Creating and Sustaining Strategic Boards

In 2016, 3 out of 4 association chief staff officers responding in Association Laboratory’s environmental scan Looking Forward™ identified volunteer leader engagement as a source of concern. Further research has identified the CEO – Board partnership as essential to success in a more competitive environment where differentiating the association’s essential value from competitors is critical.

The creation, care and feeding of a strategic board of directors is one of the most significant leadership challenges facing association CEOs. This presentation highlights key findings from Association Laboratory’s white paper Creating and Sustaining a Strategic Board incorporating the ideas and insights from 25 leading association chief staff officers.

The research identified a consensus definition of a strategic board, challenges to establishing and managing a strategic board and highlighted practical success factors for the association chief staff officers to improve the Board’s ability to think and act strategically.

Following a brief presentation of the research, attendees will discuss the implications and practical application of the information at their own association. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the white paper, Creating and Sustaining a Strategic Board. In addition, attendees will receive a copy of the white paper, Leading Strategic Change in Associations.

Educational Objectives

  • Define a strategic board to allow measurement of progress
  • Understand challenges to creating and sustaining a strategic board
  • Understand key success factors for creating and sustaining a strategic board
  • Identify practical applications of the information within an association
  • Speakers


Dean West, FASAE - President of Association Laboratory

Dean West is a former association chief staff officer who founded Association Laboratory in 1999. The company specializes in the research and development of strategy for trade and professional associations. Association Laboratory serves a client base of leading national and global associations through offices in Washington, DC and Chicago, IL.

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