How about an inspiring place for your next board meeting

Admit it. Many board meetings are pretty mundane.

In this post, I wanted to go beyond the standard remedies of more strategic agendas, consent agendas, etc. to suggest that you also reconsider your meeting surroundings. If your meetings are anything like most of the meetings I attend, you’d be happy for a window in that conference room now and then.

But what if you could be someplace else? Say, take the board meeting on the road?

When planning retreats, boards are often eager to find an inspiring venue to gather and reflect. I find it interesting – sad really-  that our regular meetings are not equally worthy of inspiring or interesting locations.

So I thought I’d share a few places that created memories for me. These were regular board meetings, not retreats. And while the meeting itself was likely in a perhaps not so spectacular conference room, the tour was the highlight of the visit:

  • A  neo-natal intensive care unit
  • An electric generating power plant under reconstruction, hard hats and all.
  • The oldest synagogue in the USA
  • A board member’s living room… open onto a spectacular waterfront
  • Cathedral-like, totally empty, industrial building, a possible new home. We drove our cars right inside!
  • Court and conference room of the state Supreme Court — just what I expected it to be.

I can hear you say: but we don’t have the money to spend renting spaces for each board meeting. I’m not suggesting you do that. But I’ll bet that if you are creative about organizations with connections to your mission, you’ll find partners eager to welcome you now and then. It doesn’t have to be every board meeting. And the excursion gives your directors new opportunities to listen directly to your stakeholders.

Where do you hold your board meetings? What have been memorable places for you?

I’d love to hear.

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