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Boards That Make a Difference: A New Design for Leadership in Nonprofit and Public Organizations, 3rd Edition

Boards That Make a Difference: A New Design for Leadership in Nonprofit and Public Organizations, 3rd Edition

John Carver

ISBN: 978-1-118-04670-8

Mar 2011, Jossey-Bass

448 pages



In this revised and updated third edition, Carver continues to debunk the entrenched beliefs and habits that hobble boards and to replace them with his innovative approach to effective governance. This proven model offers an empowering and fundamental redesign of the board role and emphasizes values, vision, empowerment of both the board and staff, and strategic ability to lead leaders. Policy Governance gives board members and staff a new approach to board job design, board-staff relationships, the role of the chief executive, performance monitoring, and virtually every aspect of the board-management relationship. This latest edition has been updated and expanded to include explanatory diagrams that have been used by thousands of Carver's seminar participants. It also contains illustrative examples of Policy Governance model policies that have been created by real-world organizations. In addition, this third edition of Boards That Make a Difference includes a new chapter on model criticisms and the challenges of governance research.
Preface to the Third Edition.


The Author.

Prologue: Beginning and Ending with Purpose.


1. Leadership by Governing Boards: A Vision of Group Accountability.

2. Policy as a Leadership Tool: The Force of Explicit Values.

3. Designing Policies That Make a Difference: Governing by Values.

4. Focusing on Results: The Power of Purpose.

5. Controlling Ethics and Prudence: What's Not OK, Even if It Works.

6. Strong Boards Need Strong Executives: The Board-Executive Relationship.

7. The Board's Responsibility for Itself: Governing Oneself Precedes Governing Others.

8. Officers and Committees: The Chief Governance Officer and Other Divisions of Board Labor.

9. Policy Development by Levels: Adding Details Judiciously.

10. Making Meetings Meaningful: Creating the Future More Than Reviewing the Past.

11. Maintaining Board Leadership: Staying on Track and Institutionalizing Excellence.

12. But Does It Work? Criticisms, Effectiveness Research, and Model Consistency.

Resource A. Varieties of Policy Governance Applications.

Resource B. Bylaws.

Resource C. Glossary.



PERENNIAL BESTSELLER---Boards That Make a Difference has sold over 100,000 copies and keeps going strong.  It is the top book on boards

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.