promoting purpose, integrity and efficiency in governance
"Caroline Oliver is an excellent communicator who listens before she talks. We now understand the governance challenge more fully than ever before and are better equipped to deal with it than ever before. Caroline’s style blends common sense, humour, and vision – and it produces results."
Stephanie Corcoran, Chair of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
"Caroline Oliver brought a refreshingly lively and entertaining approach to speaking about the world of corporate governance. She lead a very spirited debate between the audience and her co-panelists and tackled challenging viewpoints directly with expertise and wit. Our members loved the program."
"Barely over a year ago, this organization was struggling for common purpose, effective leadership, and appropriate policy guidance for its governance and management roles. After several months of research, fact-finding, discussion, and interviews, John Carver’s Policy Governance process was selected as the governance model and Ms. Caroline Oliver was engaged to train and guide us through the process. The board and staff have made tremendous strides toward effective and proper governance and management—one can feel the difference at all levels. Ms. Oliver has been the key to our success.
We will continue to rely on her for training and guidance—she will get the first call if we appear to be headed off track…. Ms. Oliver was highly successful in maintaining order and focus throughout the governance policy development process with a board of trustees consisting of nine highly diverse, political appointees with vastly differing styles, backgrounds, levels of knowledge, and individual priorities. Most of us had no clear (much less a common) picture of what governance really meant. She effectively communicated new general concepts then followed them up with more concrete examples to match varied learning abilities and styles.
Ms. Oliver also exhibited remarkable skill at understanding and internalizing varied points-of-view then crafting high-level policy drafts. She then coached the trustees (individually and collectively) through a process of policy refinement then policy ownership. This together with her ability to quickly develop a high-level understanding of our complex (and often contradictory) organizational structure and the manner that we interface with all stakeholders would suggest that she can interface well in any environment. Her experience with policy implementation continues to be invaluable to the staff."
Ray Henry, Director,
Texas County and District Retirement System (Austin, Texas)
"During the past year, the ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto) board undertook a process to explore how we could continue to remain open and accountable to our members and also to better define our own responsibilities as board members. Finding better ways to articulate the role of the board, our relationship to staff and the board’s role in the fulfillment of our strategic plan were identified as priorities. Caroline Oliver guided our work in crafting our own policies in a very sensitive and effective way. She helped a diverse board, with various levels of experience and often differing points of view, to find common ground. Her presentations were engaging and to the point. Caroline continues to be a resource that we call on for training and counsel."
"Our Council members greatly appreciated your discussion on governance and the role of boards. Your discussion, by far, was the area that we heard the most positive comments on. The enthusiasm and participatory-style in which you conducted your session was of benefit to all those who attended."
Glenn Randall, Registrar, College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario
"Our Board has benefitted enormously from Caroline's skills. Her commitment to good governance and the clarity of her communication have given us new direction and impetus. As Caroline says, governance depends on people and it can never be a perfect or exact science but it can get a whole lot closer than it is today."
Michele Hulsey, Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Board Development Committee, Legal Aid Society, Louisville, Kentucky
"We have waited long for a book which analyzes the role of boards from first principles. The Policy Governance model fills that bill and thereby makes a fundamental contribution. For the first time, we are offered a fully integrated and coherent system of governance, a significant advance in management thinking, as near a universal theory of governance as we at present have."
Sir Adrian Cadbury
"Corporate Boards That Create Value fills a large need. This book sets forth a clear, convincing and comprehensive framework for corporate governance. It is well written and leaves the reader with that most rewarding sensation -"I've got it, I understand it, It's right". Corporate Boards That Create Value is a must read."
Robert A. G. Monks, founder of Institutional Investor Services and the investment fund LENS, author of The New Global Investors, co-author of Power and Accountability, Corporate Governance, and Watching the Watchers.
"In this post Enron era, directors will be forced to review their governance process and to search for alternative ways to better represent owners. Corporate Boards That Create Value by John Carver and Caroline Oliver is a must read for those dedicated directors. Carver's Policy Governance model focuses our directors on developing the ends for which our organization exists, while holding the CEO accountable through written policies for their accomplishment."
T. Wayne Whipple, CFA, Executive Director, New York Society of Security Analysts
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