Sunday, September 21, 2014

Association Leaders Struggle with the Duty of Loyalty


Association board members often struggle with the Duty of Loyalty. Here’s a definition from our association attorney:

  • The Duty of Loyalty dictates that officers and directors must act in good faith: A director shall avoid advancing their own personal interests in ways that may injure or take advantage of the Association. A director shall exercise honesty and must not allow his/her personal interests to prevail over the interests of the organization. The duty of loyalty has three key components: (1) the director must not usurp corporate opportunities for personal gain, (2) must avoid engaging in interested transactions without board approval, and (3) must maintain the organization’s confidential information.
During board orientations, I’ve had directors strenuously object to the concept that they have to support board actions even when they disagree with them.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

When Is It Time to Eliminate a Failed Program?


One major challenge facing many associations is “killing” a failing program. A program that doesn’t meet today’s member needs. A program that costs way more than the organization can afford. A program that just doesn’t add member value the way it used to.

So, why don’t we eliminate these programs and use the resources for something of more value?

  • it may be a “sacred cow” of one or two board members or perhaps the entire organization.
  • it may be considered a program that the association can’t do without.
  • It may have dedicated staff that defend it as a way to defend their jobs.
The current news about the U.S. “War on Poverty” illustrates the problems with failed programs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

6 Stories About Millennials & Associations



5 Surprising Reasons Millennials Join and Stay with Your Association
By Sarah Hill via Member Clicks

How do you get more Millennials in your association? Sure, networking and community good are very important to this up-and-coming generation, too, but they have other reasons for signing up and some of them may surprise you!

Outside Opinion: Millennials Frustrate HR Execs
By Sean Bisceglia via Chicago Tribune

This just in: New study on millennials. Text and you'll miss it. By 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce. By 2025, that number is likely to reach 75 percent. Given the huge millennial population, companies must hire them in increasing numbers. A study this summer by my company, Scout Exchange, and Oracle HCM Users Group sheds light on what we can expect from this generation of Americans born between 1976 and 1994.

5 Ways to Get Generation X and Y Engaged with Your Association
By Donna Vieira via Association Marketer

Sunday, September 14, 2014

6 Lessons for Association Executives

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of the Coca-Cola Co, wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal headlined Truett Cathy’s Lessons on Life & Business.


Who was Truett Cathy? He was the Chick-fil-A founder who died last week at the age of 93.

  • “How did Truett do it?” Mr. Kent wrote. “As someone lucky enough to know him, I saw six characteristics that defined the way he approached business, people and the communities he served.
As I read these six characteristics, I envisioned them as pretty good lessons for association volunteers, leaders and association executives.

Here they are:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What are association members saying?


I was at the driving range the other morning and overheard a couple of members complaining about the association (golf club) ... fussing about the executive director.

It made me wonder what association members might be saying behind our backs.

And, it reminded me of something a former board member of the Ohio State University Alumni Association once told me:
  • “It’s hard for staff to see the difference between fans and members,” he said. “Staff are exposed to raving fans. But the vast majority of alumni are members not fans. They don’t come to these events. They are pretty much silent. But as staff and leaders, we must look beyond the fans who attend our events and better understand the needs of those who don’t come to our events.”
Pretty good thinking.