When board members fail to show up for a meeting

On Monday, October 1, 2018, Sherry S Jennings discussed with John Bruce the strategies he uses when a legal board meeting has been called and some members fail to show up.

The primary issue is that if 100% of the board is not present, then the culture of the board is skewed away from the opinions and wisdom of the missing members. Does this mean that the meeting must be postponed? As John Bruce explains, it depends on the issues that are anticipated by the agenda.

They were joined in the Chatroom by Robert J Ballantyne.
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Summary of topics discussed:

  • 1:20 About the meeting quorum – don’t waste the opportunity of meeting with the people who are in attendance just because others members fail to show up.
  • 2:05 Consider the agenda and who is present.
  • 2:55 Respect for absent members, as well as what is appropriate ethical behaviour?
  • 6:50 The importance of communicating to those who are absent, and should the chair raise issues on their behalf?
  • 9:00 Does the chair decide what is appropriate, or does the group?
  • 12:44 Chair as facilitator vs. chair as participant.
  • 13:13 Time on a topic vs. quality of discussion.
  • 14:05 Is deliberately proceeding without certain people in attendance Machiavellian?
  • 17:40 What if someone is chronically absent?
  • 18:46 Those not present should stay current with board reading materials.
  • 20:00 Windup.