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“Board Forward is a must-read for volunteer board members in any industry or profession. Current issues explore matters of direct relevance to boards, and the Board Forward archives are a rich source of useful information on literally hundreds of different board-oriented topics.”
—Kristen L. Straka, DNP, RN, CPN, NEA-BC
2016-2018 President, Society of Pediatric Nurses

Is Your Board the Right Size?
Earlier this year, the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) appointed a governance task force to examine how the association is functioning. One of its charges was to look at the size of the board. Was it the right size for maximum efficiency? Initially, the task force wondered if the 12-member board needed to be smaller. After all, there has been a movement in recent years toward smaller boards. But CLMA arrived at a conclusion that was different from its initial assumptions — for them, smaller was not necessarily better...
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Is Sponsored Content the Answer to Non-Dues Revenue?
By Jason Meyers, Director of Content Strategy, SmithBucklin

Here’s a question for board members interested in providing value to the members of their respective organizations: What if there was a strategy that, if implemented thoughtfully, could deliver additional non-dues revenue to your association as well as thought leadership intelligence to your stakeholders—without upfront costs or risks? Most board members would probably consider it. But they might be surprised by the strategy that can produce those results: sponsored content...
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The Dos and Don’ts of Consent Agendas
Highly functional boards know that board time is a precious commodity that shouldn’t be squandered. A tool that many boards utilize to make their meetings more efficient and productive is a consent agenda—also called a consent calendar...
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Problem Boards or Board Problem?
In recent years, there has been a steady growth of training programs, consulting practices, academic research and guidebooks aimed at improving the performance of nonprofit boards. Yet, still, there is a widespread sense that underperforming boards are the norm and not the exception. The authors list three board-performance problems as the most prevalent...
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How to Act Quickly Without Sacrificing Critical Thinking
It is essential that leaders have reflective urgency — the ability to bring conscious, rapid reflection to the priorities of the moment. Before each conversation or meeting, decision makers should consider two questions: "What impact do I want to have on my team right now?" and "When I walk out of the room, what words do I want them to use to describe my influence?..
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There’s Always Time for Talent

Whether you believe that human talent is innate, learned early on or developed throughout life, everyone knows talent when they see it, and people – as well as associations – with more talent certainly do better than those with less, all else equal. Talent is important and therefore worth understanding.

Boards and the Benefits of Being Prepared

In the face of an industry crisis, members turn to their association’s leadership for information and guidance. Because of this, board members must be prepared for both the foreseeable and the unexpected to best serve their members.

Governance: It’s Like Riding a Bicycle

Specific and clear direction combined with flawless execution – a combination of a great front and back wheel working together – makes for a successful 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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