It is hoped the independent commission, due to report early next year, will ensure the LGA capitalises on opportunities presented by ministers' reform plans and the comprehensive spending review.
It will work with councils to gain greater public approval, ensure authorities help create national policies and place councils at the vanguard of public service reform.
Paul Coen, the association's chief executive, said: 'The LGA has, by any standard, been quite successful in its first 10 years. But there's a lot of organisations that fail because they think they've been successful and can just carry on.'
Other commission members include Slough BC's chief executive Cheryl Coppell, Paul Kirby, a partner at KPMG, and Dame Gill Morgan, the NHS Confederation's chief executive.