Online program
Mastering Board Governance

Principles and best practices for effective board membership.

Online program

Mastering Board Governance

Principles and best practices for effective board membership.

Location Online

Length 5 weeks
(4-6 hours per week)

Fee CHF 1,950

Next program starts 26 February 2024

Certification Receive IMD certificate upon completion

Make a meaningful contribution to corporate governance

What is the role and responsibility of a board? How can governance make or break an organization? How can good governance contribute to society?

Effective governance is a key driver of growth and, increasingly, a distinctive competitive advantage for any organization. IMD’s Mastering Board Governance program will give you a deep understanding of the principles and practices of good governance, and the roles and responsibilities of a board.

Throughout your learning journey, you’ll gain hands-on knowledge that you will put to immediate use by participating in weekly immersive board simulations.

This program will build your understanding of effective business decision-making and group dynamics and enable you to make meaningful contributions to a board.

Gain a solid understanding of how governance drives organizational performance.

Expand your knowledge of the role and responsibilities of a board and all other governance participants and stakeholders.

Know how to identify and assess the four underlying pillars of board effectiveness, using a concrete framework.

Learn how to proactively identify governance risks and mitigate them effectively.

Explore core areas of board work such as strategy, risks, stakeholders, M&A, succession, ESG, and stewardship.

Is this program for me?

You will benefit from this program if you are:

  • A professional, a manager or an executive aspiring to become a board member
  • A recently appointed board member preparing for your first mandate
  • A family business member seeking to deepen your knowledge of board governance
  • A Board Secretary
  • A C-level executive interested in building on your basic knowledge of governance


Benefit from a complimentary profile assessment to see if this is the right program for you.

Mastering Board Governance is a fantastic collaborative experience that I recommend to all professionals interested in governance best practices, whether they are new to the subject or looking for continuous improvement. The program helped to improve my skills and was a source of inspiration.

Konstantin Yershov Early stage investor and board member, Switzerland

Mastering Board Governance is an absolute must, not only for current and aspiring board members, but also for executive board members and senior management as it gives many insights into their collaboration with the board. It was a very exciting journey, with challenging and interesting teamwork with other participants.

Ekaterina Emelianova CFO, Sberbank, Switzerland

Mastering Board Governance is an amazingly efficient course for improving your board’s effectiveness and anticipating risks. I enhanced my understanding of group dynamics, my ability to identify when and why a board underperforms and overall increased my added value as a board member for technological startups.

Anne-Laure Jehl Investment Manager, IFP New Energy Group, France

Your online learning journey

Mastering Board Governance is delivered over five consecutive weeks, requiring a time commitment of 4-6 hours per week. Each week covers specific content, with clear learning objectives and deliverables to help you measure the impact of your weekly learning.

You will gain in-depth knowledge of governance and the role of a board. Drawing on the expertise of IMD’s Global Board Center, you will learn from examples of governance successes and failures in various industries and locations, and apply these learnings to your own context.

You and your online classmates will complete specific tasks and challenges during weekly immersive board simulations. Your ‘board’ and your individual performance will be rated, and you will benefit from feedback and guidance from expert faculty and coaches.

Immersive board simulations
Scheduled live interaction with faculty
Weekly one-on-one coaching
Valuable network for peers
Unit 1: What is governance?
  • Be able to articulate what governance is and how it drives organizational performance
  • Identify what defines good governance, notably the drivers and key characteristics
  • Identify the role and responsibilities of the board in shaping governance
  • Understand the importance of the board in driving organizational governance
Unit 2: The role of the board
  • Understand the essential responsibilities of the board of directors
  • Assess how a board reacts in times of crisis
  • Evaluate the main functions of board supervision and control
  • Assess the role of the board vs the role of the management
  • Identify the major sources of board failure
Unit 3: The four pillars of board effectiveness (pillar 1)
  • Identify the drivers of board effectiveness
  • Gain the ability to assess a board against the first pillar of the “Four Pillars of Board Effectiveness” framework: People Quality, Focus and Dedication
Unit 4: The four pillars of board effectiveness (pillars 2, 3, 4)
  • Articulate the importance of Pillars 2, 3 and 4 (information architecture, structures and group dynamics) to governance
  • Diagnose a board’s effectiveness along the above dimensions
Unit 5: Board best practices
  • Understand the board’s role in the strategy and risk processes
  • Deepen awareness of critical board processes, such as managing CEO succession and M&As
  • Define stakeholder engagement for boards, including stakeholder mapping
  • Identify the board role in overseeing ESG and integrity
  • Reflect on Stewardship and the Future of Governance
Learning toolkit
Videos & Readings
Quizzes & Discussion forums
Takeaways toolkit
Practical assignments
Didier Cossin

Program Director

Didier Cossin

Program Director

Meet your Program Director

Professor Cossin is the founder and director of the IMD Global Board Center, the originator of the Four Pillars of Board Effectiveness methodology, and an advocate of stewardship.

He works with senior leaders, executive committees, and boards to provide the latest thinking on best-in-class governance, board effectiveness, the governance and selection of investments, board dynamics, and strategy design. His latest research focuses on stewardship and how we can foster organizations to have long-term positive social impact while creating economic value for all. 

The IMD difference

Our structured, yet flexible online programs are designed for impact and delivered for you. Explore what makes the IMD online program experience exceptional.

Discover our distinctive approach to online learning.

Access to thought leadership, regardless of location

Programs designed and taught by IMD faculty, world-renowned experts in their fields.

Personalized expert coaching

One-on-one support from an experienced executive coach to ensure that learning objectives are attained.

Interaction with peers

Group and pair work with participants from around the world enriches learning through exposure to fresh perspectives.

Bite-sized knowledge for improved learning outcomes

Micro-learning focused on knowledge retention and actionable insights.

Compelling multimedia content

Carefully designed multimedia material for a dynamic online experience.

Applied learning for real impact

Programs grounded in practical assignments guarantee the immediate application of new knowledge and techniques.

Next start & fee

Length: 5 weeks (4-6 hours per week).

26 Feb – 31 Mar 2024
5 weeks
CHF 1,950
27 May – 30 Jun 2024
5 weeks
CHF 1,950
28 Oct – 1 Dec 2024
5 weeks
CHF 1,950

SPECIAL OFFER: CHF 1,750 for IMD alumni.

Application deadline closes seven days before the session starts.
All fees quoted are exclusive of any value-added or other indirect taxes that may be due in any country.
IMD reserves the right to modify the program dates, location, and fee at any time.

IMD board diplomas

Your paths towards certified board excellence

IMD board diplomas

Your paths towards certified board excellence

One step closer to joining IMD alumni network

Successful completion of this program takes you one step closer to joining IMD’s powerful alumni network.

130k+ alumni


250+ events per year


50+ clubs worldwide


Is your company part of IMD NEXUS?
IMD NEXUS members receive a number of seats in addition to a wide range of further benefits and services.
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