A Practical Governance Course: It’s not just about learning the hard stuff, but how to apply it

Be part of the conversation on our  'Board Governance and Leadership for Directors' program with Margot Foster AM OLY.

Women on Boards has partnered with experienced director Margot Foster, who will present her signature program from The Boardroom School. The eight-week 'Board Governance and Leadership for Directors' virtual program kicks off on 2 May 2022.

Regardless whether you are on a board or intend to be, this program will equip you with the knowledge and tools to be an effective and valuable director. Held with a maximum of 14 people, this interactive program will provide you with a kitbag of skills and insights to make a difference to the governance and performance of any organisation.

Margot talks about the program, why she started it and what you can take away from it.

About the program

“I developed this as a public program and have been presenting it very successfully to people who want to know how to be on boards,” says Margot. The course takes a storytelling, conversational approach that enables everybody to learn at their own pace and insert themselves into the conversation where appropriate.

Who is the program for?

The program provides practical tips and tricks that you need to know, whether you’re new to a board, want to get onto board or have had some experience and want to talk about the problems and challenges you’re facing

“It’s applicable to anybody who’s interested in being the best director they can be. It’s really helpful for people who are on boards and who are getting more and more experienced by taking on more and more positions. It also helps those who are new to boards,” says Margot

“I have had participants who’ve been very excited that what they’ve learned will help them when they do take their first board role as well. It’s pitched broadly because the principles apply to everybody, regardless of the situation.”

‘TBRS was a great learning experience for me and our club. I got to hear from other people running clubs and sports and had the opportunity to learn from their experiences and wisdom as well as take on expert advice from Margot. We have already started to implement strategies and actions learned in the course. I highly recommend this course to anyone involved in the governance and leadership of a sporting group.’ Gavin Deller – Vice President of Commercial Operations, Williamstown CYMS Amateur Football Club.

Storytelling focus

Margot says the highlight of the program is the storytelling. 

“We all learn through telling stories. We don’t learn by being talked at, which is one of the reasons I developed this program. I’ve sat through so many governance sessions where I’ve been talked AT. I’ve seen heads loll, eyes glaze, pens doodle, and all manner of actions that just say I’ve switched out.

“This program is designed as a series of conversations. There are no wrong questions and we definitely have a good time and make some new friends by the end of the eight-week program.”

Be a part of the conversation

In this program, which is limited to 14 people, Margot says everybody gets to be part of the conversation. “Although it’s slightly larger than the average board, it’s a good opportunity to pretend that it’s a board and have frank and bold conversations. Remembering that everybody at a board table is equal. It’s probably one of the most equal places in the world. That’s something people sometimes forget.”

During the program Margot works with participants so everyone is confident in their knowledge to have a confident voice and will be prepared to express their point of view and also be equally prepared to have it shot down in the fullness of debate.

“It’s not just about learning the hard stuff, the rules, the director duties, but it’s how to apply them, what to look for. Tips and tricks about knowing what’s right, what could be done better, what to look out for that you can take away and use instantly.”

“Many of the participants in my program often come back and say ‘I was able to put that into practice at my board meeting last week’.  And there’s nothing better that I want to hear than the practical application of all the things we talked about.”

Margot’s experience

Margot has had many board roles over the years. As she says, "I’ve been there at the big, the smaller, the sophisticated, the unsophisticated".

Her board journey started when she was at university, with the Melbourne University Ladies’ Rowing Club and Trinity College Student Committee while studying law and arts at Melbourne Uni. She continued on with a board career on a variety of boards from the local to the international, all the while learning what constitutes good governance best practice.

“Some of the boards I’m on have been quite different and particularly involved in sports that I have not personally played, including Gymnastics Australia, which I very much enjoyed, just as I’m enjoying being on the board of Motor Sport Australia.

“I'm not a petrol head, but I generally try and do what I can to make the organization the board the best it can be based on all my experience. And for the most part, I’ve had a lot of fun and learned a hell of a lot.

“And I have to say, I continue to learn. There’s never a board meeting I go to where I don’t learn something new. It might be some behaviours I think need improving, or it could be done otherwise, but it’s all a learning curve, and that’s what I really enjoy." 

Margot Foster AM talks about the Program

Find out more

Board Governance and Leadership for Directors with Margot Foster (8-week virtual program) starts 2 May, 2022.

The cost of the eight week Program is $1,390.

Download the flyer HERE

Find out more and register HERE

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