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Getting Started with Policy Governance: Bringing Purpose, Integrity and Efficiency to Your Board's Work

ISBN: 978-0-7879-8713-8
256 pages
January 2009, Jossey-Bass
Getting Started with Policy Governance: Bringing Purpose, Integrity and Efficiency to Your Board


In this newest book on the Policy Governance approach to board leadership created by John Carver, Caroline Oliver gives readers practical, hands-on tools for getting the most from the system in the day-to-day operation of their boards. In the Policy Governance Fieldbook, Oliver explored the experience of 11 organizations that succeeded and failed in using Policy Governance. Now, she has drawn upon the most important lessons from that experience as well as her experience in helping many more organizations along the Policy Governance road to governing excellence.  The result is a wealth of tools and resources for helping readers to:
  • Decide if Policy Governance is right for them
  • Identify and link with owners
  • Develop means policies
  • Create Ends policies
  • Monitor Policies
  • Run meetings
  • Evaluate
  • Plan for the future
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Table of Contents

List of Tools vii

Foreword ix
John Carver

Author's Note xvii

Acknowledgments xix

About the Author xxi

About This Book xxiii

1 Exploring Policy Governance 1

2 Choosing Policy Governance--or Not! 13

3 Knowing Who Owns Your Organization 41

4 Understanding the Policy in Policy Governance 69

5 What Does Your Ownership Want? Creating Ends Policies 89

6 How Can You Govern How Your Ends Are Achieved? Creating Means Policies 113

7 How Can You Keep Your Board Accountable? Monitoring Your Policies 137

8 Embarking on Policy Governance 165

Policy Governance Resources 205

References 213

Index 217

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Author Information

Caroline Oliver is chief executive of Good to Govern Ltd. and founding chair of the International Policy Governance Association and the UK Policy Governance Association which promote and support nonprofit and for-profit boards’ use of the Policy Governance system. She is an international governance consultant with clients in the US, UK and Canada.www.goodtogovern.com
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"What a truly outstanding and thought-provoking book. It changed how I work with Boards overnight and forever! If we all took the advice within the pages of this book, then organizations would deliver greater value to their owners and be better places to work."—Dr. Jay Bevington, Assurance and Advisory Public Sector, Deloitte & Touche LLP

"This is a great read! Such a book is long overdue. It's comprehensive, accessible, and fills a big gap in the market."—Geraldine Peacock, former chair, The Charity Commission

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