Thursday, May 1, 2014

Innovation, Freeloaders, Mistakes & 3 Other Reads for Association Executives

We Are All Becoming Millennials
By Darcy Jacobsen via Globoforce

It’s hard to read anything about business today and not trip over references to millennials, and the changes they are bringing to the workplace. It has everyone in something of a lather. The fact is, we’re looking so hard at this new generation that we are failing to reflect enough on the changes that are sweeping the rest of us—traditionals, boomers and gen Xers included. I’ve been surprised that millennials do not differ from the workforce at large in as many areas as you’d think. Darcy then lists 7 areas in which we have commonalities.

Getting Rid of the Freeloaders in Your Association: Is it Realistic?
By Meagan Rockett via XYZ University blog

If you are no longer benefiting from their (freeloaders) presence anymore, it may be time to start making these freeloaders pay to play. I encourage you to make it a gradual, affordable process:

  • Start with your content
  • Charge a nominal fee for your local events 
  • Introduce an e-membership
Being ‘Good’ Isn’t the Only Way to Go
By Aaron Hurst via New York Times

Finding meaning is about being engaged. When Amy Wrzesniewski, an associate professor at Yale, and Jane E. Dutton, a professor at the University of Michigan, along with other researchers, looked at workers in a wide range of organizations, from hospital cleaners to administrators and managers, they found several ways in which workers crafted purpose in each profession.

Working in a nonprofit is no guarantee of having meaning in your daily life. Many nonprofit employees lack purpose in their work. Their organization may be doing inspiring work in the world, but the day-to-day job doesn’t generate much involvement.

8 Common Thinking Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day and How to Prevent Them
By Belle Beth Cooper via the Buffer blog

I think it’s fascinating to learn more about how we think and make decisions every day, so let’s take a look at some of these thinking habits we didn’t know we had.
  1. We surround ourselves with information that matches our beliefs.
  2. We believe in the “swimmer’s body” illusion.
  3. We worry about things we’ve already lost.
  4. We incorrectly predict odds.
  5. We rationalize purchases we don’t want.
  6. We make decisions based on the anchoring effect.
  7. We believe our memories more than facts.
  8. We pay more attention to stereotypes than we think.
The 14 Keys to Writing Advertorials That Sell
By Demian Farnworth via

Advertorials are native ads with a single purpose: getting specific action from the reader.
This could be donating to a cause, downloading a PDF, subscribing to an email newsletter, visiting a store, or buying a product.

An effective advertorial grips the reader and leads her to the logical conclusion — pointing her, in very specific language, to what to do next. This is the call to action.
  • Advertorials come in all shapes and sizes.
  • They could be lists or guides.
  • They could be videos or print articles.
  • They could be one page or six.
  • Regardless of the format or medium, however, most tell a story.
  • This is why there are so many similarities between the essential ingredients of a blog post and an advertorial.
Innovation Starts With Observing Your Conference Attendees In Action
By Jeff Hurt via Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections

What do conference organizers need in order to embrace innovation in their conferences, meetings and events? The Innovators’ DNA authors identified five behaviors—associating, questioning, observing, idea-networking and experimenting—needed to spark successful innovation.

Innovation requires well-developed, intentional observation. It means that meeting professionals have to step out of their show offices and onto the conference floor to watch attendees in action.

Ultimately, observation requires an inquisitive, curious mind; impartial and objective thought; and deep understanding and empathy. Here are four methods grounded in ethnographic research to study your attendees’ behavior:
  1. Interview And Focus Groups
  2. Fly-On-The-Wall Observations
  3. Contextual Inquiry
  4. Walk-A-Mile Immersion

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