Board and Organizational

Board and Organizational Governance

Optimizing organizational performance

Effective governance ensures objectives are realized, resources are well managed, and the interests of stakeholders are protected and reflected in key decisions. Our work in this area includes conducting board governance assessments, providing strategic advice, engaging members and designing organizations. All of our services in this area are specifically designed for not-for-profit public interest institutions.

Access leading expertise through our advisory services

Our highly experienced team of consultants  has over 20 years experience exploring and developing innovative approaches to responsible and responsive board and organizational governance and leadership in Canada and abroad. We have worked sector-wide in public, private and not-for-profit institutions and bring a full network of expert resources to everything we do.

Our advisory work addresses your specific needs

Our approach takes account of your particular objectives, history, stakeholders, personalities and culture and is underpinned by our extensive research in all areas of governance. We can help your not-for-profit organization, public interest institution, associations or board by:

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of your governance systems by conducting governance assessments that address their complexity and resolve any conflicting interests
  • Supporting strategy development and strategic planning through in depth analysis and expert facilitation
  • Conducting comparative research, stakeholder engagement and organizational reviews that generate actionable insights you can use to improve your operations
  • Designing and facilitating multi-stakeholder meetings to suit your unique needs
  • Developing governance tools, including bylaws, policies and terms of reference
  • Conducting customized training, facilitation and moderated board workshops and retreats
  • Facilitating annual board self-assessments using interviews and survey tools
Access leading expertise through our learning products

We have developed a wide range of learning products that give you the knowledge and tools you need to be successful in an environment where change is the only constant.

Customize your learning experience

We can customize our course content to meet the unique needs of your not-for-profit public interest institution. Our custom courses couple practical exercises with our research, our experience, and action-oriented case studies to provide you with actionable insights and practical tools that enhance your learning experience and inspire you to lead transformative change. Contact us for more information on our custom courses.

Improving Non-Profit Governance Online Learning Program More >

The Improving Non-Profit Governance Online Learning Program is a unique online learning program designed to assist executive directors, board chairs and other board members of non-profit organizations deepen their understanding and practice of governance as the exercise of leadership inside and outside the boardroom. Our approach to change involves peer learning, coaching, webinars and the application of ideas from a wide range of learning resources and tools. Learn more about the Improving Non-profit Governance Online Learning Program.

Access leading expertise through our research

Research has played an important role in our Board and Organizational Governance practice over the years.

Informed by our expertise and our experience with clients, we have published a number of papers and policy briefs on current and emerging issues in this area. These publications are always made available online for free.

In addition, we offer commissioned research services. Recent papers have addressed topics such as Conflict of Interest and the Duty of Loyalty, and Board Composition for membership-driven organizations.

Support leading expertise in governance research

Clients frequently commission us to conduct specific governance related research to support their work. Contact us to learn more about commissioning a research project that helps you achieve your objectives.

Our virtuous circle of research, advisory and learning

Our leading expertise is rooted in the balanced growth of our research, advisory and learning activities. This “virtuous circle” means that you benefit from a strong applied research focus that strengthens our ability to provide advisory services and informs our learning products; advisory services that shape our research and leverage our learning programs; and learning products that are based on evidence and experience.

Our virtuous circle in action

Yukon Development Corporation

Our work with the Yukon Development Corporation (YDC) began in 2013 and addressed key governance issues regarding Board performance, processes, structures and systems. We conducted a comprehensive review of the internal governance structure and practices of the Board and the relationship between the YDC and the corporation they oversee to identify areas of concern and make recommendations for improvements. Our approach drew on our previous experience assessing oversight practices and applying proven strategies. Case studies were also conducted to identify relevant trends. We applied a number of analytical tools developed through our Public Governance Exchange (PGEx) to help YDC leadership understand the unique circumstances surrounding the project. Additionally, we developed and delivered three training and facilitation sessions on governance best practices and board performance.

Our work with YDC has bolstered our expert knowledge base in board and organizational governance and has helped refine our approach to working with other board-governed organizations. The project has also further informed our research under PGEx, as it is a prime example of the proliferation of autonomous bodies in the public sector.

Scouts de Montréal métropolitain

In 2014-15, we worked with Scouts de Montréal métropolitain to conduct a review of their governance structures. We conducted an analysis and evaluation of the organization’s governance structure, the composition of the Board and its decision-making processes, and the administrative support available to support work. Our team provided an analysis based on the context of the organization, its role and importance in the community, and in line with the IOG’s principles of good governance for not-for-profit organizations. Our approach involved a document review, key informant interviews, an online survey completed by the Board and a presentation of the report with facilitated discussion.

The governance review and facilitation for this project builds on our in-depth knowledge of board-governed organizations, specifically with smaller non-profits.

Human Resources Professionals Association

Our team has been working with the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) since 2010 on an ongoing basis as they work continuously to improve their governance practices. Our services have included the developing a board assessment and peer evaluation tools, training on board governance and committee best practices, facilitating a board strategy session and piloting a director education program for their membership to learn about the roles and responsibilities of a board of directors. This work has supported HRPA as they promote professional development for their board and members as well as continue to update their governance practices.

Our work with HRPA has informed our expertise in board and organizational governance and has helped us elaborate our governance models and best practices we put forward when developing recommendations and options for new clients. This work has also helped us identify shortcomings, articulate challenges, and analyze trends in organizational governance, including with dual-object associations. We continue to use this information to develop new learning and analytical tools, and shape our learning programs and research activities.


Contact us

  • Laura Edgar

    Vice-President, Board and Organizational Governance

    613-562-0090 ext. 226
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