Caroline Oliver

Caroline Oliver

Caroline Oliver founded the Xylem-Group. We are forever grateful that she gathered together our small group of friends and governance experts.

Caroline Oliver’s Legacy Lives On

Caroline’s contributions to the field of governance are extensive. At the time of her passing on January 6, 2018, Caroline was the CEO of the International Policy Governance Association (now Govern for Impact), Chair of the UK Policy Governance Association and Editor of the bi-monthly Board Leadership published by Wiley.

Caroline Oliver was also a leading writer and consultant on governance issues with a special interest in applying systematic approaches to distinguishing governance from management.

As a writer, Caroline authored or co-authored three books on governance. She was the editor of a book on practical tools for implementing Policy Governance®, The Policy Governance Fieldbook (1999, Jossey-Bass). Her second book, Corporate Boards that Create Value (2002, Jossey-Bass), was a collaboration with Dr. John Carver, the creator of Policy Governance. Her third book published in 2009 was Getting Started with Policy Governance – Bringing Purpose, Integrity and Efficiency to Your Board.

Caroline was closely involved with drafting the new British Standard, BS 13500, Code of Practice for Delivering Effective Governance of Organisations, which was published in August 2013. She also was an active and highly regarded member of the committee to propose a new international guidance standard on the governance of organizations (ISO 37000). Caroline was a prolific author and contributor to governance publications and online governance fora.

In her work as an international consultant, Caroline was committed to helping boards of all descriptions achieve new levels of clarity and accountability, especially strong connections with those who legitimize the board’s existence. As part of her consulting practice, she founded a global network of consultants. Originally called The Governance Corporation Network, the name was later changed to The Xylem Group to better reflect the concept of governance as a system.

What’s most important is that Caroline’s work is carried forward. Her efforts to improve governing directors’ understanding of their work and her tireless efforts to ensure continuous debate and discussion around what constitutes accountable governance will live on in those of us who had the privilege of knowing, working, and laughing with her.