|Jan. 28, 2013|
Data show associations 'not getting and not asking'
Mahatma Gandhi, the revered Indian humanist and spiritual leader once said, "If you don't ask, you don't get." While sales folks have adopted Gandhi's wisdom to mean "don't be afraid to ask for the order," association professionals need to take it a step further. You already have the order (i.e., member dues), and now you have to ask members if you're delivering on what you promised them.More
Are associations really democracies?
We like to tout democratic principles at the heart of associations, but the comparison between membership and citizenship doesn't always hold up. Say what you will about the American political system, but the leaders we choose to represent us are ever mindful of the constituents they represent; if they aren't, they get booted out in the next election. This is not so often the case in associations, where competency-based boards have supplanted constituency-based ones, member voting in board elections is minimal, and consensus-based decision making is the norm.More
Are local chapters still relevant?
Stronger By Association
A member of the American Society of Association Executives LinkedIn group recently posted a question for discussion: "Where have all the local chapters gone and what will fill the void?" Local chapters are not disappearing. On the contrary, many see growth opportunities for local chapters in delivering localized content, networking opportunities and face-to-face social connections.More
Speaking your members' language: 6 gaps that might be dooming associations to irrelevance
Associations sell knowledge service and strategic solutions rather than products, hence there is a need for even deeper and more expansive levels of understanding of the whole person in all its dimensions and contexts. Associations' path to relevance depends on their willingness and ability to: re-imagine; think and act strategically; conceptualize and design from the perspective of their customers; and make sense to their markets and customers rather than in-house committees or policies.More
8 common leadership styles
If you're leading well, you won't have just one leadership style. You'll mix and match to engage your team and meet your goals. There is a time and place for all leadership styles. No style is good or bad. It's how leaders use them that determines success or failure. More
Decision weasels in associations
The hallmark of the decision weasel is the uncanny ability to get credit for all of the stuff that goes right, and somehow escape any negative consequences when things go wrong. Decision weasels are usually in positions of power in our associations. Sometimes these individuals are executives or senior staff, sometimes chairs of boards, committees or chapters. If it were just the occasional individual that we had to watch out for, that would be bad enough. But sometimes decision weasels run in packs and can comprise the majority of the boards and committees.More
5 strategies to improve the common conference lecture
Talking is a critical part of that learning experience. We talk so we can understand; we talk so we can remember; we talk so we can learn. But who does the majority of talking at a conference and who does the majority of listening? The speakers talk as the audience listens.More
3 traits every great leader must demonstrate
Motive. Passion. Spontaneity. Those are three attributes that a political pollster once told Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, that a great leader needed to demonstrate. Motive is the reason they have chosen public life and, as Matthews explains, "Everybody knew why they [as leaders] were there." Passion is "what makes them laugh, what makes them cry… what makes them get angry occasionally." Spontaneity is "the ability to answer a question you haven't heard before." Not only are those good qualities for an elected official, they are good descriptors for anyone who aspires to lead other people.More
Secrets to getting clicks for your online content
Doesn't it bother you when you spend time creating a piece of content that hardly anyone reads? The Web is full of competition for your readers' attention, but there must be ways to capture their eyeballs. Just like a fisherman who chooses a lure based on what the flounder might be thinking, we have to figure out what gets our readers to take the bait. The good news is 92 percent of adults say they read and search for online content, so if you haven't yet invested resources in your online platforms, you better make that a priority.More