Print this page Share

Transformational Governance: How Boards Achieve Extraordinary Change

ISBN: 978-1-118-97672-2
288 pages
July 2015, Jossey-Bass
Transformational Governance: How Boards Achieve Extraordinary Change (111897672X) cover image


There has never been so much pressure on nonprofit boards of directors to achieve a level of accountability that meets public and stakeholder expectations. Member-serving association boards may be especially challenged by their more complex affiliate structures and a greater emphasis on representative governance. But what does the journey to good governance look like? Markedly different from existing board development books, this modern approach focuses less on the behaviors and qualities of "high-performing boards" and more on the stages and processes that directors and their staff used to transform their boards. Based on research funded by the ASAE Foundation, the book fills a gap in the governance literature by emphasizing diagnosis and problem solving, using the actual tools and activities implemented by 85 transformed associations. Combining the credibility of scholarly research with lively and compelling stories, tools, and teachable moments, this book is designed to help associations and other nonprofit organizations achieve the entire journey to good governance, from first to last steps.

See More

Table of Contents

Foreword Anne Wallestad, BoardSource v

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction and Study Design xiii

Chapter 1 Where Does Board Change Begin? 1

Chapter 2 Change and People 15

Chapter 3 Catalysts and Watersheds 43

Chapter 4 Implementing Change 75

Chapter 5 Leading Sideways: Influencing Change within the Board 115

Chapter 6 Leading Up: The CEO’s Opportunity 139

Chapter 7 Leading Forward: The Board Chair’s Opportunity 167

Chapter 8 Working with External Consultants 185

Chapter 9 Getting the Most from Assessment and Evaluation 197

Conclusion Strategies and Resources for Success 213

Appendix Tools and Resources 219

References 243

About the Authors 253

Index 255

See More

Author Information

BETH GAZLEY is associate professor at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her scholarship addresses many aspects of public and nonprofit management capacity, intersectoral and interorganizational relations, and nonprofit public policy.

KATHA KISSMAN is president and CEO of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation. In addition, she is a BoardSource senior governance consultant as well as an independent nonprofit organizational development consultant.

See More


Praise for TRANSFORMATIONAL Governance

"A must-read for nonprofit leaders, Transformational Governance offers a change manual that perfectly combines practical wisdom and research evidence."--Chao Guo, Associate Professor, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania

"The need to improve nonprofit governance is clear. Gazley and Kissman illustrate the processes of transformational change and provide practical, rigorous advice for practitioners, students, and scholars."--William Brown, Associate Professor and Director, Nonprofit Management Program, Mary Julia and George Jordon Professorship, Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University

"This is not another book on the attributes of ideal boards. The rich research results and 14 illuminating case studies will help association leaders take a deep dive into designing, executing, and managing successful governance changes."--Nancy R. Axelrod, Founding President, BoardSource

"Association management is opinion-rich and data-poor. We need more data based on solid research methodology. This book and its companion tools are just what this profession needs!"--J.C. (Chris) Mahaffey, Executive Director, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

See More
Back to Top