Sunday, May 20, 2012

Best of the Week: 3 key topics for Association CEOs, EDs, Execs

This week, I'm sharing seven (7) articles that fall within three (3) categories vital to the future of associations.  These are excellent articles for association CEOs, Executive Directors and other association staff.  Please share with you association staff and volunteer leaders as appropriate.

Issue 1: Strategic Planning and Change Management.
Two good articles in the last week around this core topic:


  • Change Management Can Be Either Reactive or Proactive. From John Kotter and the Kotter Institute via GTwM.  "No one has to change. Survival is optional." Deming Organizational change management is the process of developing a planned approach to change in an organization. Change management can be either 'reactive' or 'proactive'. Change management can be conducted on a continuous basis, on a regular schedule (such as an annual review), or when deemed necessary on a program-by-program basis. Attitudes towards change result from a complex interplay of emotions and cognitive processes.
  • Can Strategic Planning Cripple Innovation?  by Anna Caraveli via Jamie Notter “As ‘strategy’ has blossomed, the competitiveness of Western companies has withered.” This is what Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad claim in their booklet Strategic Intent (Harvard Business Review 2010). As provocative as this observation sounds, Hamel and Prahalad don’t back down. They believe that this is not a mere coincidence. They see the practice of strategic planning as limiting companies to what there is rather than what might be; tactics rather than reinvention.
Issue 2: Should your association have a social media policy?
Only about 40% of employers have formal social-media policies, according to a survey of 470 companies released this year by the Society for Human Resource Management. This is a topic that associations should review with legal counsel. Here are a series of articles related to the topic; note that they don't all agree!

  • Facebook and Twitter Postings Cost CFO His Job via the Wall Street Journal  Mr. Gene Morphis was chief financial officer of fashion retailer Francesca's Holdings Corp. FRAN -3.37% The Houston-based company fired him because he "improperly communicated company information through social media," the company said.
  • 8 Reasons Social Media Policies Backfire by Heather Bussing.  Lawyers and HR live and breathe risk management. One of their favorite tools is the employment policy. But, before you issue the latest and greatest social media edicts, understand this fundamental principal—the more you control it, the more you will be legally responsible for everything that happens.
  • Social Media Policies: Do's and Don'ts by Jeffrey A. James and Laura L. Edwards  In the past few years, social media technologies have emerged as double-edged swords in the workplace. In the right hands, such technologies can provide unprecedented marketing and growth opportunities. In the wrong hands, they can create embarrassment and liability for an employer. When drafting a social media policy, employers should keep the story’s guidelines in mind.
Issue 3: Connecting without buildings.
A couple of articles this week touch on the current ability to manage businesses (and associations) without face-to-face meetings. One story deals with management; another with education.
  • Panera management on the move; Co-CEOs live in different cities, headquarters in a third (St. Louis) From St. Louis Business Journal, the story talks about the workings of a centralized management spread across the country. Panera’s philosophy regarding hiring great people: “If they’re going to travel 50% of the time, why uproot their families to move to the headquarters?”
  • Column: Ivy League education? Online is the new option From USA Today: The latest trend among an increasing number of prominent colleges is to offer online classes to the masses. This month, Harvard became the next college to jump on the online education bandwagon, announcing it would be teaming up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to launch a new program of online classes — edX. Right now, these classes aren't a substitute for getting a college degree, although students can gain credit for them. But in the future, more and more students might decide to swap the campus for the computer.
  • Mobile business: Managing cash flow on the go. By David Bauer in the St. Louis Business Journal.  Increasingly, executives are using mobile banking to stay on top of company finances. A business leader can “visit the bank” by mobile phone — easily, securely and in real time — between making sales calls, overseeing operations in the field or even traveling halfway across the country.

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