The strategic Board agenda can be strategically built around several strategic questions.
1) Who develops the agenda?
The Board agenda is best developed as a shared responsibility between the Board Chair and the Head. The Chair and Head may each begin wit their own key considerations for the upcoming meeting. Ultimately, they must agree together upon the priorities based upon a general allocation of the time which they wish to allocate to each item in light of the total amount of time to be established for that meeting.
2) What are the key elements of a strategic agenda?
Prayer must be an essential and not a mere “tack on”. Many Boards establish specific times of prayer before or after the business section of the meeting while also allowing for Spirit lead prayer at any point in the meeting. Also, Board “connections” to the Administration, Faculty and Students enable meetings to maintain a relational and personal component. A standing agenda item for discussion on the Strategic Plan and the Roles and Responsibilities of the Board are vital.
3) How is a strategic agenda maintained with all of the competing priorities?
There are several keys to ensuring that the agenda remains strategic and not tactical. An annual Board calendar provides great guidance to the items which need to be handled by the Board in conjunction with the school calendar (i.e. Budget, new Board members, Capital expenditures, etc.). The summer Board retreat can often ensure that priorities and calendars are aligned for the upcoming year at both the committee/task force level as well as the Board meeting level.
There is much more which can be covered in this area. Hopefully, you can begin your own strategic review in light of these 3 questions. If you wish to go deeper, then BMSG would be glad to help you in that process.