Boards are our business

WATSON Speaks

WATSON Delivers 2016 CSAE Governance Forum

October 24, 2016

Posted in: WATSON Speaks

Believe in the importance of good governance? We’ve seen firsthand the difference a great board can have on an organization’s performance. WATSON is proud to partner with the Canadian Society of Association Executives to deliver the 2016 CSAE Governance Forum in Toronto (October 25) and Vancouver (November 29).

We will be sharing trends and pressure points we’ve gleaned in the board rooms of some of Canada’s largest and most effective boards. This one-day workshop hones in on six key topics:

  1. The principles of an intentional approach to governance
  2. Directors’ legal duties
  3. Maximizing contributions of key roles of the board and management team
  4. Taking ownership of board renewal – from recruitment to education
  5. CEO evaluation and succession
  6. Upping the board’s strategic perspective and how to navigate the grey line between the board and management

The workshop is ideal for executives, members, their senior staff and directors and chairs of association boards. Open to both CSAE members and non-members. Register here.

Liz and Bradley are ready to shift the conversation on good governance. Are you?


CEO Evaluation – Time to Take it Seriously

April 7, 2016

Posted in: WATSON Speaks

Bradley Chisholm takes on CEO Evaluation headfirst as he explores why boards need to take CEO evaluation seriously.

Over 60 participants attended the ICD breakfast in Kelowna to discuss their challenges, experiences and fears about CEO/ Executive Director evaluations. Weaving WATSON’s theory on the three tenets of Governing with Intention™ – Purpose – Belief – Design with real life examples, Bradley shared WATSON’s observations including common pitfalls, points of caution and outlined the key practical elements to designing a CEO/Executive Director evaluation process that benefits both the Board and the CEO/Executive Director.

The ICD breakfast was well attended by directors, chairs and executives from not-for-profits, public and privately-held organizations.


An Effective Board – 5 Steps to Stronger Renewal

November 24, 2015

Posted in: WATSON Speaks

Teresa Budd addresses the role of the board, individual directors, in-house legal council and corporate secretaries at the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia’s Corporate Governance 2015 forum.

Building on the statutory requirements outlined by co-presenter Gordon Chambers, Teresa explores how compliance isn’t a guarantee of effectiveness.  WATSON believes the fundamental difference between good governance and great governance begins by Governing with Intention™.  Building and sustaining an effective board is centred on the objective of designing the board you need rather than leaving it to chance. There is no one right approach to board renewal. A healthy approach involves two considerations: ensuring the board has the skills and expertise it needs to carry out its responsibilities and maintains a culture that promotes robust dialogue, strategic thinking and debate.

5 Steps to Build a Stronger Board
  1. Recruit – strength comes from diversity.  Define your needs and actively market your requirements to potential directors
  2. Orient – help new directors achieve maximum value in the boardroom through a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to orientation
  3. Educate – tailor education to the needs of the entire board, committees and individual directors
  4. Evaluate – provide boards with dedicated time to reflect on the functioning and effectiveness of the board and their peers
  5. Embed – policies and processes into your governance framework

Three Keys to Strategic Planning

November 26, 2015

Posted in: WATSON Speaks

Liz Watson QC joins the panel at the 2015 BC School Trustees Association Winter Academy to talk about Strategic Planning:  How to Empower your School District.  The panel highlights the interconnected roles of the board of education, the superintendent, the secretary-treasurer, and community in strategic planning.

Trustee Responsibilities

School Trustees, like the directors of any organization, have certain responsibilities that fall under the umbrella of organizational stewardship. This includes establishing the organization’s purpose, direction and strategies, safeguarding and making efficient use of the organization’s resources, developing strong leadership, monitoring corporate performance and risk, and making certain the organization is in compliance with all legal requirements. Ensuring your organization has a strong strategy is among the board’s most important responsibilities.

Yet, even with the growing acceptance of the board’s need to take a more active role in strategy and the volumes of information available, many boards still wrestle with the strategy challenge.

Three Keys to Strategic Planning – A Holistic Approach

Boards need to take a broader view of their role in strategy and governance, as a whole.  The three keys to more holistic strategic planning include:

  1. developing a collective intention to good governance across the entire board
  2. designing a strategic planning approach that is right for your board, and
  3. trustees personally bringing a strategic perspective to discussions and decision-making.

Joining Liz on the panel are Rick Price, Board Chair and Lisa McCullough, Superintendent, SD48 (Sea to Sky); David Green, Secretary-Treasurer, SD35 (Langley); Mike Roberts, BCSTA CEO.


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