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What our clients say about us

We’ve invited a few of our clients to give their perspectives on how BoardWorks has helped their boards and organizations succeed.

Boardworks was our expert resource in developing all of the governance systems and practices for the newly established Crown corporation, Tourism Nova Scotia.  Maureen Reid is a rock star.  Her knowledge and expertise is superb.  But the great benefit was her ability to distill various points of view and land on sound, practical recommendations, in a timely fashion.  While the Scope of Work was quite specific, we benefitted from the fact that Maureen added additional value by pointing out some things we had missed, and provided a respectful challenge is areas she thought needed further consideration. Boardworks delivers terrific value for money.

Michele McKenzie
Principal, McKenzie Strategies
Past Interim (and Start-up) CEO, Tourism Nova Scotia

We asked BoardWorks to help us with two key projects: a stem to stern redraft of our governance policies, and a five year Strategic Plan. Maureen brought three strengths to the task: deep technical knowledge, loads of experience and a uniquely collaborative approach. Universities are complex places with diverse interests– faculty, students, board, administration and alumni– not to mention donors. All must be heard, and all must be catered to! In both projects Maureen drew together the threads of the wide-ranging discussions so skilfully that everyone saw themselves in the final products. This made for College-wide buy-in, paving the way for better dialogue, more productive meetings and a shared vision of what we stand for and where we want to go.

George Cooper
Former President
University of King’s College

Our involvement with Maureen began three years ago. Our organization needed a better Governance roadmap, and we also needed to fully understand how we could institutionalize the process. Maureen not only listened and offered constructive and “right sized” feedback, she also possesses an uncanny EQ.  Her ability to read people, listen and creatively help shift the collective mindset was a welcomed breath of fresh air. She got us where we needed to go.

We continue to benefit from Maureen’s skills, and our current Governance process is one we truly own and rely on. Maureen has also successfully coached and broadened the skill set of members of our team. We trust her perspective and value an external sounding board. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be one of her clients.

Gail Penney,
Penney Group

When I arrived at Mount Saint Vincent University 6 years ago, I was impressed by the strong architecture that existed with regard to our Board of Governors’ practices and procedures. I quickly learned that, a few years earlier, Maureen Reid/BoardWorks Consulting had been engaged by the Board to guide them in a major review and overhaul of governance structures. Our Board is one of the most effective I’ve ever worked with, and Maureen deserves a great deal of credit for its smooth and successful functioning. Indeed, we have such a high regard for her work that the Board has recently engaged her again to do a ten-year “check-up” and see what updates or practice improvements may be needed.

Ramona Lumpkin,
President and Vice-Chancellor,
Mount Saint Vincent University

Our problem was simple. We were a brand new crown corp and we had no policies, no processes and no protocols. Otherwise, everything was fine. Maureen helped us through a deliberate process where we identified all the things that needed to be done. We established our priorities, reflected on best practices and developed the protocols that, as a committee, we felt would work best for us. Gradually, we checked items off our list as we moved draft policies through our governance committee to full board approval. Maureen was a great help. We couldn’t have achieved what we achieved without her.

Ian Thompson
Chair, Governance Committee
Tourism Nova Scotia

I was truly delighted with the success of the retreat, and several of my colleagues have also said they thought it was excellent. I was so impressed with your ability to keep us all moving forward with positive energy and collegiality, and your willingness to make adjustments “on the fly” as you gained more insight into our various personalities. I came away from the retreat feeling quite inspired, and with some confidence about going forward. Thank you.

Jacqueline Warwick, PhD
Director, Fountain School of Performing Arts
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dalhousie University

BoardWorks was brought in by the Board Chair and I to help identify where governance could be improved at the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia.  The work involved designing a roadmap to better governance involving elements of critical assessment, improvement of many governance processes including role clarification, Board structure and related terms of reference, and Board member education.  Over a 10-month period, BoardWorks worked directly with our Board to implement the elements of the governance roadmap we had collaboratively created.  The end result was a Board clear on its mandate, and more efficient and effective in discharging its governance oversight responsibilities.

Nancy MacCready-Williams,
Former CEO of Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

BoardWorks recently helped us develop a new 4-year Strategic Plan.  They designed a strategic planning process that ensured we engaged the broad spectrum of members and stakeholders with whom we work every day.  The environmental scan gave our members the context with which to identify their priorities for the organization, and BoardWorks effectively helped us capture our vision for the future and how we will measure success, including the development of a balanced scorecard.  BoardWorks effectively facilitated many stakeholder and Board sessions involving diverse perspectives.  Maureen is particularly skilled in summarizing and capturing ideas as the discussion unfolds and those engaged felt ‘heard’ as a result of her active listening skills. The Strategic Plan as our end result is a roadmap for the future that will guide this organization in the coming years.  Other medical associations have since asked to use our Strategic Plan as a template for their own organizations, which I believe is the highest compliment BoardWorks could get ☺.

Nancy MacCready-Williams,
CEO, Doctors Nova Scotia

We appreciated the strength of BoardWorks’ listening and facilitation skills.  They carefully listened and responded to our desire to have a strategic planning session that was innovative and engaging for our Board.  They were skilled in helping us distill the new elements of our future focus from a huge buffet of options!

Steve McCall,
CEO and Elspeth MacLean-Wile,
Chair, CAA Atlantic

We engage BoardWorks to support our development of a strategic plan. This includes the design and facilitation of strategy sessions with senior management and the board. It also involves collaborating in the drafting of key planning documents. BoardWorks has the experience and the credibility to work with senior business leaders. They know how to keep conversations focused on strategy while allowing individual participants to feel respected and heard. BoardWorks knows the difference between strategic and tactical planning and knows when to bring us back up to the big picture if we start to get too tactical. They are “quick studies” with a unique ability to capture the complexities of industry-specific strategies in a clear and concise manner that can then be communicated to a wide range of stakeholders. Finally, we hire BoardWorks to help us with our strategic planning because we trust Maureen’s ability and judgment.

Donnie Clow,
CEO, Crombie REIT

I can’t think of a more challenging environment in which to plan, consult, craft and deliver a strategic plan than a university. Our external environment—with our key constituents such as alumni and friends, corporations and foundations, and media and government—is growing increasingly complex. Internally, our faculty are employed to be critical thinkers, our students are taught to question, and our staff operate in a competitive environment. So a new strategic plan has to be bold and distinctive, and it has to be drafted in a realistic and collaborative manner, ever mindful of our circumstances.

BoardWorks Consulting was uniquely qualified to carry out this work. From process design, to the research and preparation of planning documents, through to the facilitation of consultation with our community, they were engaged, focused on our priorities, and tactful yet firm in moving the project forward.

The key difference was Maureen Reid’s professional approach. She was able to master complex information to understand our external and internal operating environment.  Then, throughout the consultation and drafting process, she was able to connect with diverse stakeholder groups and understand their perspective. She worked diligently to align their priorities with our wider institutional goals, and when she couldn’t, even those disappointed understood the larger institutional aims. Maureen took the time to understand our institutional personality, and then the substance and tone of her various interactions actually built support for the plan.

Throughout the process of crafting our new strategic plan, the dynamic was positive and productive, all to the benefit of St. Thomas University.

Dawn Russell,
President and Vice Chancellor

St. Thomas University

BoardWorks understands organizational needs and how good governance ensures that purpose is achieved and core values are manifested. Working with BoardWorks, we developed the key elements of our governance policies, which have become a living tool for our Council to carry out its mandate. They are both regularly reviewed, amended as required and used as a means to ensure that both our board and management are on the same page. They describe roles, relationships and responsibilities in a way that serves to illustrate them for new Council members and reinforce them for veterans.

Our ’12 month calendar’ was developed at her urging. It has become an invaluable tool for both management and our Council to see the whole year at a glance – to know when regular events will occur and to plan for the extraordinary. It shows the responsibilities of the Executive Director, the Executive Committee and Council – so that everyone knows where we are going.

Maureen’s approach to facilitation is to ensure that what the group develops is evident to all as the process unfolds. There are no mysteries or secrets hidden on flip charts, for she reduces everything to writing and broadcasts, for all to see, the things that have been agreed to and those that need resolution. She is able to manage vast amounts of information while absorbing the group dynamics and ensuring that decision makers are involved and contributing. It is a pleasure to participate in such effective processes that are designed to deliver, not what the facilitator wants, but what the group does and is able to achieve.

Darrel Pink,
Executive Director,
Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society

I have had a number of opportunities to benefit from the expertise and guidance of Maureen Reid in the areas of governance and strategic planning.  She is an amazing facilitator who has helped make a difference in several organizations with which I have been involved.  Through front end listening and understanding the challenges that each organization faces, Maureen assists in developing a model that is workable and sustainable.  Her ability to be inclusive and engaging is encouraging to all who participate.  And, an added bonus is the quick turnaround of the documentation to allow early implementation of new governance directions and/or strategic plans. Maureen Reid and BoardWorks should be top of mind for any organization considering governance or strategic planning renewal!

Gwen Haliburton,
Vice Chair, Capital District Health Authority; 
past Chair, Board of Governors Mount Saint Vincent University;
public council member, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia

Maureen has extensive governance experience and an impressive background and expertise in both business and strategic planning,” stated Mr. Losier. “Once she takes on a project, she commits to it fully. Maureen has the ability to gauge the needs of a fast-growing company like ours and then identify effective solutions to maximize our performance.

Denis Losier,
President and CEO of Assumption Life,
ssumption Life Press Release, February 2009

I have engaged BoardWorks and Maureen on three occasions with three different organizations. In each instance, we were dealing with complex and challenging circumstances and BoardWorks engaged the board(s) in a process that placed a premium on open, candid discussion in pursuit of the institution’s goals and objectives. Maureen’s deep understanding of best governance practices and her ability to create a ‘safe space’ for Directors/Governors to have a deep and meaningful dialogue, produced breakthrough results in three very different organizations. I should also add that we has some fun doing it!

Ray Ivany,
President and Vice-Chancellor,
Acadia University (and former Chair, Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and former President, Nova Scotia Community College)

BoardWorks Consulting has been instrumental in the growth and development of the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation over many years. We have engaged BoardWorks for strategic planning counsel and governance expertise and without question; they understood our needs, our challenges and our distinctive role in healthcare. BoardWorks has been exceptional at developing thoughtful and intelligent processes for each of the projects they have worked on with us, providing practical results for a rejuvenated and enlightened organization. We will continue to work with BoardWorks in the future and would not hesitate to recommend them to other organizations that require expert guidance and facilitation.

Bill Bean
President & CEO
QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation

BoardWorks Consulting Inc. > Governance and Strategic Planning

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