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Collaboration Drives Association Value
On the topic of collaboration, Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” However, in today’s business world, information and knowledge are often highly guarded in an effort to protect market position, profits, intellectual property and customers...
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Strategies to Maximize Your Board’s Potential
By Mark O. Thorsby, CAE, Vice President Consulting Services, SmithBucklin

Approaching a new calendar year is a great time to reassess what is and is not working within your organization’s board of directors. During my career, I have been privileged to serve on more than two dozen boards and consult with many others. Many of these boards were highly impactful and strategic. Others spent too much time focusing on the minutia of their associations, which distracted them from their primary role — governance. When this happened, board members grew frustrated and weary. They felt unfulfilled with their service. In addition, for some of the associations, the lack of focus became apparent to the membership as the organization delivered less value to them...
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Best Practices for Engaging New Directors
You and your fellow board directors have been through a long journey. Over the past several months, you’ve screened prospective board director candidates. You’ve vetted the slate and interviewed the ones who best fit the organization’s requirements. You’ve completed a due diligence process, identified finalists and secured their commitment. And soon, those new directors will be joining you for their first board meeting...
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Strong Culture and Leadership are Critical to Success
Nonprofit boards will need to place greater emphasis on culture and leadership in coming years, according to Eugene Fram, a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology's Saunders College of Business. For example, because nonprofit directors typically do not have daily contact with staff and other directors, communications are often inconsistent. To remedy this challenge, the board and management should develop a trust-focused culture...
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Stay Connected With Former Board Members
Nonprofit boards and management are finding great value in keeping past board members active within their organizations. One way to accomplish this goal is invite them to serve on committees, where they can still offer important perspectives and expertise. In addition, association events are an excellent way to keep former board members engaged. When sending event invitations, personalize them and include brief notes to former board members saying "hello" and "thanks again for serving on our board...
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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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