Friday, October 10, 2008

Governance Session at the U of A

On Thursday, October 9th, I attended a forum at the University of Alberta on Governance in Large Public Sector Entities. Brian Heidecker, the current Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Alberta, gave a presentation on the U of A's award-winning system of governance. The session was put on by the Edmonton Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). I was impressed by the calibre of people in attendance, all with countless years experience in this field, who all clearly held Mr. Heidecker in high regard. (In fact, he was named as one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people by Alberta Venture magazine in 2005.)

I picked up several pamphlets to learn more about the courses and sessions offered by the ICD and left feeling inspired to learn more about governance. At EPSB, like so many large organizations, the details of day-to-day operations can be overwhelming, but as a trustee, this is not my job. My job is be well-versed in governance, direction-setting, strategy, accountability and advocacy. I commented after the session that I felt like such a newbie to governance, like I had training wheels on. One astute and highly influential attendee remarked: "You shouldn't beat yourself up about that. The only problem is keeping the training wheels on too long."

Rest assured, I'll be investing in more professional development in this area.

Here's the website, if you want to know more: http://www.icd.ca

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