Do you ever leave a board meeting feeling that nothing was accomplished? Are there areas in which your board is "stuck"? Is your board unclear about where governance stops and management starts? Is your board doing a reasonably good job, but you know there must be a better way? The Governance Coach™ has helped over 500 boards provide clear, future-focused direction leading to organizational success. We specialize in John Carver's Policy Governance® model.
Custom On-site Workshops, Introductory & Advanced Policy Governance Open Workshops and Specialized Open Workshops
With over 40,000 consulting hours in Policy Governance, The Governance Coach™ Team provides practical advice based on real-life experience. We can tell you what works, and save your board time and energy trying approaches that are less successful and just plain frustrating.
Our unique system, the REALBoard Advantage™, uses a series of carefully designed steps to coach your board from initial understanding of Policy Governance principles to achieving mastery in applying the Policy Governance model.
Each step includes practical implementation tools, knowledge products and customized governance coaching appropriate to your stage of Policy Governance implementation. Our unique system helps you to sustain the investment you have made in learning to govern more effectively.
The official publication of The Governance Coach™ is the REALBoard Advisor.™
We bring you practical articles, expert information and insights to applying the Policy Governance® model. Published bi-annually in January and June…FREE to subscribers and clients. Get yours today!
Not long ago, I served on a nonprofit Policy Governance board. We worked hard to implement the Policy Governance model. We felt...
Jan is at the top when it comes to governance coaches. I've worked on other boards that tried to use Policy Governance® and can confirm it's not a model you can just read about or implement after attending one or two workshops. You need coaching from someone with deep expertise, preferably someone like Jan who has trained with the Carvers. In any given year, we rotate up to 25% of our elected council members, so ongoing coaching is essential to ensure both new and veteran councillors are applying the model correctly. The work we've done with Jan over the years has allowed me greater efficiency in getting things done. It has also allowed the CRDHA council to focus on the big picture and strategic leadership, while ensuring operational accountability, prudence and ethics through establishment and monitoring of executive limitations policies. The Governance Coach can do the same for your organization, be it non-profit, association, church, utility company, or regulatory body.
Our board has gone from "problem child" to "poster child". Working with The Governance Coach has made all the difference. At one point, after 6 presidents in 7 years, our board knew it had to lead - and to be - the change that was needed, and we sensed that Policy Governance was the way to go. The change has been far-reaching, including increased staff morale and student enrollment. Jan and her colleague Richard [Stringham] work with us as a team, with Richard orienting new board members, and Jan acting as quarterback. The beautiful thing about Jan's expertise is that she has so many real-life examples to share. She can relate to anyone in the room and get the point across to people from diverse backgrounds, including those from the corporate world. In fact , in this era of high accountability and transparency, the corporate world needs Policy Governance more than ever.
Working with Andrew was a really good use of time and money. Because he did his homework up front, we were able to jump right into the work at hand. We got the result we wanted, which was to have common expectations and a clear understanding of our roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities. We're excited about moving forward to the next phase because we're in a stronger position to achieve our goal of increased capacity. Juno House Foundation has an unusual organizational model, so proper governance is especially critical for us. Andrew knew we were a different kettle of fish and never tried to fit us into a box. He adapted the Carver model to us and made it work for us. Andrew has a phenomenal ability to read people. He can see when someone needs to go through a discovery process, and instead of steering them onto a prescribed path, he guides them with Carver model language and concepts, combining that with each person's experience. He's respectful and considerate, as well as an expert at guiding the conversation to where it needs to go.
From my experience on two boards, I know Rose can help any board make a smooth transition to the Policy Governance model. Rose has a remarkable ability to synthesize every board member's contribution and articulate policies everyone can agree on. That's the hardest part, because the discussions are complex when there is diversity of opinion among a large group. Rose navigates with calm and puts people at ease. Our board has been freed up from deep involvement in operations to focus more on strategy, ends, and mission—our raison d`être. Our organization can become even more relevant to the people we serve. The Governance Coach's workshops helped everyone understand their roles and responsibilities under the Policy Governance model vs. the traditional board management model, and the coaching helped me perform with greater confidence as Board Chair. The Governance Coach offers excellent value, which is why we chose them in the tender process.
I have worked with Jannice Moore in two different organizations in my capacity as CEO. In my first experience of working with Jan, she helped our Board and me to further our use of Policy Governance as a tool to ensure that great results (Ends) were achieved for our members. At my current organization, Jannice has been instrumental in educating our Board and helping them implement the Policy Governance model. She offers a great conceptual understanding, fantastic group facilitation skills, and practical advice on using the model with an eye always toward the reality of how people work together. I highly recommend Jannice Moore as a governance consultant.
Working with Jan on Policy Governance has helped our board make a closer connection with our owners or constituents and be more relevant to them. With Policy Governance, we manage our meetings better, giving us more time to meet with the people we serve and respond to their questions and concerns. The other issue we addressed with Jan was our inordinate focus on operations and daily administration. Now, with an agenda focused on governance, we're in a better position to keep our eyes on the global picture and plan for the future. Jan also provided coaching. What I like about her style of coaching is that it builds capacity rather than dependence, and it is respectful of Cree culture and ways of doing things. That's why I've already recommended Jan and The Governance Coach to another Cree organization and would like to see more Cree entities moving into Policy Governance.
Jan's and Richard's help in implementing Policy Governance® has been instrumental in our tremendous accomplishments in the past decade. We haven't been slowed down by not knowing who should make the decision about this or that issue, because we're crystal clear about roles and responsibilities. For 10 years now, the board has had a healthy and harmonious relationship with my management team, even as we transformed from association to regulatory body. During that time, Jan and Richard helped the board clarify their roles with respect to organizational oversight and our mandate to protect the public. With the continual addition of new board members, working with The Governance Coach remains invaluable.
Anytime a corporation needs greater discipline in the relationship between the board and the administration, I'd recommend working with Rose and The Governance Coach to implement the Carver governance model. Implementing the Carver model isn't something you can do alone. Rose made it easy for us. First, she took the time to understand our business; then, she carefully tailored the Policy Governance® model to suit our corporate structure - and that work was truly exceptional. We've been in business for over 30 years, and Rose helped us leave behind bad habits we'd developed. We're here to generate a return for shareholders. When we see the market is changing, we need to act quickly. Rose is proactive, like us, with the flexibility to change as needed. She held our hands through changes and complexity, and was firm when she needed to be, too. You can see results in the efficiency of our board meetings, in our reports, and in the daily business of the corporation. Where we used to be down in the weeds, now we're freed up to do strategic work instead of reviewing individual deals, which really is the work of our highly qualified administration. Even board members who were skeptical at first see the value of retaining Rose. In fact, we still retain her on an ongoing basis, which she has never pushed on us. Rose's ongoing coaching helps keep us on track.
We chose The Governance Coach because they offer complete solutions for Policy Governance. Because we're both the regulatory body and the professional services organization for medical radiation technologists in Saskatchewan, we need to govern through principles, which makes Policy Governance such a great fit. We see it as an investment, not a quick fix, and we're confident it will help us be more successful. Andrew's workshops have been well-received by everyone, and he's a good presenter that uses relevant anecdotes that get the point across and keep it interesting. We've begun to develop executive limitation and governance policies. The results we expect are clear accountability of the CEO to Council, and a stronger focus of Council on policy and strategy.
Thanks to Rose, we're a different - a better - board. The best learning happens working through challenges with a coach, and that's why we chose Rose and The Governance Coach™ - that unique blend of ongoing coaching and assistance with implementing the Policy Governance® process. Rose helped us stay focused on our ends and what we're about, always non-judgmental, always bringing it back to the governance model. Every question we had, Rose answered with a well-researched response, and her advisory reports on our minutes have improved our meetings and our minutes. Workshops were tailored and specific to our board, never cookie-cutter. The positive impact on our board has been so profound, we've decided to forgo conferences this year to invest in continuing our work with Rose.
Our Board of Directors adopted Policy Governance in the fall of 2002. The first two and a half years were primarily for getting comfortable with Policy Governance. In the fall of the third year, our Board brought in Jannice Moore to conduct a Policy Governance workshop. She demonstrated a very high level of understanding and knowledge of Policy Governance and helped the Board look to the future. The Board was so impressed with Jannice's knowledge and capability they hired her to be their monthly Governance Coach. Her regular reviews of our PG work along with an annual workshop are helping us to stay focused and be the best we can be for our ownership.
I recommend Rose for organizations that are transitioning to Policy Governance or that need to review and enhance their current Policy Governance policies. We engaged Rose to facilitate our strategic planning and to develop a process that included two strategic planning committee meetings and a plenary session involving staff and volunteers that brought in the work of the committees. We selected Rose because of her knowledge of Policy Governance® and her professional style which suits our organization's culture. Her expertise was key to the high quality of the end product, our final report. For example, as we worked through the strategic planning process, it became evident that some revisions were required for the "Ends", and Rose prepared an additional report with recommendations for changes to the Ends. As a facilitator, Rose is thoughtful and listens well, adapting and pulling everyone's ideas back into Policy Governance framework. Her key strength is her ability to assimilate information from a wide range of sources and write a comprehensive, coherent, and thoughtful report.
I’ve worked with Jan on Policy Governance in both board and management roles over more than a decade. Under Jan’s guidance, our board has matured from being involved in operations to focusing on vision and ends. Jan helps new board members fit more easily in their roles knowing that they're doing their jobs when they focus on vision and refrain from getting directly involved in operations. Board meetings are driven by the agenda. At the same time, our management team is better able to do innovative forward-looking work, like building new housing for people with disabilities. Jan’s help in implementing Policy Governance has made it easier for us to achieve all this and stay at the forefront of social services.
Richard and Jan help keep our board focused on what's important – the people we impact and affect. As a former board member and now CEO, I have seen Policy Governance free our board to have oversight of policy and governance, while freeing our executive team to manage the organization. Richard and Jan work as a team, which sets The Governance Coach apart. Other team members are now available if needed, so an experienced consultant is always available. As a professional agrologist himself, Richard understands our culture, how our council is run, and the challenges we face in adopting Policy Governance. That insight is extremely valuable to us. For her part, Jan is an excellent educator for new board members (and in re-informing existing members) about Policy Governance. The Governance Coach staff are always there to train, deliver courses, and gently but firmly call us out and get us back on track.