Implement the Relationship Model™

This training option provides a comprehensive opportunity for your board to become a certified governing board using The Relationship Model™.

The design of this training option allows you to begin the transition immediately by practicing the structure and processes of the Relationship Model™ while you continue your normal meetings. You will have completed one regular cycle of governance and strategic planning in 12-15 months.

Step 1: Deciding to Decide

Step 2: Begin the Journey

Step 3: Become Certified

Step 1: Deciding to Decide

Throughout the implantation cycle your board will be reading the red, green, or blue version of Governance Matters by Les Stahlke. Having your board members read this in advance however, will enable them to make a strongly informed decision as a whole board about whether or not to begin the transition to governance in The Relationship Model™.

Two informative videos are available through the Short Courses page of this website.

Making and recording your board’s decision at a board meeting will formalize your board’s intent to begin the process of transitioning.

Registering your decision on this web page with the “Implement the Relationship Model™” button will invite you to make full payment for the process. You will immediately receive all the materials that are required for the entire year, including video and printed training materials. You will also receive templates for your governance manual and strategic plan that will enable you to begin your transition and continue the self-guided processes for the entire first year.

The curriculum is primarily a self-guided plan, but you will be introduced to a coach. Your coach  will be available for a total of 32 hours at any time by email or Zoom in increments of 15 minutes or more to coach your Board Chair, CEO, or governance committee.

What will you learn while implementing The Relationship Model™

Understand why The Relationship Model™ is unique

The Relationship Model™ is unique amongst policy governance models because it is based on a universal understanding of relationship structure, relationship processes, and relationship behaviours. This understanding of relationships is fundamental in the application of organizational structure and processes for governance, leadership and management. Read more about this on The Relationship Model™ and Articles pages of this website.

The core of The Relationship Model™ implementation is learning about and carrying out the responsibilities of the board which are organized into four (4) quadrants. Read more about this on The Relationship Model™ page of this website or refer to the diagram of the four quadrants which illustrate the four areas of responsibility of a board. 

All of the structures that describe the board and CEO responsibilities are established in this implementation plan which also includes training for all the governance processes which your board will learn through use. Remember, you will have access to a coach as you begin the implementation.

The Curriculum Materials

  • Instructional videos for the board for use at each meeting
  • Instructional videos for the new committees
  • Governance Matters in print or eBook format for each board member
  • Governance Manual Template
  • Strategic Planning Workbook Template
  • Strategic Planning Workbook preparation instructions
  • Board Agenda Template
  • Structure and Process Assessments

Time, Effort and Cost

The entire transitional training for the full 15 months costs $6,700.00. We will provide all the tools, instructional videos, and the templates you need to complete the task in 12-15 months of normal meetings. This is the complete price for the entire self-led implementation, including the cost of the coach. A coach will provide a total of 32 hours, at any time, by email or Zoom in increments of 15 minutes or more to coach your Board Chair, CEO, or Governance Committee.

If at any time during the implementation year or thereafter, your board requires additional coaching time, it can be purchased in 8-hour blocks in increments of a minimum of 15 minutes to be used within 12 months of the purchase date. This additional coaching time will cost $950.00. 

You may also train one or more of your own board members to become an internal consultant who will be trained to assist your board to begin using The Relationship Model™ comfortably. This allows you to develop local expertise for ongoing benefits. The 16-week course of university-level quality is taught online by a personal Relationship Model™ certified instructor. The cost per person is $3,600.


The class is limited to four people. Refer to the Internal Consultant Training tab of this website

Step 2: Begin the Journey

In the preliminary videos, the implementation begins with some basic training in:
  • governance, leadership, and management using the universal principles of relationships
  • the structures and processes in the four areas of responsibility of a board

At the first meeting the board will begin using The Relationship Model™ meeting agenda. This sets the stage for what the board will discuss in its role of governance. The easiest and most effective means of understanding the Model is by using it.

Each meeting will include up to an hour of training based on an assigned reading from Governance Matters, selected training videos, and printed materials, including templates for the Governance Manual, and the Strategic Plan.

Individual board members and the CEO will have access to the entire training course so that each individual board member may prepare ahead of time for better learning and sharing when the groups meet together. The Board makes steady progress by using The Relationship Model™ in normal governing meetings.

The new committees of the board will also have training sessions at each meeting to support their work of developing policies, monitoring risk and measuring strategic results.

Within one year the board will reduce meetings to four per year, if you are not already working within that schedule. The curriculum is based on one annual cycle with an extra quarter to begin the second cycle or to take extra time with the first.

Step 3: Become Certified

Certification consists of self-administered monitoring structure and process instruments which are provided as part of the course. They will enable the board to monitor its training process along the way.

Certification is granted by Inc. at the end of the first annual training cycle, using the self-administered instruments.

At the end of the second and subsequent years Certification is awarded using the same self-administered instruments to confirm that the board is using The Relationship Model™ successfully. Because of the rapid changes that normally occur with elections and other changes of board membership, certification is confirmed annually, using the same instruments. There is a nominal fee for recertification that includes recommendations for supporting your governance, leadership, and management.

The Relationship Model™ for Governance, Leadership and Management

We train board members from the novice to the experienced, in the following four areas of responsibility of a governing board to help you to solve problems and find success. This work rests on a foundational understanding of relationships and how relationships affect all aspects of governance and management.

The 14 worst board problems we’ve seen in the last 20 years are within the four gold tabs below the Four Quadrants of Governance Responsibilities.

Four Quadrants of Governance Responsibilities

Monitor Risk, Measure Results, and Exercise Other Board Accountabilities

Delegate Management Authority and Responsibility to the CEO

Direct Strategic Plans

Design Board Structures and Processes
  • “Our board doesn’t know the difference between governance and management, but they do know they like to manage.”
  • “Why do we have an Executive Committee? All the board gets is recommendations.”
  • “Why do I even come to meetings? Most decisions are already made before I get there.”
  • “Some of our best board members quit. They say they don’t want to major in minors? What’s going on?”
  • “We don’t have a strategic plan and no one seems to know what should be in it.”
  • “How do we get help for our board without paying an arm and a leg? We’re a not-for-profit.”
  • “We’re just volunteers. How much time do we have to give to this?”
  • “The CEO is the founder and makes all the decisions anyway. We’re rubber stamps.”
  • “Does the CEO work for the Board or the Board Chair? Our Chair doesn’t seem to get this.”
  • “I hate fundraising. Is this governance or management? Do other boards have to do that?
  • “I’m afraid something will go wrong on my watch. How can we monitor risk?”
  • “How do we measure the difference we make in the lives of people?”
  • “I’ve been on boards before. I don’t need any training.”
  • “Half of our board members are like bumps on a log. Some never say a word during a whole meeting.”

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