Press Release: “This is a book for which nonprofit CEOs and boards have been waiting.”
The CEO and the Board: The Art of Nonprofit Governance as a Competitive Advantage by Dr. Kurt Senske is a must-read book for CEOs, board chairs, and members.
The world is increasingly uncertain, complex, and competitive. The governance model that many boards and CEOs are currently using may not be best suited for their future. In his new book, The CEO and the Board: The Art of Nonprofit Governance as a Competitive Advantage, Dr. Kurt Senske reveals how the time has come for leadership teams to collectively work together to implement an evolving, adaptive model of governance that is tailored to the current situation of their unique organization.
“No two organizations are alike, so the purpose of this book is to provide a roadmap that will allow CEOs and their boards to openly examine and adapt their governance model to be designed to drive organizational missional success,” writes Dr. Senske. “Those organizations and their members who embark down this path will be at a competitive advantage vis-à-vis their peers who do not. This is the art of governance.”
Dr. Senske’s intentional focus on governance models will add value to any organization’s mission and bottom line as it adapts to a myriad of changes, both external and internal. Readers will follow Dr. Senske through different facets of how their nonprofit can make effective changes and work through questions to craft an intentional relationship between the board and the CEO for organizational success.
“This is a book for which nonprofit CEOs and boards have been waiting,” says Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, president of Concordia University, St. Paul. “Dr. Senske’s work is exceedingly relevant to the real opportunities and challenges nonprofit organizations face today. His focus on the art and science of leadership and boardsmanship is balanced, clearly stated, and effectively nuanced. . . . This book goes far beyond being a how-to manual. It is, more importantly, a why-to and what-to resource for CEOs and boards who aspire to excellence, ongoing growth, and fulfillment of their organizations’ missions and visions.”
For more information about the book, visit books.cph.org/ceo-and-the-board. Contact Erica Sontag to schedule an interview with Dr. Senske.
Praise for The CEO and the Board
Every CEO and board chair will benefit from reading this monograph. Dr. Kurt Senske weaves his own work, board, and consulting experiences to provide a clear picture of a preferred future where governance supports and encourages a strong and healthy organization and the CEO and the board are optimally working together. Especially useful are the chapters on strategic planning and managing the change necessary to transform an organization. This short and easy-to-read book can be used as a primer for CEOs and boards to begin the conversation around critical governance topics that can facilitate the transformation of a nonprofit in better serving the Church and the world.
—Bart Day, MDiv, MBA; president and CEO, Lutheran Church Extension Fund
Dr. Senske’s book provides a comprehensive review of governance best practices from noted governance experts. He goes on to encourage you to practically apply the principles learned to your own organization because you know what your organization needs better than anyone else.
—Teresa Rasmussen, president and CEO, Thrivent
The timing of Senske’s book is impeccable. With the rapidly changing landscape facing most organizations, CEOs and boards must work in tandem to leverage the things that strengthen performance and maintain absolute clarity about why this work is critical for the betterment of our communities. Senske’s experiences and insights enable readers to create a road map leading toward a positive future for their organization. The reflective questions included in this book are great starting points for conversation and reflection.
—Linda Timmons, president and CEO, Mosaic
Dr. Senske recognizes the tough challenges facing CEOs and boards in today’s increasingly complex and ever-changing environment. He offers powerful insights and practical advice on both the art and science of governance. This is a must-read for nonprofit CEOs and boards that want a strategic board of directors to create a competitive advantage and achieve their organization’s potential.
—Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO, Lutheran Services in America
A breath of fresh air! This is not your ordinary one-size-fits-all governance prescription, but a thoughtful conversation on the intricacies of modern-day governance and the centrality of the board and CEO relationship. Applying his own deep experience, Dr. Senske artfully navigates the subtle and not-so-subtle challenges and barriers to organizational success at the governance level. Rather than providing trite solutions, Senske encourages the reader with new perspectives and opportunities for deeper thought designed to help the reader find the right path for their own unique organization. Well worth reading!
—Kurt Buchholz, president and CEO, Lutheran Hour Ministries
Dr. Senske’s rich and provocative insights into nonprofit governance best practices is a must-read for board chairs, members, and CEOs. This book moves at a fast, satisfying pace and provides scores of questions and topics that help heighten the individual and collective self-awareness of board members. Good stewardship suggests that every board and CEO collaboratively read and explore Senske’s work as part of a self-evaluation and improvement initiative. Repeating this process every few years and using the book as a reference when governance issues and opportunities arise will help us lead our nonprofits to outcomes that best serve our communities. They deserve nothing less.
—Don Scifres, founder and managing director, 28:20 Capital
The most important aspect of governance expert Dr. Kurt Senske’s insightful book is that he recognizes upfront that nonprofit organizations do in fact operate in highly competitive arenas. Yes, they are vital service organizations, but they must compete for constituent attention, gifted leaders, engaged experts, and financial resources. And what Senske makes clear is that the right governance structure and board composition can make the difference between mediocrity and excellence in those competitive endeavors.
—Kirk D. Farney, PhD, vice president for advancement, vocation, and alumni engagement, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
As nonprofit leaders, we desire to be good stewards of the organizations entrusted to our care. Dr. Senske challenges us to unleash the often hidden power of the CEO-board relationship! As a nonprofit CEO for fifteen years, I was affirmed by this book for many things I have learned on my journey. Senske’s book also provided clarity and focus in many other areas. Dr. Senske challenged me as a nonprofit leader to refocus my thoughts and efforts to gain a real competitive advantage for my organization. This is a must-read for nonprofit CEOs, boards, and leaders at all levels!
—James Sanft, president and CEO, Concordia Plan Services
For the better part of four decades, I have been connected to voluntary boards—both on the staff side and the officer side. Over the years, my work with small, local congregations, community organizations, higher education institutions, and multimillion-dollar international nonprofits would have benefited from this book. Dr. Senske is a guru and a guide when it comes to governance. A favorite feature for me is the book’s probing and practical questions. Raising the right questions raises effectiveness, or as Paul puts it, “Whatever . . . is commendable . . . think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).
—Rev. John Arthur Nunes, PhD; pastor, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Santa Monica, California; senior fellow, Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy
Dr. Senske’s years of acumen, insight, and skill in the boardroom—both as CEO and as a board member—give him a unique vantage point to study what works and what doesn’t. This is a great book for board directors and executives alike. You will find yourself nodding along and discovering new insights that will help you navigate with success.
—Mandy Tuong, president and CEO, Thrivent Charitable Impact and Investing
This is a book for which nonprofit CEOs and boards have been waiting. Dr. Senske’s work is exceedingly relevant to the real opportunities and challenges nonprofit organizations face today. His focus on the art and science of leadership and boardsmanship is balanced, clearly stated, and effectively nuanced. The book is immensely practical. There is no pie-in-the-sky, magic-wand thinking herein. Dr. Senske’s real-life examples are illustrative but also timely, useful, and practical. This book goes far beyond being a how-to manual. It is, more importantly, a why-to and what-to resource for CEOs and boards who aspire to excellence, ongoing growth, and fulfillment of their organizations’ missions and visions.
—Brian Friedrich, BA ’79, MDiv, PhD, president, Concordia University, St. Paul
About the Author
Dr. Kurt Senske spent twenty-three years as CEO of Upbring, where he more than quadrupled the size of the agency and steered the once-troubled agency back to financial strength. During his tenure, the organization eliminated an indebtedness of $60 million and currently enjoys an endowment of more than $40 million. Dr. Senske is the founder and now principal of CEO-Board Services, a consulting firm that specializes in working with mission-oriented organizational leaders and boards around issues of governance, strategy, organizational structure, succession planning, coaching, and mergers and acquisitions.
He is the author of five books, including Wine and the Word: Savor and Serve; The Calling: Live a Life of Significance; and Executive Values: A Christian Approach to Organizational Leadership.
Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For 150 years, CPH has been providing individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers over 10,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at cph.org.