Sunday, February 22, 2015

When Dissent Leads to Association Rebellion

Dissent is good and dangerous.
I’ve watched as board members and/or chapters – frustrated with the parent group – lash out and/or pull out when they don’t get their way from the parent organization.

Such abuse of power often splits the organization. Sometimes this form of dissent is a power grab. During such dissent, I often wonder who is looking out for members.

A recent news story on the dissent within the Florida School Board Association made me think about this issue among other organizations.

In a story headlined 'Grassroots' Florida school board association founded, we learned that “the Florida Coalition of School Board (FCSB) members seeks to become a "financially responsible," grassroots group that supports school choice options including charter school and local control of education issues.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Are You Ready to Respond to Your Association’s “Brian Williams moment?”

As you probably know, NBC News is currently embroiled in a raging controversy over reports of Brian Williams, the anchor of its NBC Nightly News.

In this case, Williams erroneously reported that he was in a helicopter in Iraq that was shot down.

The credibility of Williams and NBC is at stake. A Google search of “Brian Williams reporting case” lists 24.3 million hits.
(Note: yesterday, NBC suspended – without pay – Williams for six months.)

While not likely to this magnitude, your association can be exposed too.

Monday, February 9, 2015

7 Best of Week Articles for Associations/Nonprofits

How Tweet It Is: Twitter is Becoming a Better Way to Offer Customer Service
By Maddie Grant via

Trending companies like Hootsuite, a social media management system company, are using Twitter to field questions and complaints from consumers. Soda giant Mountain Dew is also joining the Twitter train. No longer used as a platform for quick-read headlines and tidbits of people’s thoughts, Twitter is now transforming into a tool for businesses to field customers’ calls.

What Disruptive Innovation Means
Via the Economist

In his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma.” Clayton Christensen used the term to describe innovations that create new markets by discovering new categories of customers. The “innovator’s dilemma” is the difficult choice an established company faces when it has to choose between holding onto an existing market by doing the same thing a bit better, or capturing new markets by embracing new technologies and adopting new business models.

The New Competitors You Should Worry About
By Anna Caraveli via The Demand Networks

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

8 Tips on a Great Annual Meeting of Members

As an association executive, I’m used to organizing and staffing association membership meetings.

So, it is always a learning experience when I participate in an annual meeting of members as a member not a staff professional.

This happened last week when our “residents alliance” held its annual membership meeting. We have about 950 members and no staff. So, the meeting is volunteer developed and volunteer run.

Here eight (8) things I really like about the way the meeting is managed”

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Is Your Association Stuck in Groundhog Day?

Today is Groundhog Day. You know, if the groundhog sees its shadow, we’re supposed to have six more weeks of winter weather.

But, for this blog, I’m thinking of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day  ... the one where Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) ends up in a time loop, living the same day over and over again.

Groundhog Day doesn’t just affect associations, corporations face the same issues. Here are some quotes from The Next McDonald’s Turnover, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., column in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal:

  • If there’s a lesson for McDonald’s latest troubles, which got CEO Don Thompson fired this week, it’s that every organization keeps doing what works until it no longer works. McDonald’s problems are eminently fixable.
  • The easiest part is to stop doing what no longer works. 
Today’s question is whether your association is trapped doing the same things day after day but not really making any progress.