Leading Associations and Nonprofit Organizations: Challenges for Senior Executives

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rpaton@canadianchemistry.ca 350 Sparks Street, Suite 805

Ottawa ON K1R7S8

Leading Associations and Nonprofit Organizations: Challenges for Senior Executives

(PADM 5472, Policy Seminar; PANL 5772: Special Topics in Organizational Leadership and Management)

Course for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Program, Carleton University, School of Public Policy and Administration

Room 1201, River Building Richard Paton (copyright)

May 6, 2015

Course Summary

If you want to learn how presidents and senior executives lead and manage associations and nonprofits, and prepare yourself for senior leadership roles in these organizations, this course is for you.

This course is a unique practical management course that will help participants to better understand the leadership challenges and strategies required of the executives of associations and nonprofit organizations.

Participants will review the challenges faced by these executives, and work through examples of the issues and choices that they face in leading their organizations. The course will draw upon the experiences of the course participants as well as the experience of the instructor, Richard Paton, who has worked for 19 years as the president of an association - doing so with references to cases developed by the instructor, and his text book, Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transitions.


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Background and Introduction

This is a course on managing nonprofit organizations and associations which is specifically

designed for leaders and staff of these organizations, or those who aim to work in associations or nonprofits. The course will be valuable to those already in management positions or who aspire to take on management responsibilities at some time in their career with a nonprofit

organization, or association. Since there are very few practical management courses in the public administration field, the course will also be valuable to anyone who is interested in

understanding better what it takes to lead and manage an organization using associations and nonprofits as examples.

This course is designed to complement other courses in the program by focusing on the realities and challenges faced by executives/managers in association or nonprofit management. It is also designed to be a stand-alone course for staff currently working in business associations or nonprofits who need a course specifically tailored to leading these organizations. The course will draw on relevant management and association literature and cases where available. This will provide key concepts and a framework that will enable participants to assess management situations and develop effective strategies for managing associations.

Most importantly, the approach to this course will be to build on the rich experiences of

participants to create a learning experience that is relevant and useful to their roles in nonprofit organizations.

The Course Leader

Richard Paton is currently the President of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada and has been the head of that association for 19 years. Before taking on the President role of an

association, Richard spent 24 years in the Federal Government and was Deputy Secretary of two branches in the Treasury Board. Richard, is a MPA graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and has a Masters in Canadian Studies from Carleton. He has taught at the School of Public Administration at Carleton for over 25 years. The course he designed, “The Politics of Management” is a top rated course by students in terms of its quality, relevance and usefulness in the working environment.

Richard has authored articles and cases on management as well as a book titled “The Politics of Management: Thinking Like a Manger” which was published in the fall of 2013. Richard also published the main text book for this course in the spring of 2015. This book is titled Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transitions. Finally, he also just published a shorter publication for this course What Makes an Effective Association: Benchmarking for Performance.

All of these books will be the key readings for this course.

Other course leaders or participants (TBD). The aim is to have two association presidents attend the class, one mid-week and one towards the end of the class.


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The Need

i. There is an increasing need for capable association and nonprofit senior executives and managers. In the next decade there will be a lot of turnover of senior personnel in

associations and nonprofits for demographic reasons, and due to increased restrictions by Governments on the movement of personnel from government to associations/nonprofits. It is likely that many positions will be filled by the movement of executives among associations or by promotion within associations. This is already happening. It is more and more

important that nonprofit executives and staff have general association management skills that can enable them to be part of the succession plans in their organizations or to take on leadership roles in other associations.

ii. The challenges for leaders of associations and nonprofits are increasing. The second major need related to this course is that the challenges of managing associations and nonprofits are becoming more and more complex. The leadership roles in nonprofits require, more and more, professional management knowledge as well as a good understanding the successful practices of association executives.

iii. There is a need for a better understanding on the leadership challenges of nonprofits and associations. There is a need to improve the effectiveness of the interaction between nonprofits and associations with governments and other institutions. Most nonprofits or associations are involved with governments in some way through programs or through the policy making process. By understanding the leadership challenges of the executives of these organizations, as well as some of the dynamics of government, improvements can be made in how governments and nonprofits/associations work together to improve Canadian society in terms of health, environment, culture social needs or the economy or other areas.

iv. Opportunities to learn about managing organizations are scarce. Since there are very few courses in public administration programs that are what might be called practical

management courses, a course on nonprofit management can be useful to any MPPA student who would like to learn more about management. The challenges faced by this sector encompass all the key challenges that are faced by most organizations albeit with some unique characteristics relating to boards and members.

Association and nonprofit managers must work with their boards, governments, stakeholders, and staff, to manage issues or programs and achieve results. In addition they must ensure they have quality staff that is well aligned with the direction of the organization and the expectations of members and their boards. All of these challenges make these jobs difficult, yet rewarding.

This course will help association and nonprofit managers and staff to learn how to navigate these challenges successfully and provide other participants with some insights into the management challenges for these and other organizations.


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Unique Focus of the Course

The unique characteristic of this course is that it is focused on executives leading associations and nonprofits. It deals with the realities, challenges, strategies and experiences of senior executives particularly presidents in leading nonprofit organizations.

The core of the course will be a framework and key concepts that can be utilized for association and nonprofit managers to assess their key relationships and challenges and develop strategies that will help to maximize their chances of success. This will also include the choices that senior executives can make in terms of their operating style. The lessons of the course are drawn from the experience of practitioners in association management. The experience of participants will also be an important contributor to the learning process.

Target Audience

This program will be designed largely for senior executives, managers and staff of associations and nonprofits who want to learn about leading and managing associations. The course will also be useful for those who work in government organizations who simply want to understand more about management and the strategies and approaches senior executives need to take in leading organizations, albeit in this case nonprofit organizations. The lessons learned from this course can be applied broadly to many types of organizations.

This course has been designed in a one week format so that it will be accessible to the

participants of the Philanthropy and Not for Profit Program, other MPPA students, as well as staff of associations and nonprofits who want to take the course for professional development,

without necessarily enrolling in the overall program.

Objectives and Value Proposition

The objectives and value proposition of the program are:

1. To enhance the participants’ capabilities for leading or managing

associations/nonprofits and/or to prepare them for a more senior role in their own associations.

2. To provide a forum for learning from experienced association and non-profit staff.

3. To share information on how to tackle key common issues facing the

management of associations and nonprofits and share best practices in the key areas that are essential to association management.

4. To provide networking opportunities for association and nonprofit staff to meet executives and staff in other nonprofits and associations and increase

interchange and learning about management among diverse associations.


Page | 5 5. To provide participants with a practical management course that can be applied

to a variety of different organizations; or assist participants working in government to understand the role and challenges of associations and

nonprofits. (Note most government organizations interface with nonprofits and vice versa.)

Course Materials

The course materials will mainly include cases developed by the professor, specifically for this course, as well as three books authored by the professor. These books draw on other literature on nonprofits and summarize their insights. Given the very short time for the course, the professor chose to focus the readings on these three texts and cases to enable participants to easily become acquainted with the key concepts and lessons of the course and apply them to realistic situations faced by leaders of associations and nonprofits.

The Politics of Management: Thinking Like a Manager. Richard Paton, 2013. This book provides some of the key management concepts and strategies that provide a foundation for approaching senior executive roles in associations or other organizations. This book has to be purchased directly from the professor but it can be also purchased as an electronic copy through Amazon.ca.

The second text book, Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transition, deals with the experiences of 26 association presidents in doing their jobs. The book is available from the professor or can be purchased electronically from:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/leading-business-associations-making-successful-transitions and

https://kindle.amazon.com/work/leading-business-associations-successful-transitions- ebook/B00VQWU5GU/B00VQWU5GU

R. Paton, What Makes an Effective Association: Benchmarking Associations for Performance (CSAE, 2015). This book is designed to assist students to evaluate an association/nonprofit and determine the key management challenges it faces. See assignment requirements. This

publication is available directly from CSAE (Canadian Society of Association Executives).

Learning Approach and Design Options

The course will be delivered the week of June 22 to June 26. The course will be full day classes starting at 8:30 AM with sessions in the AM and PM and a good break for lunch.

The course delivery creates opportunities for intense and interactive learning but also creates some limitations in terms of readings and assignments because there is little time outside of class to review the readings or prepare assignments. On the other hand, by having the class each day for five days, provides a great opportunity for class involvement and rapid learning.


Page | 6 The professor has designed the course in a way that maximizes the benefits of a very focused course over one week but also takes maximum advantage of the fact that most participants will be working with associations and nonprofit and can start preparing for the course before the course begins and finish the assignment after the week long course. The course is also designed to be flexible enough to be relevant and useful to a diverse group of participants involving nonprofits; business associations as well as students working in government or aiming to work in government organizations. This diversity creates challenges for the design of the course, but also creates huge potential for participants to learn from each other and take advantage of the experiences of participants in many organizations.

It is important to get participants thinking about management challenges and approaches early in the program, especially as they are in their work environment. Management learning tends to take time. It requires reflection combined with observation in the work environment. For this reason, some of the course materials and assignments will be made available to participants before the formal course begins and students will be requested to begin one assignment before the course starts. In addition, the final assignment for the course will not be due until two plus weeks after the course is finished. This will also enable students to apply the lessons of the course to their associations or nonprofits.

Learning Approach

In the experience of the professor the most effective teaching approach for management courses involves a multifaceted approach including:

 Some literature on managing associations drawn from the experiences of association/nonprofit presidents/executives.

 Key concepts that help assess management situations; drawn from the general management literature.

 The use of a framework that is central to the assessment of management situations.

 The application of this framework and concepts to specific examples through class discussion, application to an association/nonprofit where students are working, cases, or a study of a manager.

 Involvement of association leaders in 1-2 classes in the program.

 Active involvement of participants in discussion and cases, and self reflection on management and leadership style and how they work in organizations by participants.

This combination of the textbook based on the experiences of association presidents, key concepts, class discussion of examples, cases, and the final assignment, all provide for a strong and unique learning experience. Participants are able to apply the lessons of the course to their organizations as well as their management situations and enhance their development.


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Course Requirements

(All students will be required to complete these assignments.) Class Participation (20%)

The course relies on active involvement of participants because they can bring their experiences with associations and their perceptions of the management challenges facing various

organizations. In a course of this nature students not only learn from the professor and course material, they also learn from each other by being exposed to a wide variety of different

nonprofits and their challenges. For this reason, there is a class participation mark for the course.

Assignment 1: Benchmarking Nonprofit and Implications for Leadership (20%)

The purpose of this assignment is to get participants thinking of the key requirements for an effective association and to apply the framework to an organization. Given that some students may not have experience with nonprofits or associations, there are two options for this


(i) If you are working in a nonprofit or association or have worked with one of these organizations in the past or even have access to reviewing a nonprofit, assess an association or nonprofit using the benchmarking framework developed by the professor and published by CSAE. This assignment is due before the session covering effective associations. I.e. by the beginning of the PM session on Day 2. Value 20%.

(See further explanation of this assignment for the session on Day 2.) (ii) If you are working in government or have no experience with a nonprofit

organization, there are a few options. If you have a friend or acquaintance who is working in a nonprofit or association, contact that and discuss the elements of the benchmarking framework with them. Second, governments deal constantly with various nonprofits and associations; you could contact a staff person in one of these organizations and work through the benchmarking criteria. Finally, if there are no other choices refer to the article on “No Name Management” by Paton and Jelking and use that framework to assess a government or other organization.

Assignment 2: Case Analysis: Chose One of the Three Cases in the Course (20%)

A critical part of the learning process for a management course is the application of the concepts, framework and key insights to particular situations. This is the reason that three cases are

included in the course, all of which are linked to specific chapters of the book. These cases have been developed specifically for this one week course. They are very short and focused so that students should be able to read them inside of half an hour.

The case analysis requirement is only for a two to three page case analysis (single spaced) focused on the role and agenda of senior executives. These case analyses will be due before the class starts that deal with the case. They should be sent electronically to the professor’s email


Page | 8 and in MS Word BEFORE the class begins. Each case will have specific questions that participants can address which reinforce the key concepts and lessons of the course.

The cases will provide a focus for class discussion and the application of the insights of the book to nonprofits.

Assignment 3: Final Assignment (40%)

The final assignment is structured so students can complete a significant part of the course requirements after the formal course is concluded. This approach also encourages participants to reflect on the course and apply their insights to organizations and leadership situations.

There are two main options for a final assignment and a third option for participants who do not have a background in nonprofits or associations.

i. Assessing an Association and Leadership Requirements

One option is to do a more thorough assessment, than the initial assignment, of an association or another association/nonprofit based on the factors that are critical to effective associations and nonprofits. The focus of this paper is to use the key concepts of the course and the readings and class discussions to assess the leadership challenges and potential strategies for an association leader based on this assessment.

The framework for this assignment will be based on the publication by the professor What Makes and Effective Association: Benchmarking for Performance. This includes 9 factors plus an X factor that can be used to assess the quality of an association or nonprofit. If participants

identify other factors that are more significant to their organizations they can substitute them for some of these factors. Once course participants have assessed an association they would address the key question:

Question: Given the performance of the association in these nine areas and the X factor, what are the challenges the association leader faces and what is a potential agenda and strategies that the manager should consider to lead the association?

During the course, participants will be encouraged to continuously review their organization in the context of the experiences of other associations or benchmarks that are established relating to best practices. This is the equivalent of the final exam or assignment. (Timing to be

determined). If students want to develop a case based on these benchmarking criteria (has to be made fictional) for future use in the course that is also an option.

ii. Studying an Association or Nonprofit Executive or Leader

A second option for an assignment is a study of a senior executive of a nonprofit organization or association (President, VP or Director) using a framework which is outlined in Appendix C of the Politics of Management book which is one of the textbooks provided by the professor. Given the


Page | 9 short duration of the course, it will probably not be possible to do interviews with association leaders during the course. However, if students are able to review some of the course material before the beginning of the course and do some advanced work (with any guidance needed by the professor) this assignment can be completed after the formal course. This would be the equivalent of the final assignment or exam. (Timing to be determined.) Students who would like to develop a case focused on a nonprofit or association executive or manager using the lessons of the course can also discuss this option with the professor.

iii. Review of Interface of Nonprofit/Association with Government

For those who do not have access to an association or nonprofit for study, participants can do a study of the interface of a government organization and a nonprofit and what the leadership challenges are for both organizations. Like the other assignments, a case can also be developed for this assignment.

As will be noted in class, the aim of this course is helping participants to think like leaders of an association or nonprofit and to understand the challenges of leading an organization. If students have other ideas for a final assignment with draw on the key course concepts this is another option but the topic should be approved in advance by the professor.

Overall Requirements for Both Assignments

The assignments should be approximately 10 pages single spaced with a maximum of two pages for an appendix which outlines the key concepts used or any background information that is relevant. References only need to be provided by noting the book source - not a detailed footnote or bibliography. (Paton, Politics of Management, p.5.) The organization or manager should not be identified and fictional names should be used. These assignments will be graded based on the demonstration of the participant’s understanding of the key lessons and concepts of the course and their application to a particular association and manager.

The key assessment criteria for this assignment is the application of the concepts and lessons of the course to a real situation and the understanding of the leadership challenges involved for the organization.

These assignments will also provide an important source of information for future cases and to broaden the course to include a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Note: All assignments should be done in MS word and sent by email to

rpaton@canadianchemistry.ca by July 17, 2015. (Exact date still being reviewed, depending on when marks have to be submitted.)


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Course Sessions

Day 1 AM - June 22 - Introduction

Session 1 Challenges of Managing Organizations and “Thinking Like a Manager”

To successfully provide a course on the roles of senior executives in leading and managing associations and nonprofits, it is necessary to first establish a fundamental understanding of the challenges of managing organizations and some of the key concepts and strategies that can assist managers to be effective in their jobs. The first day of the course will be devoted to establishing this foundation based largely on one of the text books by the professor The Politics of

Management: Thinking Like a Manager.

A key success factor for a course focused on realistic management challenges is to draw from the experiences of course participants in their organization. The first session of the course will start with a round table where each course participant provides a brief description of their

organization, some of the challenges faced by their organization, and the expectations for the course. Participants should come prepared to do this.

Since it is expected that there will be a wide diversity of organizations involved, this will provide a rich source of examples of the challenges faced by senior executives. This will enable participants to learn from fellow students as well as from the professor and course material.

Given the fact that the course is scheduled for one week, it will be challenging to absorb the key concepts and insights to management in one week and apply these concepts to specific

management situations. For this reason, participants are encouraged to do some advance work for the course, and the final assignment will not be due until two weeks after the formal course ends on June 26.

To assist in this learning process, participants are encouraged to purchase and read the Politics of Management text book before the course begins, and determine if the concepts, framework of strategies outlined in this book provide any insights into the challenges faced by the senior executives of their association or nonprofit. The other textbooks will also be available as well.

Key Concepts - Alignment, Choices, Power Gap, Agenda Setting, Building a Network, Implementing an Agenda Through a Network.


R. Paton, The Politics of Management: Thinking Like a Manager. Participants who are in Ottawa can purchase directly from the professor. In particular, for the first session, the introductory session and the pages summarizing Linda Hill’s work are very important.


Page | 11 Day 1 PM - June 22

Session 2 Framework for Developing Management and Leadership Strategies

This session will focus on the framework that the professor utilizes for discussing management challenges and choices. Each element of the framework will be explored drawing from examples from students in the course.

The experience of the professor from 26 years of teaching management is that the framework and key concepts do not become useful until they are used for a case or a management

situation. Thus, there will be four cases in the course where these concepts and the framework can be applied.

The first half of the session will discuss the framework (p. 45 Politics of Management book) and reinforce the key concepts. In the second part of this session, the professor will draw from examples in the class to explore the application of the framework to specific associations.

Key Dimensions of the Framework: Management in relation to External and Task Environment:

Managing Relations with Superiors; Managing work with Subordinates; Managing Interface with Clients; Managing Relations and Dependence on Other Groups. See p. 45 Politics of Management text book.

Day 2 AM - June 23

Session 3 Transition of Presidents to Association Leaders: The Role of President or Senior Executives

Leadership by the permanent staff of associations is critical to effective associations and nonprofits. Association and nonprofit leaders are usually CEOs and are expected to provide considerable leadership to their associations. This leadership usually requires vision, strategy, and ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders which impact on the association.

This session will start by reviewing Chapter 2 regarding the stages that a president goes through in managing the transition to the head of an association or nonprofit. Participants will be asked to identify examples of where they have witnessed a transition and how the president

approached it.

This session will also be focused on the role and expectations of a President & CEO or executive director of an association or nonprofit, the leadership challenges that they face and how to work with boards, members, staff and governments in changing an association. To assist in this

discussion, the class will focus on the key framework that will be used for the course which includes relationships with board, staff, stakeholders and members.

The session will explore each of the critical roles of the president of an association/nonprofit and identify the mistakes or “death moves” that a president can make in carrying out this function.


Page | 12 The class will also illustrate the differences between various types of associations/nonprofits and the implications for the role of senior executives. For this part, students will provide examples of the rich variety of types of organizations and challenges.

Finally, the class will draw on an article by Jack Shand on the characteristics of association leaders. Jack has experience as the head of an association as well as extensive consulting experience in this area.


R. Paton, Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transitions (2015) Chapter 2, 4.

Jack Shand, “The Characteristics of Association Executive Leadership”, Association, (April-May 2006). The professor will provide coordinates to access this reading.

Day 2 PM - June 23

Session 4 Characteristics of Effective Associations: Implications for Senior Executives of Associations (Richard Paton)

Based on the publication on benchmarking associations this class will review the 9 characteristics of effective association, plus an X factor, and their implications for association and nonprofit leadership. Since all class participants will complete assignment 1, this will provide a rich variety of insights by class participants on various associations and nonprofits.

Assignment 1 (due before class by email to the professor). Due to the condensed time frame for this course, it is necessary to provide an opportunity for participants to do some work on

assignments before the course begins. This will also enable participants to apply the insights of the course to their work situations. Participants will be asked to assess their own associations or nonprofits or other organizations using the chart at the end of the reading for this class, and indicate which areas they are strongest and which areas need improvement. If participants do not have an association or nonprofit to work with they can contact the professor who will provide them with an option.

Assignment Requirements. Using the framework of the chart provided at the end of the reading on benchmarking associations and nonprofits, provide a one paragraph assessment of each of the nine factors plus the X factor and then a summary paragraph on the leadership challenges that result from this assessment. This report should be a maximum of three pages single spaced.

Value: 25%. See section on assignments for alternative assignments for those not working in nonprofits or associations or who do not have easy access to reviewing such organizations.

Participants in the class should not identify the name of the organization in their assessment. It is recognized that students may not be able to assess all the factors at this time; however, just the exercise of thinking about the entire organization and its leadership requirements is important.


Page | 13 By understanding the fundamental requirements of managing and leading organizations, (Day 1) the role of senior executive (Day 2 AM) and then the requirements for an effective association (Day 2 PM), the course will create the essential groundwork for the remaining sessions which deal with how senior executives can deal with the challenges of leading associations and nonprofits.

This assignment will provide a basis for class discussion on the challenges senior association executives face in achieving high performance in these areas. Participants will also be asked to refer to the role of association leaders discussed in session 3 and determine where the major challenges or gaps are in achieving these functions for the association or nonprofit that they are reviewing.

See alternative assignments earlier in the course outline for participants who do not work in an association or nonprofit and who do not have access to reviewing this kind of organization.


R. Paton, What Makes an Effective Association: Benchmarking Associations for Performance (published by CSAE, spring 2015).

Richard Paton and Agnes Jelking, “No Name Management for the 90’s” Optimum, Summer 1994 (35-41).

Day 3 AM - June 24

Session 5 Assessing the Nonprofit Environment and Implications for an Agenda for Association Presidents

Associations and nonprofits work within a very complex environment involving governments, communities, media and various stakeholders. Effective business associations have a very good understanding of their environment and how to maximize their policy objectives within that environment.

To be effective, associations/nonprofits must constantly be aware of changes in political and public trends and be able to respond to these changes with strategic directions. Many

associations have processes for strategic planning with varying degrees of involvement of their board and members.

The session will be focused on assisting participants to assess the environment of an association and the implications for a president or senior staff for leading the association.

The first half of the session will focus on Chapter 7 of the text using examples from participants in the class.


Page | 14 The second half of the session will use a case to further explore how to assess the environment of an association and an example of the role that a president and senior executives of the association can play in setting strategic directions.


R. Paton, Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transitions, Chapter 6.

R. Paton, “The Resource Products Association (RPA): Challenges and Opportunities in the Environment.

Note: Participants who want to do this case should send it by e-mail to the professor before the class begins.

Day 3 PM - June 24

Session 6 Working with the Chairman and Board of Directors: Implications for a President’s Agenda

All associations and nonprofits have boards. If staff does not work with their board and key committees effectively, they are in trouble. The problems will show up either in loss of membership or involvement, budget issues, or problems making policy or strategic decisions.

Without strong rapport between a president and the chairman/board, the tenure of the president will be limited.

The research on associations and nonprofits indicates that the president / board / chairman relationship is the largest source of problems for association executives and results in the most departures.

How can association/non-profit executives ensure that the overall governance of the association works effectively – especially their relationship with their chairman and board? How do they build a common agenda and priorities with their chairman, executive committee and board?

This case lends itself well for role playing in class. Students will be asked to take on the role of a president and a chairman in discussing a governance issue.


R. Paton, Leading Business Associations; Making Successful Transitions, Chapter 5.


Page | 15 Day 4 AM - June 25

Session 7 Managing the Interface with the Chairman and Board as well as the Organization and Staff: Implications for an Agenda

This session deals with the role of the president and association/nonprofit leaders in managing the staff and other key functions of the organization while at the same time working with the chairman and board.

In most associations/nonprofits, the major challenge of a president and vice presidents is to ensure that the nonprofit has the right staff with the right skills and the right resources. Given that the environment and priorities of nonprofits are usually changing, it is very important that an association leader can make the adjustments required in the organization to achieve the directions that are of value to the membership.

Participants should also review their own organizational experiences and reflect on the challenges of managing staff or aligning staff with the role and strategic directions of the association/nonprofit and the agenda of a president.

The first half of the session will engage participants in a discussion on the findings in Chapter 6 of the text book on Leading Business Associations. Participants will be expected to reflect on their experiences in associations and nonprofits and be prepared to discuss these in class (without attribution to the organization).

The second half of the session will be a case outlining the challenges in a particular association or nonprofit. Students will be expected to read the case before the class and be ready to discuss the choices for the president of the association. Note: If students chose this case to do as a case analysis it should be handed in before this class.

The case will also include a role playing situation involving participants in the class.


R. Paton, Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transitions. Chapter 7.

Sidney Abrams, “The Board’s Role in Human Resource Management.” Managing Director HR Consulting Services, Board Source 2014. (Reading to be made available by the professor.) Case: R. Paton, “Consumer Convenience Stores Association: Challenges of Relations with the Chairman and Board” 2015.

Although this case deals with a specific type of business association, the challenges faced by the President are, unfortunately, typical of a wide assortment of nonprofits and associations.

Note: Case should be handed in before the class begins and sent by e-mail.


Page | 16 Day 4 PM - June 25

Session 8 Setting an Agenda and Building a Network

This session brings together the three main contributors to an agenda: board; environment and staff and discusses how presidents and senior executives of associations/nonprofits develop agendas and build a network to achieve that agenda.

The main source material for this session will be Chapter 8 of the text book Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transitions.

The first half of the session will discuss the requirements for developing and implementing a successful agenda and the challenges that can undermine success.

This second half of the session will involve the participation of a very successful association executive. This will enable students to understand leadership situations and to interact with the leader on issues of development of an agenda, working with a board and the question of

leadership style and effectiveness.

Case: R. Paton, “Post Secondary Institutions Association (PSIA) Developing and Implementing an Agenda.”

Note: Case should be sent in before class begins by e-mail to the professor.


R. Paton, Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transitions. See Chapters 8 and 9 - particularly chapter 9 (157-174).

Day 5 AM - June 26

Session 9 Choosing the Leadership Style of an Association Leader

A major challenge for association/nonprofit leaders is to determine what approach to leadership is most effective in a given association. This requires an ability to understand the culture and expectations of the board and staff in the nonprofit organization. It also requires these leaders to be able to assess their own leadership style and its impact on others. This is one of the most common areas where association leaders experience problems and lose their jobs.

The session will explore various operating styles of association leaders and assist participants to assess which leadership styles are potentially the most effective in various situations.

If students are able to do an assessment of an association or study of a manager, this will be a key source of information for the class.


Page | 17 This area is so rich that it usually requires two classes - especially if the studies of managers have been done or an assessment of the leadership portion of the seven elements of effective

associations. The second class would combine reports of students and a meeting with an association leader who is recognized as a high performer and an effective leadership style.


R. Paton, The Politics of Management: Thinking Like a Manager, Section 3 and 4 pp. 63-117.

R. Paton, Leading Business Associations: Making Successful Transitions, Chapter 10. Managing for the Long Term.

DAY 5 PM - June 26

Session 10 Managing for the Long Term and Leadership Style

This session will focus on the findings in Chapter 10 on managing for the long term and the findings on the development of association and nonprofit leaders in Chapter 11. The session will include the issues involved with leadership style and the challenges for developing senior

executives of nonprofits and associations.

Participants should come prepared to discuss all three areas but particularly the challenges and requirements for their development and the development of a strong cadre of executives for the future.

Summary of the Course and Feedback

This second part of the session will involve feedback by each participant on what they learned in this course that is relevant and useful to their jobs or role in a nonprofit. This session enables all participants to learn from each other and can be a rich source of insights.

Since this is the first course in the program focused on the role of senior executives in leading associations, feedback is critical to continuously fine-tune the course to keep it relevant and useful to participants.