How to Have Efficient Condo Association Board Discussions


Having efficient Condo Association Board discussions is the goal of every sane individual.  One great way to speed up meetings and cut through wasted time is my ultimate secret.  However, there are more ways to trim the fat of Board meetings and ensure you’re spending your time on governing, not bullshitting.  A big way to make gains is to stop speculating on hypotheticals and instead start acting.

Many Boards like to spin off into hypothetical discussions about issues for which they are wholly unqualified to discuss.  They postulate engineering, finances, and more.  Worse, when a bad Board member gets going, it’s human nature to try to correct them – even if you don’t know what you’re talking about either!  The way to cut through all of this is to stay focused and prioritized in problem definition.  

Identify the Problem

What we have here is a case of people talking too much and doing too little.
What we have here is a case of people talking too much and doing too little.

Before launching into hypothetical solutions, clearly define the problem.  Get down to bare bones – what is the problem you are trying to solve?  What is the information the Board needs to make a decision?  What questions must be asked and answered?  That’s the starting point to spend your time on.  For example, say you’re concerned about the life expectancy of the roof because of recent leaks.  You might have a wannabe engineer (or just a blowhard bad member) on your Board who starts to opine on your roof type, asking various questions about previous maintenance, etc.  Do any of this Board member’s questions matter?  Nope.  Because at the end of the day you’re not going to make a decision for a major system without proper evaluation.  So stop wasting time in meaningless discussion – focus on having efficient Condo Association Board discussions.  

Identify Who Can Get You More Information on the Problem

Bring in the experts.  Lab coats optional/
Bring in the experts. Lab coats optional.

Once you have identified what the problem is, who can get you the answer?  Is it someone on your Management team like a building engineer?  Or are you going to need to contract the work from a qualified expert?  Determine the answer here and proceed accordingly.

Task The Right People and Discuss the Results

Once you have identified who can answer the question, clearly task them and get them to work.  Clear tasking is important here.  You don’t just want information – you also want actionable recommendations.  For example, ask your Representative about your hypothetical roof’s condition – and then ask them provide recommendations and impacts of different courses of action.  A great typical combo of questions to ask them is:

  1. What happens if we do nothing?  What are the short- and long-term costs?
  2. What happens if we repair the damaged system?  What are the short- and long-term costs?
  3. What happens if we replace the damaged system?  What are the short- and long-term costs?

Once you have options from someone who is qualified to assess your problem, you can descend into debate and blowhardery and determine the best path forward.  But make sure that you’ve got real information to fight over.  Follow this tip for efficient Condo Association Board discussions and you’ll be leading a better Condo life.  

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