Preparing well for a board meeting is an incredibly important part of the job of running a board—whether you're officially the chairman or not. Like any group or team meeting, the better the preparation, the more effectively you can use the meeting time. Unlike other groups or teams, your board meets only a few times per year. The advance preparation is even more important to reorient directors to the details and context of your business and its current state.
Remember, the individuals on the board are not first and foremost members of your board, like you are. They have day jobs. VC directors can sit on a dozen boards at once. I think when Brad Feld first joined our board, he was on over 30 other boards!
The Board Book, a combination agenda and comprehensive report, is the document that will organize and direct your meetings. My formula for a good Board Book is pretty straightforward and it tees up a good conversation at the board meeting. One of my long-time directors, Scott Weiss, once cautioned that “the board will consume whatever you put in front of it.” So you have to be incredibly careful about both what you put into the book and how you put it in the book.