Course Description


  • Good governance significantly reduces the threat of safety, legal, performance, and warranty issues that can affect your organization.
  • Strong and effective boards help ensure organizations can respond agilely to external environmental changes.


What is good governance? Where does a Board’s authority come from? What is the difference between governance and management? Who does what, and why? 

Dive into the essentials of board governance with John Kay, governance expert and CEO of Realize Strategies. Get exclusive direct access to John’s 20+ years of experience leading and mentoring a wide variety of Canadian and international boards of all sizes. Led by John, you will explore the “secrets” of effective Boards: the principles that guide these Boards, elements of well-functioning Boards, and three zones for governance.

Direct Access to Industry Experts

Our Live Learning Workshops offer you direct access to our practicing industry experts. Bring your questions and scenarios to examine during our intensive workshops for direct feedback and advice from your instructor.

Our 3-hour workshop includes collaborative exercises and discussions, tangible takeaways, sector insights, and instruction by our experts in governance, leadership development, and organizational development.

Who Is This For?

  • Current, new, or incoming directors

  • CEOs looking to better understand how to work with their boards

  • Human resources and organizational design specialists from the private or public sector

Benefits For You

  • Understand your Board in terms of life cycle and model of governance

  • Evaluate the roles and core responsibilities of the Board, Directors, Chair, Committees and CEO/ED

  • Articulate the sources of Board authority and key areas for compliance, and the role of policy

  • Explore key principles for effective governance and well-functioning Boards


All of our instructors are experts in their fields and practicing consultants, bringing you the latest insights and best practices grounded in research and current trends.

John Kay

CEO and Senior Instructor

John thrives on the challenge of unlocking the potential of people and organizations who are working to build a better tomorrow. With over two decades of experience, John uses his vision and expertise to look beyond limits to drive sustainable, transformative organizational change through strategy, governance, culture, and business model innovation. He has held a range of senior and executive positions in both the private and public sector and has worked on a vast range of projects spanning social services, real estate, insurance, finance, food and beverage, education, arts, tourism, and more. Currently, John serves as chair on several non-profit and co-op boards across the country such as Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), among others.

Jenn Fong

Consultant and Senior Instructor

Jenn Fong is a governance professional who takes a people- and purpose-driven approach to her work. Her expertise includes board and director evaluations, governance restructuring, and governance policy development among others. She explores her client’s pain-points with a collaborative mindset, analyzes the practice, people, and dynamics issues underlying their governance problems, and helps governance teams bring the solutions to life and increase their effectiveness. Jenn has helped a wide variety of clients including small, medium, and large not-for-profits, crowns, regulated professional bodies, as well as societies/associations.

Course topics

  • Great Boards: Myths and Maxims

  • Board Life Cycle

  • Understanding Governance

  • Who Does What, and Why?

  • Authority, Compliance, Policy

  • Effective Boards

Open Sessions

Essentials of Governance (Fall 2022)

Live Lesson: Nov 29, 2022 | 9AM - 12PM PDT


Essentials of Governance (Winter 2023)

Jan 31, 2023 | 9AM - 12PM PDT


Essentials of Governance (Spring 2023)

May 9, 2023 | 4:30PM - 7:30PM PDT

Private Workshops

We can bring our expertise directly to your team or one on one, in-person or virtually. Each workshop can also be customized to fit your team’s unique needs or structure.