Book Summary: The three-word formula for powerful communication.

The Narrative Gym for Business: Introducing the ABT Framework for Business Communication and Messaging

by Randy Olson and Park Howell

The Narrative Gym for Business provides a practical, effective framework for shaping any form of communication intended to connect with and motivate the recipient. The heart is a simple three-part model for framing messages using narrative structure, which resonates with recipients in ways that science has proven non-narrative messages can’t.

Dr. Randy Olson is a scientist-turned-filmmaker. He was a tenured professor of marine biology (with a Ph.D. from Harvard) when he moved to Hollywood and went to film school. Besides writing and directing films about significant issues in science, he’s on a mission to help scientists (and others) become better communicators.

Read more

Book Summary: Lessons from exceptional boards.

The Source 12: Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards

by BoardSource

BoardSource developed these twelve principles to help nonprofit and association boards maximize their collective capacity. The principles are aspirational, outlining how an empowered board is a strategic asset. They point to what is possible and how boards can add lasting value to the organizations they govern. The full report is available for purchase at:

Read more

Book Summary: Get The Most From Your Board

The Board-Savvy CEO:
Building a High-Impact Partnership with Your Board

by Doug Eadie

In The Board-Savvy CEO, longtime nonprofit governance consultant Doug Eadie lays out the why, what, and how of building a high-performing board and a rock-solid relationship between the board and the chief executive. It’s up to you to provide the who and when, but the rewards are a better performing organization, a higher-performing board, and a stronger relationship between the board and CEO.

Eadie dispels the “me-them” stance and static notions many CEOs have about boards. The board-savvy CEO takes an engaged approach toward the goal of board members who are “satisfied owners of the governing work.”

Read more

Book Summary: A Guide to Strategic Governance

Governing for Growth: Using 7 Measures of Success to Strengthen Board Dialogue and Decision Making

by Nancy R. Axelrod

In addition to summarizing the measures, the guide outlines why these measures matter to boards, discusses the gap between theory and practice, proposes that the CEO is the linchpin for strategic thinking (one of the study’s key findings), and it concludes with how to prepare your board to engage the seven measures.

This guide explores how associations can use the 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don’t to increase their board’s attention to strategic issues and enhance its strategic thinking abilities. The measures resulted from a study conducted by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) that “identified seven key factors found in associations that remain remarkable year after year.”

Read more

Book Summary: A Primer for Association Board Members

The Governing Board: Key Responsibilities for Boards and Board Members

by Nancy R. Axelrod

In The Governing Board, longtime governance expert Nancy Axelrod provides a solid orientation to the responsibilities of association boards and board members. Published by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), this guide covers:

  • The unique challenges of association board governance
  • Three legal duties of the board and board members
  • A board’s four key overlapping roles
  • Three characteristics that distinguish great boards
  • The four “sights” that a great board needs
  • How good boards can be even better
  • Ten tips for board members

Read more

Book Summary: Create Change by Attraction

7 Rules book cover

7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change: Micro Shifts, Macro Results

by Esther Derby

Change is usually difficult and often inevitable. What isn’t inevitable is people’s resistance to change. While it’s human nature to avoid change, resistance is frequently a consequence of how change is introduced and managed rather than the change itself.

7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change offers seven guidelines for “change by attraction.” It’s an approach that draws people into the process so that they embrace rather than resist change. Agile software developer turned organizational change expert Esther Derby offers an adaptive and responsive approach that engages people in learning, evolving, and owning the new way.

Read more