The Handbook of Board Governance - A Comprehensive Guide for Public, Private and Not-for-Profit Board Members
by Richard Leblanc

ISBN-13: 978-1118895504 ASIN: n/a Published: n/a
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

This is a great book; densely packed with current and cutting edge ideas delivered in a practical and action oriented format.

Richard Leblanc has become a well-established luminary in the occasionally occult and obscure field of governance. This book is his best work yet and draws on the confidence of a master practitioner by highlighting the expertise of other experts on the topic. The book is composed of eight parts each of which addresses an area of current interest in governance. Within each part there are chapters written by eminent specialists in that precise governance sub-topic. The result - a book that is authoritative and fresh with no weak spots.

If you want a regurgitation of almost out-dated facts then this is not the book for you. If you want to explore the latest thoughts on CEO succession, enterprise IT governance and application of governance theory to small and/or rapidly transforming companies then this is a great book for you.

There are chapters by Ram Charan (on leadership) and Adam Epstein (on small cap governance) as well as by the author and compiler, Richard Leblanc. By partnering with his competitors Richard has developed a book that encompasses more than any writer alone could offer without compromising quality.

The book is not just leading edge (bleeding edge?) theory but contains practical ideas for adopting and adapting the theory for immediate use in the readers' own boardrooms. There is, close to my heart, an excellent case study of the Volkswagen disaster which draws out the linkages between culture, structure and ethics that were sadly lacking in many of the other analyses of the case that I have suffered through. This one is enlightening for a director and contains practical insights for any board.

Is it really a 'handbook'? Perhaps not in the 'step-by-step' tradition of the 'how-to' books. But it is a resource that you will find yourself drawn to again and again for ideas that can be easily adapted and applied. The book is probably more attractive to a practising rather than aspiring director but also of interest to governance theorists and scholars. Is it useful? Yes; very much so. Well written and packed with value from front cover to back.

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* Julie Garland McLellan is a professional non-executive director, board and governance consultant and mentor. She is the author of   "Dilemmas, Dilemmas: Practical Case Studies for Company Directors",   Dilemmas, Dilemmas II: More Practical Case Studies for Company Directors (Volume 2),   "The Director's Dilemma",   "Presenting to Boards",   "All Above Board: Great Governance for the Government Sector" and numerous articles on corporate strategy and governance.