A Strategic Board is an Effective Board

By: Keith Skillman, CAE

A new ASAE Foundation study offers a snapshot of effective governance practices in member-serving organizations.

While association CEOs score their boards as needing improvement on several strategic responsibilities, a picture of effective governance practices and their impact on organizational health emerges in What Makes High-Performing Boards: Effective Governance Practices in Member-Serving Organizations, new from ASAE's Association Management Press.

The book is based on extensive research, fielded by Indiana University and the ASAE Foundation, into 1,585 CEOs' perspectives on board performance. Principal researchers Beth Gazley, Ph.D., and Ashley Bowers, both of Indiana University, authored the book. The study fills a significant knowledge gap: It is the first to offer a representative snapshot of current governance practices in associations and other member-serving organizations.

Among the takeaways:

  • CEOs rated boards highest on performance when the boards had an active strategic orientation.
  • The means of making effective decisions matters more than board structure.
  • Resources invested in board training and development and staff support pay off in better board performance.

Keith Skillman, CAE, is vice president, publications, for ASAE. Email: [email protected]

What Makes High-Performing Boards is available at www.asaecenter.org/bookstore. Price: $34.95 for ASAE members, $43.95 for nonmembers. Quantity-purchase discounts are available.

[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "Boards Matter"]

Keith Skillman, CAE