What is Board Governance Training? (Overview, Definition, and Examples)

  • By: OnBoard Meetings
  • May 25, 2022
Board Governance Training
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Board governance training benefits board members both seasoned and new. Learn more about training topics that are covered and why they matter.

Board governance training provides board members with the skills, clarity, and confidence they need to fully engage in organizational decision-making. A board governance training program teaches board members the basics of effective governance, including board structures, bylaws, and resolutions. Wondering whether you should invest in board governance training for your board members? Read on.

Why Do Board Members Need Governance Training?

Corporate governance training for board members ensures that even the newest members of a board grasp the basics of board duties, in addition to the organization’s dynamics and culture. As a bonus, group training sessions allow board members the opportunity to become familiar with one another and build relationships. 

During training sessions, board members develop a set of best practices suited for their board’s mission and purpose. Once training is complete, board members arrive to the table with a sense of camaraderie brought on by shared knowledge and experience.

RELATED: What Does the Corporate Governance Committee Do (According to the Charter)?

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Mentorship Matters

Your seasoned board members, or people who have served on other boards before, play a direct role in bringing new board members up to speed. This mentorship can happen informally, but shouldn’t take the place of effective board governance training. 

In addition to imparting their experience on new board members, mentors will learn new strategies, technologies, and ways of thinking from their mentees. When combined with board governance training, the mentor-mentee relationship facilitates idea exchange and prevents stagnation.

Growth Through Governance

Career-minded individuals volunteer for board positions in order to gain experience and make valuable connections. They also bring fresh skills to the table that benefit the board as a whole. New board members’ skills and insights might be lost if they are unfamiliar with governance or ill-equipped for board expectations.

Board governance training acts as a refresher for experienced board members and provides new board members with valuable knowledge that can be used to help the organization as well as their own individual careers.

10 Governance Topics for Training Boards

The following topics are covered thoroughly in business schools and corporate board governance training programs. Learn from some of the best practices adopted by successful boards.  

1. Inclusion

Successful boards are inclusive, taking on members with a variety of lived experiences, educational experiences, and skills. As peers interact, board dynamics organically arise. Board dynamics are positive and successful when all members recognize one another’s contributions, learn from each other’s differences, and remain true to the mission.

Tools that keep peer interaction and board dynamics positive include board intelligence software that analyzes board member skills and experiences so that everyone’s talents are properly utilized.

2. Finances Within Nonprofit Boards

Whether you serve on the board for a credit union or just within a nonprofit’s fundraising committee, understanding finances proves crucial. Board governance training teaches the essentials of fundraising, nonprofit finances, and revenue generation.

3. Facilitated Goal-Setting

The president of the board’s main purpose is to facilitate the board, leading all members in the same direction while managing discussions. Robert’s Rules of Order is the parliamentary tool of choice for the vast majority of organizations. Board governance training ensures all members of the board have a basic understanding of Robert’s Rules of Order so board meetings move swiftly and efficiently.

4. Strategic Action Plans

Boards meet in order to push their mission forward; anything less is a waste of time and talent. By learning how to think and act strategically, board members become more effective and efficient. Plans change, but with strategic thinking, everyone involved will adapt as necessary without losing sight of the mission.

5. Corporate Responsibility

Corporate board governance training sessions focus on corporate responsibility. Consumers, clients, investors, and shareholders are becoming more concerned with the social, economic, and environmental impacts that are being made by an organization’s services and products. During corporate board training sessions, attendees learn how to ask the right questions to determine the impact their board decisions have on outside forces.

6. Risk, Liability, and Regulations

Depending upon your organization’s industry, different levels of risk, liability, and regulations must be recognized. A governance training program brings board members up to date on industry regulations to ensure your board remains compliant.

7. Engaged Decision-Making

A board can include the right people, support the most effective dynamics, and produce the most transparent of agendas, but all benefits are lost if board members aren’t properly engaged in the decision-making process. Engaged decision-making occurs when all board members feel that their vote matters. Business management software tools make it possible for board members to conduct surveys, measure engagement through analytics, and vote on issues via a unified platform.

8. Transparent Recordkeeping

New board members need the ability to quickly scan archived documents and assess the historical context of an issue when making critical decisions. Governance training teaches the ins and outs of effective meeting minutes and recordkeeping. 

9. Effective Communication

Board members must learn to work together to achieve goals. Board governance training teaches soft skills for how to effectively communicate and reach consensus.

10. Board Self-Evaluation

Finally, boards need to assess their effectiveness. A training program gives guidance on how to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

OnBoard Powers Effective Board Governance

There are many corporate governance training programs available to boards. Choose the training program that best suits your organization’s values, needs, and budget.

Board portal software lays the groundwork for effective board governance with features like board assessments, agenda builder, and task management. Unified collaboration tools such as secure messaging, shared platforms, and real-time analytics help board members stay engaged and on task.

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Enrich your board governance training with sophisticated tools. Request a free demo of OnBoard today.

About The Author

OnBoard Meetings
OnBoard Meetings
At OnBoard, we believe board meetings should be informed, effective, and uncomplicated. That’s why we give boards and leadership teams an elegant solution that simplifies governance. With customers in higher education, nonprofit, health care systems, government, and corporate enterprise business, OnBoard is the leading board management provider.