Thursday, July 2, 2015

6 Great Reads for Association Professionals

Leading from the Outside-In
By Maddie Grant via

Perhaps you and your organization grapple with some of the questions that preoccupied the executives I interviewed for my book as they contemplated how to take their organizations to a next phase.
  • Should we create radically different membership and business models?
  • Should we go “global”?
  • Should we still have a print publication?
  • How can we increase attendance at our conference?
  • How can we increase engagement?
Can you Change When You Need to?
By Jamie Notter via

The table I was at was talking about Netflix and how they made the brilliant strategic move to start creating their own programming (most notably, House of Cards). This move helped create more loyalty among their customers. After all, we can ONLY get House of Cards by subscribing to Netflix. But what didn't get mentioned at the table was how Netflix had to make a significant change in who they were as a company in order to accomplish this feat. They essentially had to become a television/movie studio. That's not who they were, but they realized (once they started facing lots of competition to their video streaming business) that they had to change.

The Rise of the New Groupthink and the Power of Working Alone
By Susan Cain via LinkedIn

The credit (for Apple’s innovation) is not Steve Wozniak’s alone; it also belongs to Homebrew. Wozniak identifies that first meeting as the beginning of the computer revolution and one of the most important nights of his life. So if you wanted to replicate the conditions that made Woz so productive, you might point to Homebrew, with its collection of like-minded souls. You might decide that Wozniak’s achievement was a shining example of the collaborative approach to creativity. You might conclude that people who hope to be innovative should work in highly social workplaces. And you might be wrong. Consider what Wozniak did right after the meeting in Menlo Park. Did he huddle with fellow club members to work on computer design? No.

Is It Time to Remove a Board Member?
By: Mark Athitakis via ASAE (may be available to members only)

If a board member is routinely derailing the association's work, it's time to start defusing the situation—and, in the worst-case scenario, consider the member's removal.
How to Design and Analyze a Survey
By Christopher Peters via

Flawed data can guide even the greatest leaders to the wrong conclusions. When success hangs in the balance, you need to be absolutely sure that you're gathering the right data with the right methods.

People Remember What You Say When You Paint a Picture
By Andrew M. Carton via Harvard Business Review

Leaders must communicate strategies for growth that employees can clearly envision. Instead of invoking abstract ideals, the most effective leaders communicate their visions using image-based words. What, exactly, is a vision with image-based words? It’s one that describes people with well-defined attributes (such as children) and observable actions (such as smiling and laughing). Image-based words convey sensory information to paint a vivid picture of the future, one that employees can easily imagine witnessing.

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