Thursday, August 20, 2015

Association CEOs Saying Thanks


What is your most important job as an association CEO?

When I was an AMC owner and association CEO, one of my most important jobs was catching people doing good ... and giving frequent thank you notes. And, I was always gratified when I saw those notes posted on walls in staff offices!

Turns out I must have known what I was doing!

The Wall Street Journal reviewed research on appreciation in a recent story headlined, It Pays to Give Thanks at the Office.

  • “Being appreciated is one of the great motivators on the job, even better than money. Researchers at the London School of Economics analyzed more than 50 studies for a 2011 paper that looked at what gets people charged up at work. They concluded that we give our best effort if the work gets us interested and excited, if we feel that it’s providing meaning and purpose, and if others appreciate what we’re doing.”
  • “A sense of appreciation is the single most sustainable motivator at work,” said Adam Grant, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “Extrinsic motivators can stop having much meaning. Your raise in pay feels like your just due, your bonus gets spent, your new title doesn’t sound so important once you have it. But the sense that other people appreciate what you do sticks with you.”
So what is the best way to show gratitude at work?

The key is to be specific about what someone has done and to give honest and sincere appreciation.

When was the last time you sent a handwritten thank you note to one or more of your staff?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Associations & Statistics: Who Are We Kidding?


John Haydon posted the graphic above on Facebook: "Statistics Show That Teen Pregnancies Drop Drastically After The Age of 20."

I laughed.

It shows how ridiculous the media and Americans are when it comes to statistics.

It reminds me of the old saying: “Figures lie and liars figure.”

I’ve written before about the use of surveys and analysis of data and how they can lead associations astray.

The other day, USA Today ran a big “research” story about CEO Compensation with a screaming headline that 9 CEOs paid 800 times more than their workers

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rogue Association Challenges Existing Organization


A long-time colleague who is executive director of a statewide association called me the other day asking for advice:

  • “Two former board members and a current board member have joined forces to start a new association that competes with our organization. What do I do?”
His question stumped me.
In all my years as an association professional, I have not had to deal with this situation or anything similar. While I’ve watched it happen to some other organizations, I don’t have any real answers.

So, my friend said, “Why don’t you write a blog about it and see if anyone has an answer.”

What would you do?


  • Ignore them?
  • Hold a meeting with the “rogue group” to see if you can resolve issues? [What if they have no interest in meeting?]
  • Bring in an outside facilitator for a meeting?
  • Ramp up your member communications and benefits to be sure your current members don’t abandon your organization?

-0-

By the way: one piece of advice I offered my colleague (who has been in his role for about 20 years) – It is time for you to update your resume and spend some quality time thinking about what position you want next.
  • What do you think? Is this good advice?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rebranding. Renaming. Reimaging. What’s an Association To Do?


Another request from an association professional: “We’re looking for a company that helps organizations re-brand themselves and even guide them towards a new name.”

As a former AMC owner and association consultant, I’ve been through three association logo changes, three name changes and more.

3 Reasons to Consider Change:

  1. Because your market has changed and current name does not reflect your members/prospects
  2. Because your image is “old and stale”
  3. Because your name/design does not reflect your new products/benefits

Sunday, July 26, 2015

How Do You Replace an Association Legend?



That was the question facing The Ohio State University Alumni Association board during my last year as a director back in 2003.

At the time, our board was in the process of replacing a CEO who had been in the role for about 30 years.

How do you replace a legend ... or long term CEO?

Well, we started by hiring an executive search firm.

And, we concluded by replacing a legend with a legend.