Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finding Passion within the Association Community

A couple of quotes:
  • Be careful not to close the door too quickly ... You may be locking yourself out. – Audrey Harvey
  • Nobody notices normal. – Scott Ginsberg
I thought of these as I read a USA Today piece headlined “Finding your passion for a 2nd or 3rd career.”  It is largely based on the book The Encore Career Handbook and One Person/Multiple Careers by Marci Alboher, a vice president at
  • “Many people want to continue working well beyond the traditional retirement age, and to do that they're finding new creative ways to stay employed in not just one new career, but two, three or more careers.”

Two important points for associations and association executives:

  1. Association executives nearling retirement should be focused on “what’s next.” Don’t wait until “it’s time to go.” Think ahead and plan. After all, you’ll spend 20 to 30 years in “retirement.”
  2. Associations may want to look at retiring association executives for special projects, consulting or short-term efforts requiring association experience.
So, don’t close doors too quickly!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Power of Odd Numbers (Associations)

A local auto dealer has been running a tv commercial in which the staff sits frustrated in the board room waiting for the chairman to arrive. Meanwhile she is driving through the ranch in her new vehicle.

Cute commercial, right?

Not really.

I can’t help but think about all the wasted staff resources.

It, unfortunately, reminds me of staff meetings and board meetings that failed to start on time because we were waiting for a key person (or more) to arrive.

Some 30 years ago, a farmer shared a secret to getting meetings started on time:

Establish an “odd” starting time such as 8:01 or 12:29. Then, be sure to start at that time no matter who is in the room.

It works. 

My clients referred to it as “Central Drake Time.”

Odd times/numbers work in other areas too.

The photo above is about a $2.05 donation to the Fort Myers Rescue Mission for a complete Thanksgiving meal. Notice that the precision of this amount offers more meaning than if the mission had said $2.

You’ll see the same thing on infomercials asking for donations of $19 a month.

There is power in using “odd” numbers in your association work ... whether meeting times, member dues or donations.

Are you doing this?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Content, Millenials & Videos{ 7 best of the week for associations

How to Overcome the 'No Time to Create Content' Challenge
By Joe Chernov via

How can we maximize our content output in the minimum amount of time? The answer, it turns out, isn't particularly complex: Spend time only on content that works. HubSpot recently surveyed nearly 3,600 marketing and sales professionals for our annual State of Inbound report (available at link; email required), and asked several questions related to content creation and impact. Then we pivoted the data to see where high performers—that is, marketers who generated greater year-over-year return on their inbound investment—spent their time and resources. A pattern emerged.

Why Steve Jobs Obsessed About Office Design (And, Yes, Bathroom Locations)
By Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute

Creativity is a collaborative process. As brilliant as the many inventors of the Internet and computer were, they achieved most of their advances through teamwork. Even though the Internet provided a tool for virtual and distant collaborations, another lesson of digital-age innovation is that, now as in the past, physical proximity is beneficial. The most productive teams were those that brought together people with a wide array of specialties.

Three Tips for Producing Online Video from a Popular Youtube Host
By Katie Bascuas via AssociationsNow

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Greening the Association

Office Depot Pavilion at 2014 Bioproducts World Showcase & Conference

I attended the Bioproducts World Showcase & Conference (BWSC) last week and came away impressed with the huge array of products available for associations interested in greener alternatives.

The Office Depot pavilion – which included several companies – showcased multiple biobased products associations could use in their day-to-day operations or at meetings.

Two examples:

  • The B2P (as in Bottle 2 Plastic) pens from Pilot. The casing of the pens are made from recycled plastic bottles. Cool tool. Great handouts. Great use of recycled products.
  • 100% bioblend tree-free pads and paper from Roaring Spring. The BWSC used these papers for producing the conference program and for notepads provided to attendees. 
These were just two of the biobased products that associations might use in efforts to be more environmental friendly.

I recognize that some association conferences “go paperless” ... which means most attendees print the materials at their office or home. This practice doesn’t save paper, just pushes the cost from the association to the attendee.

Wouldn’t it be better for associations to use this type of biobased products in all association operations?

What is your association doing?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Building Association Culture from the Get Go

The other day while browsing at a bookstore, I purchased a copy of Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano’s book Sidelined. The book focuses on his first year as head coach ... during which he was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia or APL.

Starting with the book’s foreword, I realized the book provided some value lessons for association executives and leaders of any organization.

Tony Dungy, former NFL coach and author, set the stage for the book about Pagano’s fight against APL during his time as head coach. Dungey coached the Colts starting in 2002. In the foreword, he shares his common core with Pagano:
  • “You win by having good people who are united in a common cause. Yes, you have to have talented players, and you have to do things in a fundamentally sound way. And, its takes preparation, hard work and attention to detail to succeed. But, in the end, having a team that functions like a family – a close-knit, loyal group that will not let each other down – those are the teams that win championships. Winning is not the most important job of a coach. The real joy in coaching comes from building relationships. Relationships with players, coaches, staff and families that you can never replace.”