Board Development Training Programmes

Board Development for public and private sector organisations ranges from a one or two day programme or a series of short, sharp sessions.  Together, we choose the material that you need to focus on.

We have run this training frequently in the not for profit sector and written a book to accompany the course – The Excellent Board Member’s Handbook.

Typically, here are some of the subjects covered:

  • 360 degree review  We use a simple and cost effective method of collecting feedback.
  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Board Member  An input session to explain the legal duties and give examples of when these can be tested
  • Skills and Capabilities of a Board Member  Starting with research, we discuss the differences between poor, okay and great Board Members
  • Setting Direction What is the Board’s role with regard to setting direction?  What legally do you need to do?  What direction have you set?  When working with a full Board, we will often run this as an exercise to see the extent to which there is unity of direction between the Board members and with the Executive.  The results are often highly revealing!
  • The Policy Governance Principles  Introducing an approach to thinking about the work of the Board through policies.  A policy is a set guiding principles for the organisation, which defines the expectations, the measures and the delegated responsibility to the Executive.  This approach to governance is particularly effective at ensuring the Board do not interfere with the role of the Executives.
  • Scrutiny  We introduce a method that ensures you get to the causal heart of an issue.  This is about asking penetrating questions in the right sequence.  For more substantial issues, you may want to appoint a working group or sub committee of the Board to scrutinise the issues.   We discuss the design of a more in-depth review and the principles of effective scrutiny.
  • Separation of duties between Board and Executive Directors  An interactive session, working on a number of common and not so common dilemmas.  What is the Board’s job and what is the Executive’s job?
  • Behaviours at Meetings.  Helpful and unhelpful  behaviours are identified.  What makes for an effective intervention?  What commonly causes a Board to go off course?  What behaviours do you have that a) serve the Board well and b) reduce the Board’s effectiveness?
  • Information Requirements – what do you need to know and understand?  What regular monitoring information do you need to properly discharge your responsibilities?  Looking in depth at some issues, we think about the critical types of information for each issue.
  • Risk Management An interactive session where we get your Board or Board members to define the risks, the impacts, the mitigations and monitoring process.  We look at the most frequent patterns of risk in your sector.  They are often a sequence rather than single points of failure.  So we look at what goes wrong to cause the risk “gates” to fail.  This is often down to a combination of poor information and human factors.
  • Escalation of issues of concern  What should you as a Board Member do when you have important concerns about the organisation or people in it?  What is your duty?  What are the intended outcomes and how might you achieve those?
  • Common Situations  We have a number of true to life dilemma scenarios in which Board Members get to apply the principles of good governance.  This session is run in a highly interactive way to simulate the conflict and negotiation that sometimes needs to occur.

In addition to the Board Development Programme, we also run Chair Training specifically for Chairs of Not for Profit organisations.

Clients Say

Jim is an ultimate professional who I have worked with on the Royal Haskoning Business Development Programme. His key skill is his ability to identify an individuals strengths and work at developing that. Jim is personable and creative in his approach to coaching. As far as I am concerned he has been at the forefront of making the Royal Haskoning Business Development Programme a success.
Laura Orton
Scientist / Royal HaskoningDHV, Global Engineering Company
Jim ran a business development programme for fifteen of my staff at Royal Haskoning. Our primary aim was to change the culture of our approach to sales: to be more proactive in developing and closing opportunities. Jim's approach was fantastic throughout the programmme. He has a pragmatic and down to earth style that really inspires people to follow through. He is focussed on delivering great outcomes and the team have been truly fired up to make a difference. I have no hesitation in recommending Jim.
Sarah Budd
Business Unit Director Maritime and Waterways - UK, Asia, Australia / Royal HaskoningDHV
I first came across Jim in about 2001 when I was looking at putting on a series of breakfast marketing seminars for SMEs- Jim had creative ideas and was well received by those attending. I found him easy to work with and delivered the results I needed. I then came across Jim in 2009 when he delivered some workshops for Business Link on working with SMEs - he has a great presenting style and delivered great results
Cheryl Palmer
Practice Manager / Stanford Medical Centre
I have worked with Jim through a business development course and found him to have been absolutely brilliant and I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to learn from his experience.
Tara Leigh Mcvey
Principal Consultant / URS Corporation
Jim has an amazing quality to connect with people and really inspire them to make changes that get real results. My team are always fired up and ready to make things happen after a session with Jim. He is also a thoroughly nice guy...such a pleasure to work with!
Leigh Ashton
MD and Author / The Sales Consultancy
Jim ran some very effective Assessment Centres. He also facilitated a number of workshops and meetings to help the team capture Best Practice. Jim was always very accessible and ready to provide fresh thinking and new ideas. He has a vast knowledge base and his genuinely cheerful and positive energy cut through ambiguity and vague thinking, helping you to arrive at very results oriented and practical actions that make a difference.
David Klaasen
MD / Inspired Working
I have worked with Jim over many years; he has the genuine ability to enthuse and motivate individuals and teams to excellence. He is an absolute pleasure to work with and is innovative, totally reliable, very approachable and open to new ideas at all times. I can't recommend Jim highly enough.
Sarah Wearing
CEO / The Art of Balance Ltd


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