About Us

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The purpose of Leading Governance is to support brilliant corporate governance by developing leadership in the Boardroom. 

We are passionate about governance, and the positive impact good governance makes in the development and profitable running of organisations. Although we recognise the contribution good governance makes to the bottom line, it is the impact on the board team, staff, customers and suppliers that makes us governance champions.

Leading Governance helps organisations to improve their performance by developing the leadership and governance capabilities of their Boards and key staff. We believe that leadership and governance should be embedded in all company activities. We recognise that leadership can be developed at any level within an organisation, and that effective governance is the responsibility of all staff and board members. We focus on board development so that the values and culture are set from the top, and can influence behaviours throughout the organisation.

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Joy Allen, Managing Director

Joy Allen is a Chartered Director, who has specialised in governance and board development processes since 2003.  Joy has undertaken over 50 governance reviews, and she regularly delivers governance training and development support to boards in all sectors.  She was a course leader for the Institute of Directors ‘Role of the Director and the Board’ and ‘Leadership for Directors’ modules in the Chartered Director programme for 7 years.  She designed and co-delivered the ‘Leading Effective Boards’ programme at the William J. Clinton Leadership Institute at Riddel Hall, Queen’s University, the ‘Inspiring Boardroom Leadership’ programme for CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy), and the ‘Leadership for Board Chairs’ programme for the Institute of Directors.

Joy chaired the Board of Morrow Communications Ltd from 2015 – 2023.  Previously, she chaired the boards of Simon Community NI, Ashton Community Trust and VOYPIC (Voice of Young People in Care) and was a board member of Alzheimer’s Society and The Fostering Network.  She was a Non-Executive Director of the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust (with 20,000 staff and an annual budget of £1bn) for 7 years and Ulster Community & Hospitals Trust for 7 years, and was Director of Shell LiveWIRE (NI) Ltd for 7 years.

Joy holds a Masters Degree in Executive Leadership, and a Masters Level qualification in Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring.  She is also a qualified and experienced mediator and NLP practitioner (Neuro Linguistic Programming).

Our Resources

The Leading Governance model is an innovative framework to help your organisation focus on getting the right people, doing the right things, using the right tools, to get the right results.


An effective board has the right people in the boardroom, with all the skills, knowledge, experience, attitudes and networks needed to drive the agreed priorities. It works well as a team, and provides leadership to all the people in an organisation. The Leading Governance website has all the tools you need to identify which skills you need in your boardroom, develop appropriate roles descriptions for board members and office bearers, and recruit the right people for your board.


The board is responsible for developing the strategic vision for the organisation. They must ensure that it is communicated appropriately with all key stakeholders, including members, shareholders and staff.


The board should ensure that relevant policies and procedures are in place and are being followed to keep the organisation safe and legal. There should be clear processes for ensuring that the board agenda is focusing energy on the right issues at the right time, that the right questions are being asked, and the right decisions made.


The board is responsible for monitoring the performance of the organisation, and challenging management to ensure the company is operating within the law, its objects and for the benefit of its members / shareholders. In addition, the board should regularly review its own performance, and that of its committees and members, to ensure it is contributing to the advancement of the organisation. Our website has a full suite of guides and templates to help you undertake your own board reviews.

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