Commentary: Putting the “Public” in Public‐Serving Associations: A Board Imperative

Date01 November 2014
Published date01 November 2014
Putting the “Public” in Public-Serving Associations: A Board Imperative 747
Public Administration Review,
Vol. 74, Iss. 6, pp. 747–748. © 2014 by
The American Society for Public Administration.
DOI: 10.1111/puar.12287.
William Shields is executive director
of the American Society for Public
Administration and adjunct professor
at American University. He has more
than 15 years of nonprof‌i t executive
management experience with both
public- and private-serving membership
success is def‌i ned in large part by f‌i nancial perfor-
mance. In our case, not necessarily: our measure of
success is how well we achieve our core mission, which
is focused on collective action and the public good.
Although anecdotal, this example shows us the reali-
ties and practicalities with which boards of nonprof‌i t,
mission-driven organizations must deal: growing an
endowment, constantly searching for creative fund-
ing sources, addressing internal management chal-
lenges that inevitably rise to their level, fulf‌i lling their
Several years ago, the board of a professional
association with which I was af‌f‌i liated asked a
facilitator to lead a strategic planning exercise.
e objective was to identify the goals that the orga-
nization should undertake on behalf of its members,
most of whom serve the public.  e assigned reading
for the session? Good to Great, penned by manage-
ment guru Jim Collins, whose lessons the facilitator
undoubtedly believed would be well replicated by our
nonprof‌i t organization.  e problem? For Collins,
“organization” is synonymous with “company,” where
Putting the “Public” in Public-Serving Associations:
A Board Imperative
William Shields
American Society for Public Administration

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT