Helping Boards Govern Well

John t dinner board governance services

Helping Your Board Govern Well

Across sectors. Across Canada.

Your corporate governance practices need to contribute to your organization’s success in tangible ways. The time your board invests in its oversight work should have real impact. Your governance investment needs to deliver concrete outcomes.

Governance theory is the easy part; the challenge is making it happen in the boardroom.

For 25 years, John T. Dinner Board Governance Services has been helping clients across sectors and across Canada achieve board governance excellence.  Board members and organizational leaders value John Dinner’s insights, practical approach and ability to facilitate needed governance change.

You can leverage John’s unique boardroom experience and expertise to help your board govern well. The focus of this support is the design of optimal governance structures, facilitating board evaluations and director development, governance audits and supporting the full range of governance processes and boardroom relationships.



t: 519-502-0409

Areas of Practice

Boards need to consider their performance relative to structural, process and people dynamics.  Board evaluations and governance audits are our core services.

To ensure you and your board benefits from a customized process, we use a principles-based approach to evaluate your board’s effectiveness. These principles are applied in a customized manner to reflect the specific and unique needs of clients.

Identifying and acting on opportunities to achieve improved board effectiveness will be defined by how well the Board delivers on critical oversight principles.

Boards benefit from investing the time to identify and work through critical issues that can’t otherwise be effectively addressed during the course of the normal meeting schedule.

John Dinner is a skilled facilitator and board trainer who is equipped to guide boards through the consideration of more complex or dynamic structural, process or relational issues. At the end of a carefully structured retreat session, the board, as well as management, will leave with shared understanding of critical issues, agreed-upon commitments and a roadmap for successfully moving forward to address the challenges identified.

Typically, when boards look to improve performance, they focus on their structure and oversight processes.   While it’s important for your board to look at all contributors to governing well, it may well need to target other, more critical issues that can’t be adequately addressed by conventional governance models, generic training or best practices. 

John Dinner guarantees dynamic board retreats and training workshops designed to help boards achieve breakthroughs to its most critical challenges. Clients are equipped with solutions reflecting their specific needs and circumstances.  Your board will be guided through carefully planned exercises designed to:

  • Fully identify and address key performance factors; and,

  • Create customized tools that will sustain improved performance and contribution.

The role of board chair is a demanding one that often relies on trial and error in order to master. But ongoing group dynamics, the relationship between the board and management and other factors for which the chair is accountable often requires more immediate and informed guidance. As board chair, you can benefit from having a trustworthy confidant to work through boardroom challenges.

Boards often need short-term access to professional expertise to develop resources such as board and related mandates, governing process maps and other tools to govern well.

Corporate secretaries and others supporting the work of boards often find themselves needing additional expertise to address capacity limitations. Short-term engagements to meet specific targets or assist with the development of board-related support materials can be the best way to meet deadlines or working through spikes in workload.

Individual Director evaluations are an important and effective process to help Board members fulfill their responsibilities and contribute to effective oversight by the board team. When undertaken methodically, strategically and constructively, they can serve to strengthen individual board member capabilities and identify opportunities for improved performance.  Using relevance in design and sensitivity in implementation, board member evaluations ultimately improve the quality of overall board governance and foster the trust and confidence of key stakeholders.


Governance theory is easy. It’s applying it in the boardroom that’s challenging.
— John Dinner


Questions about your board’s effectiveness?

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