Thursday, August 21, 2014

Synergy in the Boardroom: From Chaos to High Functioning

Guest Post by Russ Lemieux, Kellen Company

Description of the Organization: 

The Research Chefs Association is a 2,000 member professional society of chefs and food scientists working in R&D in food industry. Governed by a 16-member Board of Directors. Annual budget: $1.75 million.

The Problem: 
Early in its existence, the association was served well by a very entrepreneurial Board of Directors. Over time, as the organization grew in size and scope, the organization was increasingly hampered by that style of Board. Although the association had a strategic plan, association programs were developed and managed in silos with little or no mapping to the organization’s mission. Board members were personally responsible for specific projects and/or functions, many of them pet projects developed with little input, vetting or Board approval.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Engaging Leadership to Eliminate Deadwood Programs: Repair, Replace, Reinforce

Guest Post by Marilyn Jansen, Association Management Center

Name of Association: An international association of record managers

Description of the Organization: 
500 memberships representing 1500 individual members; $1.3 million budget

The Problem: 

The Board allows mission and program creep and fails to provide adequate resources to execute the new programs and services. They hold on to old ideas and programs without evaluating the priorities of the strategic plan, the program’s overall effectiveness, implementation impact to staff, and bearing on the bottom line.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What Color is Your Shirt - From Trivia to Strategic

Editor's Note:
I facilitated a panel at the recent ASAE Annual Meeting.  Our topic:  Why Boards Fail and How to Fix Them.  Our panel used 8 case studies to address our topic.  Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing many of the case studies ... you can find the cases on SlideShare.

The case I shared follows:

Name of Association: A national association of calf growers

Description of the Organization: 
350 members; 15 board members; $300,000 budget

The Problem: 
 As a fairly new association coming from a relationship with staffing from multiple agencies, board members focused on minute day-to-day tactical issues. For example, on one 60-minute board conference call, the board spent 21% of the call discussing what color of shirts to wear the first day of its convention.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Timing Is Everything When It Comes to Association Public Relations

No matter how well you plan a major announcement for your association, news events can get in the way and keep you from getting the news coverage you desired!
Sometimes your best PR plans get displaced by major news events.

Back in graduate journalism school, we studied a Wilbur Shramm book titled One Day in the World’s Press: Fourteen Great Newspapers on a Day of Crisis, November 2, 1956. 

On November 2, 1956, troops and tanks from the USSR invaded Hungary and at nearly the same time planes from Britain and France bombed the Suez Canal.

The news media then and now have room for only one lead story. Only one front page headline. Only one story leading off the tv news reports. When we have many more news outlets today, media face the same issue:  only one story can lead the news stories.

The authors studied front pages of newspapers around the world in November 1956 to see which story was the “headline.” 
[Note in photo above, the paper's editors deemed the Suez Canal story more important than the Hungary invasion.]

I can think of similar situations since Shramm’s book:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Job Hunting in the Network Age

When it comes to associations and association professionals, this interview in the Wall Street Journal offers some good information.

Here are some key elements from the interview:

  • The 47-year-old knows networks. Reid Hoffman built his reputation by founding the business social-networking platform LinkedIn and serving as chief operating officer of the e-commerce site PayPal, both billion-dollar powerhouses. He was an early investor in YouTube, Yelp, Flickr, Zynga ZNGA and, oh yes, Facebook. 
  • He has a theory on what makes ventures work: understanding that information is no longer isolated but instantly connected to everything else. Call it the move from the information age to the network age.
  • It's not just online, on Facebook and Twitter, but everywhere. It is the sum of those communications, conversations and interactions.