Expert Coaching. Practical Resources.

Further Reading

Books by John and/or Miriam Carver

Carver, John, and Carver, Miriam.The Carver Policy Governance Guide Series on Board LeadershipSan Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009.  ISBN: 978-0-470-32510-0

This set of six booklets maps out the Policy Governance model and then takes readers through the essential elements of the model.  Available as a set or in individual volumes:

  • Volume 1, The Policy Governance Model and the Role of the Board Member
  • Volume 2, Ends and the Ownership
  • Volume 3, The Governance of Financial Management
  • Volume 4, Adjacent Leadership Roles: CGO and CEO
  • Volume 5, Evaluating CEO and Board Performance
  • Volume 6, Implementing Policy Governance and Staying on Track

These guides are in booklet format in a very readable style.  They are excellent for helping to orient new board members to Policy Governance® in “bite size” pieces.  Available directly from Wiley: Jossey-Bass at  [in Canada] [in USA]


Carver, John.  Boards That Make a Difference.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers, Third edition, 2006.

The definitive “text” on Policy Governance.  Provides the most thorough discussion of the theory and rationale underlying the model.  Available in most major book stores, or directly from Wiley: Jossey-Bass.


Carver, John.  John Carver on Board Leadership. San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2001.

A compendium of articles previously published in Board Leadership and other publications not readily available elsewhere.  Full of practical advice, organized in an easy-to-use manner.  An excellent finger-tip reference book for any board serious about Policy Governance®. Available from Wiley: Jossey-Bass.


Carver, John and Carver, Miriam Mayhew.  Reinventing Your Board. San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers, Revised edition, 2006.

More detailed “how-to” information regarding implementing Policy Governance.®  Available in most major book stores, or directly from Wiley: Jossey-Bass.


Carver, John and Oliver, Caroline.  Corporate Boards That Create Value: Governing Company Performance from the Boardroom.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2002.

Application of the Policy Governance model to the corporate sector.  Available from Wiley: Jossey-Bass.


Carver, Miriam and Charney, Bill.  The Board Member’s Playbook: Using Policy Governance to Solve Problems, Make Decisions, and Build a Stronger Board.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2004.

Offers real-world scenarios that address the challenges that confront boards of all types of organizations. Step by step, the authors walk readers through a proven problem-solving sequence that allows them to find solutions consistent with the values and policies of their organizations. This book enables boards to build and maintain governance skills with carefully crafted exercises (rehearsals), using a simple question and answer sequence. The workbook includes worksheets and an accompanying CD-ROM.  Available from Wiley: Jossey-Bass.


Carver, John.  A New Vision of Board Leadership :  Governing the Community College.  Washington:  Association of Community College Trustees, 1994.

While the examples in this book are directed at community college boards, the principles are applicable to other fields.  Available directly from Association of Community College Trustees, 1740 “N” Street NW, Washington DC 20036.  Phone:  (202) 775-4667.  Fax (202) 223-1297.  [Currently out-of-print.]

Books and Tool Kits by The Governance Coach™  Team

Bergen, Andrew and Moore, Jannice.  A Tale of Two School Boards:  Applying the Policy Governance® Model.  The Governance Coach™, 2017.

This novel invites you to follow the adventures of Anthony Reyes, frustrated Chair of a school board, as he is introduced to a better way of governing. 


Bergen, Andrew and Moore, Jannice.  A Tale of Two School Boards:  The Next Chapter. The Governance Coach™, 2018.

The sequel to the unique novel, A Tale of Two School Boards, takes the reader along with chair Anthony Reyes and the Norcrest School District Board.  They encounter numerous scenarios as a board, while expanding their knowledge and understanding about how the Policy Governance® system helps the board direct and control the organization. From a staff perspective, the Nathan Bentz, Superintendent, explores how to support school district staff in understanding how Policy Governance applies to their work at an operational level.


Hull, Ted.  Focusing Your Church Board:  Using the Carver Policy Governance Model. Winnipeg: Word Alive Press, 2015.

A look at the foundation of governance, both from a biblical and historic perspective. Addresses questions as to whether Policy Governance can work in churches.  


Moore, Jannice, Ed. The Board Member’s Companion: What Successful Boards Need to Know (E-Book). Calgary:  The Governance Coach™

This E-Book brings together the best of the writings of The Governance Coach™ team over the past years on the subject of governance, with particular attention to the Policy Governance® model. The authors share their experiences and reflections based on over 100 years of cumulative experience in working with over 500 boards in a wide variety of sectors. The articles range from short, pithy blogs to in-depth thinking pieces. You will find a multitude of practical ideas your board can apply to continuously improve the value it brings to your organization. 


Moore, Jannice and Semler, Constance, Eds. Reflections on Leadership.

2019 marked the 25th Anniversary of The Governance Coach™. To celebrate this milestone and express our gratitude to our clients and colleagues for our success, we created this book. In this brief volume, we share our reflections on leadership based on observations and personal experience – one reflection for each of our 25 years. We trust you’ll find at least a few nuggets of insight to enhance your own leadership. 


Moore, Jannice.  Governing Membership Associations:  Applying the Policy Governance® Model.  Calgary:  The Governance Coach™, 2015.

Specific explanations and tools for applying Policy Governance® in membership associations. 

Moore, Jannice.  Governance for Health System Trustees.  Ottawa:  CHA Press, 2004

Designed to show health system trustees how to apply the Policy Governance® model to the health system.  A valuable learning tool and resource in assisting all organizations to meet the governance standards that the public expects and deserves.


Moore, Jannice.  Meaningful MonitoringREALBoard Toolkit Volume 1. Calgary:  The Governance Coach™, Third Edition, Revised, 2022.

The first in a series of tools to assist boards in effectively using the Policy Governance® model. This toolkit includes the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of Monitoring, as well as a variety of samples and tools to move your board from monitoring novice to monitoring expert.  8 or more copies of Meaningful Monitoring include a free electronic copy of the tools that can be used by your board.


Moore, Jannice.  Board Self-Evaluation.  REALBoard Toolkit Volume 2. Second Edition.  Calgary: The Governance Coach™, Second Edition, 2011.

The second in a series of tools to assist boards in effectively using the Policy Governance® model.  This toolkit will assist your board with effective self-evaluation.  8 or more copies of Board Self-Evaluation include a complimentary electronic copy of the tools that can be used by your board.


Moore, Jannice. Connect! A Guide to Ownership Linkage. REALBoard Tool Kit Volume 3. Calgary: The Governance Coach™, 2008.

The third volume in the REALBoard Tool Kit Series, designed to answer the “real-life” questions about the process of connecting or linking with owners. How does the board attend to this critical task, enabling it to gather the wisdom necessary to effectively provide leadership?  This Toolkit provides practical tips, samples and a variety of tools to make your efforts to “Connect!” easier and more effective.


Moore, Jannice. Future-Focused Agendas. REALBoard Tool Kit Volume 4. Calgary: The Governance Coach™, 2011.

One of the most important contributions a governing board can make is providing clear direction about organizational purpose.  What results is the organization to produce?  Who are the beneficiaries?  What is it worth to produce these results?  This book is designed to provide you with details, tips, and tools to help make your board meetings “future-focused.” Why is it important to be future focused?  How can you “make time” on your already crowded agendas for this work?  If you make the time, how will you use it to best advantage?

Books by Other Authors

Conduff, Mike; Gabanna, Carol; Raso, Catherine. The OnTarget Board Member. Elim Group Publishing: 2007

Using the format of a story, this book talks about the “8 indisputable behaviors” of a board member who is consistent with Policy Governance® principles.   Available from Amazon.


Craymer, Eric and Radwan, Susan.  Governing by Principles: An Approach to Unleash the Power of Policy Governance. Grand Ledge, MI:  PPg Press, 2020

This book discusses Policy Governance Principles in three major groupings or buckets, and then addresses the synergy that is created when they are used as a complete system. Available from Amazon.


Oliver, Caroline.  Getting Started With Policy Governance: Bringing Purpose, Integrity and Efficiency to Your Board’s WorkSan Francisco:  Jossey-Bass, 2009

Practical, hands-on tools for getting the most from the Policy Governance® system in the day-to-day operation of boards.  Available directly from Wiley: Jossey-Bass.


Oliver, Caroline, Gen. Ed.  The Policy Governance® Fieldbook: Practical Lessons, Tips, and Tools from the Experiences of Real-World Boards. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999.

A collection of practical examples from “real” boards using Policy Governance®. The book was developed based on the submission of a number of case studies from real boards relatively early in the use of Policy Governance. Available from Wiley: Jossey-Bass.


Royer, Gene.   School Board Leadership 2000.  Houston:  Calico Distributing Services.

This is a very folksy book, written by a consultant who has worked with Carver’s model for a number of years, specifically with school boards.  All the examples are school related.  Also available on Amazon.


REALBoard Advisor.  Calgary:  The Governance Coach™.

This complimentary newsletter is usually published twice a year.  It provides articles of current interest about Policy Governance® as well as information about upcoming educational opportunities.  If you would like to receive future issues, subscribe here


Board Leadership.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass Publishers.

This newsletter is 8-12 pages in length, 6 issues a year.  Most content now is not about Policy Governance, but there are occasional articles.  Prior to 2014, articles were exclusively about Policy Governance, and copies of some back issues are available. Available by subscription from Wiley: Jossey-Bass at  

Virtual Workshops for Individuals

Assessing Monitoring Reports

Course Orientation February 28 with live sessions March 13 and March 27

Introduction to Policy Governance®

Course Orientation March 6 with live sessions March 20 and April 10

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