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The Mindful Board

Mastering the Art of Conscious Governance


    Charlotte M. Roberts and Martha W. Summerville



The Mindful Board book cover

You can transform the performance of your board – whether

you're the Board Chair, a committee chair, or a member who cares!

Follow the 4-stage developmental path.


The Mindful Board is a guidebook for concerned governing board members. These are board members concerned about their organization, their industry, the long-term impact of governance decisions on society, and the board's capabilities. These are the directors and trustees who dare to ask, “Does my board have the capability to lead through exciting times and rough waters?”


Many boards have transitioned from a traditional Consent board to a Working Board. It was an arduous journey. Perhaps your board has made this transition. You now see the limitations of a Working Board and ask, “Is this all there is?”


Take heart in knowing there are at least two more stages to grow into: Strategic Board and Mindful Board. Each stage adds to the board's capabilities and expands their perspective.  In The Mindful Board see the difference among the four stages and their benefits. 


You've chosen to serve the organization. 

You are responsible for its well-being and its impact in the world.


NOW LEARN HOW TO LEAD a board committed to

mastering its governance practices.

The Mindful Board Strategy and Business

The Authors

Charlotte Roberts and Martha Summerville met almost 20 years ago at Guilford College, a small private liberal arts Quaker college in Greensboro, North Carolina. They were both new board members and the next generation of Trustees.


"We began our commitment to conscious governance at this point, but we didn't know where it would take us. Our model of The Mindful Board has emerged and evolved through our work as board members, board chairs, and consultants. We have worked with boards and executives to enhance their leadership of the organization's mission."

The Mindful Board

Charlotte M. Roberts

Charlotte M. Roberts, Ph.D., has served on public service and educational boards for over 30 years as a way to "pay it forward." Throughout her career of consulting with and coaching executives, her work 

naturally led to working with their boards. She works across the critical  boundary between board and officers to build their mastery of governance. 


Her professional practice includes board evaluation and design, board training and development, facilitating board retreats, and designing special board/officers meetings. She believes that governance is a weighty responsibility that can't be taken lightly. Board members must continuously build their governing capabilities to ensure the organization's future success.


Coaching executives includes building self-awareness through 360 assessment, executive presence, leadership development, and effective partnering with their board to achieve short and long term 

results. Executives who have to lead in multiple arenas benefit from her perspectives and experience.


Charlotte lives in the area of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Mindful Board

Martha W. Summerville

Martha W. Summerville, Ph.D., has a passion for governing board development. Her commitment grows out of her service and leadership of governing boards for 30 years. As a board leader she has faced enterprise crises as well as the joy of building a board from scratch. 


As a board consultant, she focuses on strengthening capabilities to meet fiduciary responsibilities, align governance to business strategy, and respond to complex contexts.  She specializes in board development, board leadership coaching, and customized board self-assessment. This includes conducting CEO performance reviews, facilitating board retreats, and coaching board leaders and officers. 


In her work with executives and senior teams, she brings expertise in strategy development, organization design, and group dynamics as these leaders seek to adapt to industry and market changes.  As an executive coach, she effectively supports executives whose roles are changing as their organization transforms. 


Martha lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

“I like the idea of creating a mirror to see where the board is. The Continuum of the four stages does that. It's about evolution -- where are we? Once we know, we can determine what to do. Leading board transformation is like building an airplane while flying. We need to balance short term decisions that have to continue the business and not conflict with the need to change and evolve."
- Financial Services Executive and Chair of Social Services Board
“To be a Mindful Board, at the outset you have the right constituencies to focus on a significant issue. You have to engage administration in the issue. At the meeting, I like to decide who sits where so the same people aren't sitting together every meeting. Have an information session followed by a discussion session. Have each table address specific questions and report out. It's important the board and administration hear each other. Mindful Board is a cultural change everyone needs to buy into. It will take 2 years if you don't change out members, otherwise, it will take 5 years or so."
- Chair of Prestigious University Board and Senior Law Partner
The Mindful Board

Get In Touch

63 Canner Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511


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