A Sampling of Case Studies

Transformational Governance: How Boards Achieve Extraordinary Change includes 14 original case studies that describe the process of governance change as it was related to us by the change agents themselves, all association leaders. Here are three examples.

Taking the Long View

American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

When Fred Somers was brought in to address a declining membership, he didn’t realize he and AOTA’s board were embarking on a 10-year effort to ensure the association was aligned with modern legal governance expectations. But that’s what they achieved. In the process, this board not only learned to lead itself, it learned a lot about effective member communication and taking the long view on governance change.

Using Growth to Make the Case for Change

Solar Electric Power Association

Solar power is rapidly gaining credibility in the utility industry, and the young SEPA understood that greater effectiveness and growth was contingent upon having greater representation from the C-suite on its board. Learn how SEPA’s first CEO framed an effective “call to arms” to restructure the board and its membership, transformed the culture of the board to emphasize strategic leadership, and retained the goodwill of former board members along the way.

Accepting Change at the Right Pace

Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools

This is a story of incremental change built on a realization that the comfort of the status quo was no longer serving the organization’s mission. The board changes at SAES involved no catalyzing events but rather an organic bow to changing constituent needs. But when an unexpected national event polarized the membership and challenged the board to respond, the leaders of the organization found that their evolution to a representative board with a strong culture of respect served them well.


Katha Kissman

By Katha Kissman

Katha Kissman is president and CEO of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation and is a BoardSource senior governance consultant. MORE

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