Governance, Risk and Ethics: A New Age of Accountability

We share our lessons learned throughout our experience at the 2015 CSCS Excellence in Governance Awards and Conference

Over the last few days at the CSCS Annual Conference and Awards we have seen examples of both excellence and failure in governance, heard from both academic and industry thought leaders, delving into many hot topics of corporate governance in Canada today. The discussions have provided us perspective to help guide us through today’s challenges in corporate governance. The conference covered Risk, Diversity, Ethics, CEO Succession Planning along with the Evolving Role of the Corporate Secretary. I will come back to the lessons learned from  sessions shortly, but will first start with the presentation everyone was talking about throughout the conference both in anticipation and reaction. (more…)

Insights to Action: Joining Private, Crown, or Corporate Boards

Tom Bursey headshot

Tom Bursey, Directors College Chartered Directors (C.Dir.) Alumni & Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Council of Canadian Academies




Explaining how established Directors on volunteer Boards can position themselves to join Private, Crown, or Corporate Boards. The transition from volunteer Boards to paid Boards can often be an enigma: a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation, referred to as the “Code-Cracking Challenge”.  This article addresses this challenge by providing a synthesis of sage advice from established Corporate Directors and Consultants involved in the Corporate Director selection process.





Governance Read: Boardroom Insider

Boardroom Insider is the online newsletter for better board and better directors. We’re sharing their summer edition in thought leadership with you here.

The Summer Edition includes:

  • The CEO as the Board’s “Tool”
  • 5 Hot-Button items for your Board Resume
  • 4 Things your Board must know on company litigation
  • Family Biz Boards- 4 Hot Trends
  • Family Biz Boards – More Independent Leaders?
  • Q&A: Should Our “Tainted” Director Resign?
  • Fortune shares Ralph Ward’s Wannabe Tips

NEWS UPDATES: Change is coming to The Directors College

Some of you may have already heard the rumours … We are here to tell you it’s all true. We have big changes coming to The Directors College on September 01st 2015. We will be launching the news to our Alumni and Faculty first at an exclusive event in Toronto ON that evening. But we’re not going to spoil the fun with any more details just yet. So keep your eyes peeled as the news unfolds this September! For now we will share all the details in regards to the Continuing Professional Development Membership (CPDM) that was announced in the Spring.


The Land of The Brand

Janice Detta Colli, Faculty of The Directors College and founder of Board Flight Path

Janice Detta Colli, Faculty of The Directors College and founder of Board Flight Paths


About Janice: Combining her business knowledge garnered from her work with directors and senior executives around the world and her personal, pragmatic wisdom, Janice assists directors and executives with the most sensitive issues that impact the entire life cycle of their board careers. Currently, Janice is a faculty member of the Directors College, sits on the Board of the National Women in Leadership Foundation and is the founder of Board Flight Paths.


We live in a world inundated with brands. Nike, Coke, Starbucks and Apple – each of these brands is highly competitive, global, attention grabbing and impacts our daily lives. It’s a “brand” new world where every successful business has a clear marketing strategy.  Whether you are a seasoned director or are looking for your first opportunity to serve, should you factor branding into your career as a director?



Announcement: New Partnership with Travelers Insurance


Travelers Insurance Company of Canada, the latest partner of The Directors College.

Ottawa ON, May 25, 2015–We are delighted to announce our latest partner with Travelers Insurance Company of Canada. Travelers has become our preferred and leading provider of directors  and officers insurance for Canadian public, not-for-profit and private corporations. In partnering with Travelers they will provide our Directors College Chartered  Director (C.Dir.) Alumni with the Enhancements for the purposes of their directors and officers insurance with no extra cost. (more…)

BIG NEWS: There’s a Brand New Continuing Professional Development Program coming to The Directors College

Ottawa ON, May 25, 2015–Founded in 2003, The Directors College was the first organization in Canada to offer accredited corporate governance education.  Over the last year, The College has undertaken a thorough assessment of its programs and services.  We felt that an evaluation of our place in the market will help us identify opportunities to innovate and build a forward thinking governance agenda that reflects today’s changing world and the trust-building values set out in our Code of Conduct document. We are delighted to share our renewed vision’s three pillars: Forward Thinking [Know]Values-driven [Be] and Change Enabling [Do]. (more…)

Fire in the Belly: The Making of a Master Director

Gordon Pitts

Gordon Pitts, Business Writer, DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University & former Senior Writer, Report on Business for the Globe and Mail.

When Purdy Crawford died last year at age 82, he was hailed as the master director, someone who embodied the best qualities of corporate governance.

As a prominent lawyer and onetime CEO of a major Canadian company, he was schooled in good governance – the need for preparation, independent thought, and  transparency. But he also brought intangibles to the table, such as listening, questioning, judgment, and common sense. He was also willing to swim against the tide of  opinion. In short, he possessed the things we call “character.”

These traits were directed towards a goal: To make the organization better – more resilient, more strategic and above all, equipped with a leadership culture that would  long survive his tenure. He felt that he could do that as a director. He could not manage the business day-to-day, but he could influence its culture in a positive way.




Update Your Practices: Trends in Better NFP Governance


Lyn McDonell  President The Accountability Group, Inc



As a director who has focused on the obligations of your role, who has had relevant education, who is in touch with governance colleagues across all sectors of society, what  do you bring to the not-for-profit board table?  Hopefully, as well as your integrity, good judgement, and governance acumen, you bring and help implement leading  practices into your setting.

Here are the current best practice basics — what good boards are doing now –– and how leading boards are raising the bar.



Lessons from The Honourable John Manley P.C., O.C., C.Dir.

Ottawa, Ontario, April 09, 2015—The Directors College hosted a joint event with FEI Canada’s National Capital Chapter at The Rideau Club.


from left to right; Dean Cosman (FEI Canada NCR Chapter President), The Honourable John Manley PC, OC, C.Dir. (President and Chief Executive of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives), Paul Forgues (Managing Director, The Directors College)


After a brilliantly candid conversation with the group we definitely found there were more than a few lessons learned from the Honourable John Manley at our event with FEI Canada’s National Capital Chapter yesterday evening. We have summarized what we found to be some of the highlights.

Oversight Vs. Management: John Manley (JM) noted as management you should be getting thoughtful ideas and opinions from a board meeting, not instructions. A good CEOs know when to listen politely and when to listen earnestly.







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