Monday, September 28, 2015

7 Oldies but Goodies for Associations Executives

The other night some couples were discussing their favorite “old” television programs. You know: Seinfield, Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, etc.

Associations can benefit from using some “oldies but goodies” ... especially with older members and/or with great content that could be refreshed.

With that spirit, here are some of my “old posts” that are worth revisiting:

Should associations use faux research to advocate a cause?
It continues to amaze me on how “gullible” the news media is to faux research reports produced by advocacy groups. I’ve posted other blogs about “research.” Today, I saw multiple news items about the newest poll on Republican presidential candidates “polling numbers.” The “reporters” talked about 1-3 point changes in a given candidates standings. What they didn’t mention is that the poll had an error range of 6.5 percent ... meaning the results were basically full of error.

Would you take this Nonprofit CEO position?
As I’ve followed this “case,” I’ve wondered whether the board itself is dysfunctional? Or, have they just failed to hire the right person to be superintendent. I posted this June 2013. Earlier this month, the superintendent resigned. Hum?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Traditions Can Boost Member Loyalty

I went back to Columbus to an Ohio State football game last week.

It happened to be Alumni Band Day and it incorporated alumni cheerleaders and recognition of former championship football and baseball teams.

Here is a selection of Ohio State’s Game Day traditions:
  • Skull Session: This is the band’s rehearsal and open to the public. It draws about 14,000 people for the hour.
  • Team Walk: The football team stays in an on-campus hotel and walks to the band’s Skull Session. After a “pep rally,” the team then walks (through hundreds of fans) from the Arena to the Stadium.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Branding (for associations) at a Glance

I stopped at a convenience story the other day to get gas and a newspaper. While in the store, I remembered we needed peanut butter. I wondered, “Will they have peanut butter?” “Should I go to the grocery store instead?”

Then, I spotted it. A jar of peanut butter that was “my brand.” 

An easy – and comfortable – decision ... that saved me a 20+ minute drive to/from the grocery.

We flew to Columbus over the weekend.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

6 Tips to Make a Good Team

The 2015 College football season has begun.

The Ohio State football team (yes, I’m biased) and its defense of its national championship offers lessons for association professionals.

I once served an association that became known as “the best in the profession.” As we grew – more members, more money, more prestige – the “grind” became keeping up and continuously improving. One of our “errors” was trying to do too much which defused our focus. In the end, we were not able to sustain our success.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer guided the 2014 OSU football team to a national championship in only his third year on the job. Now, he is attempting to repeat. Last year’s motto “the Chase” has given way to “the Grind.” 

Here are six leadership lessons from OSU football:

1. Leadership development
  • Meyer hired a leadership development person for himself, then for his assistant coaches and finally for his players. The program focuses on servant leadership and team first.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

6 Great Readings for Labor Day and College Football’s Opening Weekend

Why a speaker shouldn’t “speak from the heart” — and a professional shouldn’t focus on passion…
By Scott McKain via Create Distinction

This is a really great article for association professionals! 

  • A key point: “The audience deserves your SKILL…not whatever condition your heart may be in at that particular juncture. And, they deserve the most skillful presenter that you can become.” 
  • When speakers (or just about any other professional) fail, it is very seldom because they didn’t put enough “heart” into their presentation. 
  • It’s because they failed to develop the skill required to do their job in an extraordinary manner.
Communicate More Often to Renew More Donors
By Dennis Fischman via The Fundraising Coach

It’s a facial expression that’s become way too familiar. When I talk with nonprofit organizations about communicating with their donors, they give me a sheepish look.

“We know we should be in touch more often,” the Executive Director says. “But we have so little time, and there are so many ways people expect to hear from us. Newsletters, annual reports, website updates, email, social media...not to mention local newspapers and community TV. How do we keep coming up with new ideas for stories?”

You don’t need to wear that sheepish look in your organization. Yes, you should be in touch. And yes, there are so many channels for your communications today! But there’s a simple way to make sure you always have the stories to tell and the messages to share: repurpose.

Board Leadership
By Fred Wilson via AVC blog