Print this page Share

Reinventing Your Board: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Policy Governance, Revised Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-04698-2
336 pages
January 2011, Jossey-Bass
Reinventing Your Board: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Policy Governance, Revised Edition (1118046986) cover image


In the second edition of this best-selling Policy Governance operating manual, John Carver and Miriam Carver make this exciting approach to effective governance even more accessible and user-friendly, gleaning lessons learned in years of practice to help readers understand and use this invaluable model.

Carver’s groundbreaking Policy Governance model is the best-known, respected, and talked about governance model in the world and has fundamentally influenced the way organizations are governed. Reinventing Your Board, second edition, is a hands-on, step-by-step guide that puts the model to work in the meeting-to-meeting lives of board members. It includes new policy samples and a new chapter on monitoring performance, as well as other practical “put-the-model-in-motion” advice. This popular and highly successful companion to Boards That Make a Difference contains the nuts-and-bolts materials needed for implementing Policy Governance. The authors illustrate effective board decision making, show how to craft useful policies, and offer practical advice on such matters as setting the agenda, monitoring CEO performance, defining the board role, and more. Step-by-step instructions and sample policies make this a must-have resource for boards in the public and nonprofit sectors aiming to govern their organizations with excellence.

See More

Table of Contents


Figures and Exhibits.

Preface to the Second Edition.



The Authors.


1. Setting the Stage: Are You Sure You're Ready for This?.

2. The Theoretical Foundation: The Practicality of Sound Theory.

3. Deciding to Implement Policy Governance: Looking Before You Leap.


4. Executive Limitations Policies: Optimizing Empowerment by Setting Limits.

5. Governance Process Policies: Defining the Board's Job.

6. Board-Management Delegation Policies: Linking Governance to the CEO.

7. Ends Policies: The Real Bottom Line.


8. Monitoring Organizational Performance: Getting the Right Information About the Right Things.

9. The Board's Documents: Preserving the Board's Decisions.

10. Implementation and Beyond: Concrete Steps Mirror Conceptual Integrity.


A. A Sample Board Policy Manual.

B. Sample Ends Policies.

C. Sample Monitoring Reports.

D. Selected Readings.


See More

Author Information

Miriam Carver has worked with boards in both public and nonprofit sectors in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. She is coeditor of the bimonthly Board Leadership and coauthor of the books A New Vision of Board Leadership, The Board Member's Playbook, and the CarverGuide Series on Effective Board Governance.

See More

New to This Edition

EXCELLENT TRACK RECORD—The first edition has sold  over 24,000 copies and continues to sell strongly

COMPANION TO BESTSELLING BOARDS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE—This book is the follow up to the bestselling boards book and the new edition of BTMAD will draw interest in Reinventing.

THE CARVER NAME—Carver’s name just keeps gaining stature.  He is acknowledged as the leading authority in governance

INCREASING INTEREST IN TOPIC—Board Accountability is a hot issue right now.  All nonprofits are paying special attention to governance.

See More


"After reading Boards That Make a Difference and studying the theory behind John Carver’s approach to improving the functioning of boards, this book is a natural next stage for a board committed to improving its capacity. Reinventing Your Board is a must."
--Mike Whitlam, adviser, UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) and   former director general, British Red Cross Society, London

"This book has been an invaluable resource for our board members as we have adopted the Policy Governance model. It is an excellent road map for the implementation of the model, answering many practical questions and providing numerous examples of applications in a variety of settings. I strongly recommend it for any board wishing to improve its effectiveness."
--Sister Patricia Lorenz, CSJ, board chair, Carondelet Heatth, Kansas City, Missouri

"This clear and chair-friendly book is the ultimate how-to manual for a board determined to ensure the future as they would envision it. No chairman should be without it."
--George Dessart, former chair, board of directors, American Cancer Society, Atlanta

"John Carver is a revolutionary of the very best kind. Carver's Policy Governance model has provided the means for trustees to live out Greenleaf's challenge to boards to act as both servant and leader."
--Larry C. Spears, CEO, The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership; editor, Reflections on Leadership, Insights on Leadership, Servant Leadership, and The Power of Servant Leadership; co-editor, Practicing Servant Leadership and Focus on Leadership  

"What I value about John Carver’s thinking is that it provides a logical and coherent base, a unifying theory of governance that covers both the corporate and voluntary sectors, a universal definition of the difference between governance and management rather than the more usual approach of attempting to allocate functions between them."
--Sir Adrian Cadbury, former chancellor, Aston University; former director, Bank of England; chairman, UK Committee on Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance (source of the "Cadbury Report"); recipient of the 2001 International Corporate Governance Network award; author of The Company Chairman and Corporate Governance and Chairmanship

See More

Related Websites / Extra

PolicyGovernance.comThe Authoritative Website for the Carver Policy Governance Model
See More
Back to Top