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Less is More: How Boards Can Sharpen Their Strategic Focus
Less is more. Bigger isn’t always better. These sayings sometimes seem counterintuitive in a global economy and fast-changing marketplace where organizations are fighting every day to stay relevant and competitive. But for volunteer boards of directors under constant pressure to impact industries, grow membership and increase value, adopting those mindsets might actually be the best way to stay relevant...
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Difficult Decisions Lead to Focus and Growth for NPTA
In 2011, the National Paper Trade Association (NPTA) board of directors was at a crossroads. At its annual strategic planning session, it knew it had to make a radical shift from the association’s historic roots that had developed since 1903, when NPTA was founded...
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Building Mission-Critical Relationships with Chief Staff Officers
The relationship between a board of directors and its chief staff officer (executive director, CEO, etc.) is crucial to an organization’s success. Conflict and mistrust within this relationship can derail progress on initiatives at all levels and hinder an association’s growth. Board members and the chief staff officer do not have to be great friends, but mutual respect and trust is necessary. The chief staff officer also has to understand and appreciate the board’s knowledge of the industry, and the board has to do the same with the operational and strategic talents that the chief staff officer brings to the table...
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Beware the Limits of SWOT Analysis
Executives often use SWOT analysis to assess an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It can be a good tool if used wisely, offering a standard framework for discussion. But it has some inherent limitations and sometimes can do more harm than good by reinforcing a status quo mindset.

In general, there are several common pitfalls to avoid. The first is "too much navel-gazing." Assessing an organization's strengths and weaknesses can quickly lead to the consideration of a laundry list that includes both strategic issues and mundane ones...
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Management Intuition for the Next 50 Years
In the years to come, acceleration in the scope and scale of technology will usher in a new era of artificial intelligence, instant communication and boundless information. It will shake up a wide array of businesses and industries in unimaginable ways. Researchers at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and McKinsey's Strategy Practice have collaborated to help anticipate the road ahead. They delineate how it differs from the one organizations have been on to date, and what those differences will mean for decision makers as they face the future...
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OCTOBER 2014 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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