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Books

Boards that Make a Difference by John Carver, 3rd edition, © 2006, Jossey-Bass
This book is the definitive resource on the theory of the model. The volume is complete on the theory and special applications. It is written with an academic tone and as a result it is a bit dense for the average reader.

Reinventing Your Board: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Policy Governance (J-B Carver Board Governance Series) by John and Miriam Carver, 2nd edition, © 2006, Jossey-Bass
This book takes a more practical tone and offers sample policies. But do not be misled that it will tell you everything about implementation and the practices required to implement the model successfully. It will lead you through development of policy in a reasonable way. What's missing isvery much in detail about the "how to" once you have your policies in place.

A Carver Policy Governance Guide, Set: The Carver Policy Governance Guide Series on Board Leadership (J-B Carver Board Governance Series) by John and Miriam Carver, © 2009, Jossey-Bass
Handbook titles include:

  • The Policy Governance Model and the Role of the Board Member
  • Ends and the Ownership
  • The Governance of Financial Management
  • Adjacent Leadership Roles: CGO and CEO
  • Evaluating CEO and Board Performance
  • Implementing Policy Governance and Staying on Track

This set of handbooks is the most accessible of the Carver publications. Each handbook is about 24-40 pages long. The presentation does not generally overwhelm the average reader. We recommend buying a set of handbooks for your board with each person reading one of the guides a month until all six of the series have been read by all board members. Of course, including a conversation during your Board meetings about what the reader is taking away from the read is important to develop a shared understanding of the model.

Corporate Boards That Create Value: Governing Company Performance from the Boardroom, John Carver and Caroline Oliver, © 2002, Jossey-Bass
This book describes the model for use in the corporate setting. It includes a template of policies typically found in corporate Board policy manuals and includes policies on Social Responsibility. A fairly easy read for the "business book" reader.

The Board Member's Playbook: Using Policy Governance to Solve Problems, Make Decisions and Build a Stronger Board by Miriam Carver and Bill Charney, © 2004, Jossey-Bass
This book is a great resource for Boards who want to challenge themselves to practice how Policy Governance works in Board conversations. The book gives scenarios (and the answers) for your board to rehearse the process of solving problems in a model-consistent way. This resource is invaluable to boards in illustrating the "new culture" of Policy Governance processing. You don't need a consultant to properly apply this resource. Highly recommended for Boards who understand that a culture change is necessary to practice Policy Governance.

Getting Started with Policy Governance®: Bringing Purpose, Integrity and Efficiency to Your Board by Caroline Oliver, © 2009, Jossey-Bass
This book is perfect for the Board who is looking for a better way to govern. The book is accessible for the average reader and it contains many examples and tools to paint a practical understanding of the model. In other words, it does a great job of pulling the theory of Policy Governance® into actionable understanding. Highly recommended for Boards exploring the possibilities of the model.

The Policy Governance Fieldbook: Practical Lessons, Tips, and Tools from the Experience of Real-World Boards, edited by Caroline Oliver, © 1999, Jossey-Bass.
While the publication date is 11 years old, this book remains a great resource for practitioners. Our favorite section of the book allows the reader to identify the problem they may be facing, i.e. developing Ends and it directs the reader to a section of the book that offers process tools and questions to ask.to get the conversation on the right path.

Meaningful Monitoring by Jannice Moore, available at http://www.governancecoach.com
This book is designed to address "real life" questions about the process of monitoring the CEO. How does a board attend to this important task without spending undue time doing so? Meaningful Monitoring gives you practical tips, samples and a variety of tools to make monitoring easier and more meaningful. Many of our clients have found this publication extremely helpful in understand how to engage in rigorous monitoring. What should be included in monitoring reports, how to format the reports to capture the model's demand for measurable results, integrity and performance.