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“I find something of value in each month's Board Forward. The articles are well-written and highly relevant to my role as a non-profit board member.”
—Claudia Zacharias,
President & CEO, BOC
Board Member, Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE)

Why Boards Need Clarity
“Clarity of vision is the key to achieving your objectives,” said Tom Steyer, billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist. These words are particularly relevant to volunteer leaders who serve on association boards. But for board members, it goes beyond clarity of vision. It’s also about having clarity on roles, responsibilities, expectations, governance, the mission, policies, protocols, values, and all other aspects of board service...
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Strategies to Optimize Executive Committees
Executive committees are critical to good board governance, which is why most association boards have them. But not all executive committees are structured or function the same way. They vary in size and role based on the specific attributes and needs of a particular association. However, despite these differences there are several common guidelines that can help boards optimize their impact...
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Raise Membership's Voice with Crowdspeaking
Associations are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the power of social media as an advocacy tool. They represent thousands of connected, passionate, like-minded professionals who can be an influential force when their voice is amplified via social media. Crowdspeaking is one tool that has emerged to help individuals and organizations make that happen...
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Agree to Disagree or Disagree Then Commit?
Internal issues typically arise in boardrooms and throughout other parts of an organization due to a lack of aligned execution. Too often, teams resort to a compromise in which arguing sides agree to disagree and then just plow ahead. That strategy often fails. When divergent opinions crop up, the key is to not force decisions too quickly...
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The Power of an Idea Meritocracy
The author, a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia, says that as technology continues to advance most organizations will have to achieve higher-level technological capabilities and higher-level human cognitive and emotional performance...
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Reflections on National Volunteer Week

There were many moments of heroism in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last fall in Houston, but one in particular stood out to me. You may remember the video. A group of about 15 people locked hands to create a human lifeline to rescue a man trapped in his SUV, which was submerged in the floodwaters.

A Guide to Board Behavior and Decision-Making

Many associations adopt a set of principles - often called a code of conduct, a statement of expectations, or something similar - designed to guide the board's decision-making and behavior. Boards develop such guides to instill trust in the integrity of the board and reinforce board members' commitment to the values of the association.

Engagement: The Other Element of Growth

In one sense, membership growth is about finding new members to join an association. In another, it's about retaining members that are already in the association.


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Board Forward is published 10 times a year by SmithBucklin, the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other. SmithBucklin has served volunteer board members for more than 60 years.


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