Facilitating discussions

At times topics arise that require the attention of board or committee members mid-cycle, between meetings.

And sometimes there is just not space during a meeting for discussion or to sufficiently deliberate on a decision.

On Loomio

Use a Loomio thread to facilitate a discussion. Give the thread a descriptive title that members will recognize and provide details in the thread context. Add a relevant category tag to help members find the thread in future.

Notify members of the thread by inviting them, so they will receive a copy of the thread by email. Members can participate in the discussion by clicking on the link to go to Loomio, or reply to the notification email and their comment will appear as a comment in the thread.

A Loomio thread enables you to attach files or link to online resources to support the discussion.

Common examples include:

  • review and develop a policy
  • seek advice from the board about a topic or issue
  • discuss strategy
  • explore an idea or opportunity
  • assess risk

Issues that arise between board meetings

A lot can happen in an organization between meetings, and most people rely on email to alert board members. Trying to keep track of a discussion on email is tricky, with replies often lost in in-boxes and people left out.

“You can’t do governance by email!”, Richard Westlake (Westlake Governance).

When an issue arises requiring board attention, use a Loomio thread rather than email. Members can reply via email and their comment will appear in the Loomio thread, keeping the discussion in one place.

Here's how:

  • Make the email subject line the title of your thread,
  • write your email content in the thread context,
  • invite your team to the thread with their email address or Loomio user name.

A Loomio thread means that:

  • All info about a topic is organized in one easily accessible place,
  • people can respond without generating reply/reply-all email chains that risk leaving people out,
  • you can see who has read the message and who needs a nudge,
  • you can progress actual work to an outcome, and cut down on the amount of email.

When there isn't space during meetings

When an agenda item cannot be resolved within the time available in your board meeting, you can move this for further discussion to Loomio. Direct people to the relevant thread, or start a new one and notify your board members.

This relieves pressure on your board, allows more time for information gathering, discussion and deeper reflection which often results in a better quality decision.