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

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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  14 reviews
John Carver's groundbreaking Policy Governance model has influenced the way public and nonprofit boards operate around the world. Now, as widespread experience with the model accumulates, Carver enriches his definitive exposition with updated policy samples, a new chapter on the process of policy development, and additional resources for various types of boards. Carver deb ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 28th 1997 by Jossey-Bass (first published November 30th 1989)
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  184 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Cathy Allen
John Carver's work is a conundrum. In one way, his policy governance theory makes complete sense. Boards of directors of nonprofit and governmental organizations should focus on the big picture, on defining results, and leave operations (how to) to their staff. With this clear focus, boards no longer have to struggle with the question of where rubberstamping ends and micromanaging begins. They are working on their responsibilities and staffs are working on theirs, which are separate but compleme ...more
George Hodgson
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
For those of us that work for, with or serve on boards, this is truly refreshing.
David Hastings
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good argument on how to organize a board. It is a little bit repetitive and cites himself a lot. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it is not for everyone.
George
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every board member should read this!
Ashley M
For school but I ended up enjoying it because I didn't take it all at face value- more with a grain of salt, because the idealist way of Carver's thinking just doesn't happen. Although, those working in local government often wish that boards and committees would think this way!
Molly
Apr 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is vaguely interesting, but I really don't feel it is the best governance model for every board out there. Organizations with small staffs often don't have the luxury of confining the board members to policy-only roles.
Matt
Feb 11, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My dog's name is Daffy.
Alyse
Jun 27, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my enemies
Shelves: work, nonfiction, 2007
I had to read this for work. I barely skimed it. Very painful. Sorry if you are reading/have read this.
Douglas Wilson
This is a very fine book on boardsmanship. Carver has an unrelenting grasp of the difference between principles and methods. Really fine work.
Angie
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Right idea...EXTREMELY boring - had to read for the Governing Board at the kids school.
Lee
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fortunately I was reading this for a purpose. It reads like oatmeal, probably good for you but pretty boring.
Judy
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This book contains important ideas, but makes it sound too easy ... focusing on only the big ideas for board work.
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“In the short term, there is scant room for dreaming, for one must choose between being taken seriously and being visionary. In the long term, however, leadership cannot afford to overlook the wisdom of dreams, even the wisdom of playful dreaming. Vision that bounds higher than the barriers that confine us often spring from earnest playfulness.” 3 likes
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