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  • Writer's pictureBrad Gay

Kickstart Your BOT Meetings

ACTION MINUTES Effective action minutes serve as a “to-do” list. They define the task and who will carry it out, set a deadline, and include any pertinent suggestions for strategy—without stifling the individual’s initiative. In short, action minutes turn good intentions into accomplishments. The “who” of keeping action minutes is almost as important as the “why.” The secretary in charge of action minutes must listen for different elements in the discussion. Also, this individual should have authority, but no direct responsibility, for adding to the action list. You need the right person for this job. The action-minute-taker should be detail-oriented and able to pick out implied tasks from the general dialogue. This person must stay alert throughout the meeting, keeping these questions constantly on his or her mind:

  1. Is this an idea worth retaining?

  2. Has someone just committed to something?

  3. What have we talked about that requires follow-up? Because taking action minutes should never interrupt the flow of the discussion, this individual must be able to capture specifics and identify any “blanks” that need to be filled in.

  4. Do we need to clarify who should handle this task?

  5. What steps does it include?

  6. What’s the deadline?

This person also must be relentless when it comes to follow-up and deadlines, checking to make sure that each action item is carried through and adjusting as necessary.

The action-minute-taker’s final responsibility at each meeting is to read these minutes a loud. This gives Trustees an opportunity to react, clarify, refine the assignments and deadlines, and reach consensus.

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