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The Board School was America's first school specifically designed to teach owners, managers and directors of family and closely held businesses what a board of directors does, how to know when one is needed, and how to develop a board arrangement and process that works for them. In its six-year history, more than 90 percent of The Board School's alumni began working on boards, or went on to the next phase of board development.

The Board School is now offered as in-house training for companies who want to begin to use or improve their boards.

The Board School covers

  1. Introductions, class preview, expectations and confidentiality:
    • What a board of directors is
    • What a board of advisors is
    • Comparisons: board of directors v. board of advisors
    • When a board of directors is needed

  2. Responsibilities
    • What owners do
    • What managers do
    • What a board does
    • A look at the board's independence and authority

  3. The board process: working with owners
    • How a board directs owners
    • Tips for working with owners
    • How to work with owners on the board

  4. The board process: working with managers
    • How a board directs managers
    • Tips for working with managers
    • Differences between advising, directing and managing
    • How to work with managers on the board

  5. Where are you and what's next?
    • Putting the board together
    • Choosing the appropriate board structure
    • Developing a profile for the board of directors
    • Determining expectations of the board
    • Determining expectations of a director
    • Identifying attributes, skills and qualifications for directors

  6. Putting the board together:
    • Selecting and electing board members
    • Setting compensation
    • Looking at the role of the board chair
    • Developing an agenda
    • Conducting a board meeting
    • Training the board
    • Looking at the role of the board secretary and committees

  7. Evaluating the board
    • Legal responsibilities of directors
    • Limiting the liability of directors
    • Due diligence: questions to ask
    • Q & A
    • How to move forward