
  • Indicate timings on the agenda. As a guide, the reviews should take less time than the planning elements of the day.
  • Physically move people from time to time. A mixture of presentations, discussions, workshops and so on can keep things interesting, and allows for people to mix with others, and not just those sitting beside them. It also breaks up the day and keeps participants focused and energised.

Further information

Is this an area of concern for you? Contact Leading Governance for more help.