The Executive - November/December 2016 - 16


as a process of learning is strategic intent, which is best
expressed as a shared organizational understanding of the
outcomes that strategy intends to achieve, with necessary
adjustments, adaptations and pivots made based on learning
with both association stakeholders and the still unfolding
future.
To make clear what outcomes they are trying to achieve
through their stewardship, foresight first boards can express
their "governing intent" through a stewardship statement.
As I described it in my article in the January/February 2016
issue of Associations Now, the stewardship statement is a
useful way for boards to "crystallize the deeper significance
of their work for themselves, as well as for staff and other
volunteers, and...communicate clearly about the critical role
that foresight plays in achieving the full impact of effective
stewardship." Making a strong link between governing
intent and strategic intent will help unlock the full potential
of the foresight first approach to governing.
Commit to designing a foresight first governing
process: As long as they observe the necessary legal and
administrative constraints created by governments at all
levels, watchdog groups and other interested players in the
association/non-profit sector, governing is a compelling design
opportunity for associations. The foresight first approach offers
association boards and CEOs a learning-focused platform from
which to rethink every aspect of the board governing process
and workflow to minimize wasted resources and maximize the
impact of the time, energy and attention that all contributors
devote to the work.
*

Of particular importance in designing a foresight first
governing process is ensuring a disciplined focus on the future,
which means key decision-makers will need to consider the
most appropriate methods for handing board work that is more
retrospective in its content, such as financial updates and
documents, with the highest standards of oversight integrity
and quality while not distracting from governing intent. In
addition, board chairs, other officers and CEOs will want
to think with their boards about effective ways to organize
for foresight first work, especially the presentation of board
learning and information resources in more visually appealing,
understandable and actionable forms.
In the words of the late Barbara Jordan, a former United
States Representative from Texas, "for all of its uncertainty,
we cannot flee the future," and associations and their boards
are no exception. The Age of Transformation is upon us and
it is long overdue for both staff and voluntary participants in
the work of governing to fully understand and accept this vital
fact. Right now is the time for all associations to begin building
foresight first boards that can help navigate their organizations,
stakeholders and fields through the powerful uncertainties and
exciting possibilities of the arriving future. Is your association's
board ready to take it to the next level?
Jeff De Cagna, FASAE is chief strategist and founder of
Principled Innovation LLC, located in Reston, Virginia. He can
be reached at jeff@principledinnovation.com or @pinnovation on
Twitter.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Executive - November/December 2016

President’s Message
At a Glance
Calendar of Events
Building a ‘Foresight First’ Board of Directors
10 Tips to Experience Unlimited Success When Communicating
Media Relations: Building a Strategic and Comprehensive Communications Strategy
Associations Communications a Study in Perception vs. Reality
Destination: Santa Barbara
Advancing Associations: 9 Tips for Concise Writing
New Members
Index to Advertisers
The Executive - November/December 2016 - cover1
The Executive - November/December 2016 - cover2
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 3
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 4
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 5
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 6
The Executive - November/December 2016 - President’s Message
The Executive - November/December 2016 - At a Glance
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Calendar of Events
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 10
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 11
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Building a ‘Foresight First’ Board of Directors
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 13
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 14
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 15
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 16
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 17
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 18
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 19
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 10 Tips to Experience Unlimited Success When Communicating
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 21
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 22
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 23
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Media Relations: Building a Strategic and Comprehensive Communications Strategy
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 25
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 26
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 27
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Associations Communications a Study in Perception vs. Reality
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 29
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Destination: Santa Barbara
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Advancing Associations: 9 Tips for Concise Writing
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 32
The Executive - November/December 2016 - Index to Advertisers
The Executive - November/December 2016 - 34
The Executive - November/December 2016 - cover3
The Executive - November/December 2016 - cover4
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