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Better Board Decisions – The Power of Critical Thinking
“Critical thinking is thinking about thinking while you’re thinking, in order to make your thinking better.” – Dr. Richard Paul, Chairman, National Center for Excellence in Critical Thinking

By Risa Mish, Senior Lecturer of Management at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

One of the things boards of directors must do is ensure that the organization stays true to its stated mission by determining how decisions are framed and approached. A board’s ability to successfully discharge this responsibility depends upon the degree to which its members possess and exercise critical-thinking skills when making decisions. This is because critical thinking — rigorously analyzing, evaluating and synthesizing information in order to guide beliefs and actions — is the foundation of all good decision making.
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David Sand: Unity is a Priority for International Associations
As the founder of Uwin Iwin (Pty) Ltd., a full-service incentive company based in South Africa, David Sand is a pioneer in the field of online reward fulfillment. He and his team are best known for developing the Netuwin.com global account management system that is used by companies around the globe to manage their incentive programs.

These days, Sand is pulling double duty as the 2013 board of directors president of Site, a global network of meetings and event professionals dedicated to delivering business results. His appointment to the top position in January came after serving as president of the association’s South African chapter.

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Engaging the Disengaged Board Member
Regardless of what type of board you have governing your association, effective governance can be severely hampered by disengaged board members. Disengagement can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Board members might not participate in meetings, or they might not choose to attend them at all. With the many challenges facing associations, few boards can afford to have disengaged members. And solving the problem is more complicated than just having bylaw provisions with attendance requirements. By the time you get to that point, you’ve lost valuable time and potentially a valuable board member, while also setting the wrong tone. Here are some strategies for engaging the disengaged board member.
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10 Secrets of Building a Great Team
When building an effective team, there are some often over-looked "secrets" to keep in mind. One rule of thumb is not to look for just smarts when selecting team members, but to also look for social skills. Groups tend to perform better on tasks if the members have strong social skills. Second, the most creative teams tend to feature a mix of old comrades and relative strangers. The article's author uses Broadway as an example...
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Mastering the Building Blocks of Strategy
Creating strategy in today's environment of complex, ever-changing priorities and conflicting agendas is a daunting task. Decision makers can greatly increase their odds of building a winning plan of action by investing the necessary time and effort in developing a thorough, thoughtful approach to strategy. One pitfall to avoid is making the creation of strategy a "rigid, box-checking exercise...
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NOVEMBER 2013 EDITION
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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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