Sunday, October 25, 2015

5 articles for Association Executives

Generational Differences Are Real
By Jamie Notter via JamieNotter blog

In case you were wondering, there is actual historical theory that explains the generations. Before you write anything that declares generations to be a hoax, please read Generations, by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Okay, it's a huge book, so at least read their appendix devoted specifically to theory.

Why Are Some Words Better for Your Marketing?
By Andy Crestodina via Orbit Media Studios

Choose them carefully. The words we use matter. There are over 1,000,000 of them in the English language. Most of them are terrible for your marketing. Some work better. Much better. Some words are simple to understand. Others require a bit more work as they bounce around in the readers brain. They require more knowledge and education.

Why Associations Should Be Planning Their LinkedIn Exit Strategy
By Maggie McGary via Social Fish blog

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Strategic Intent Lessons from Cards-Cubs MLB Series

A week or so ago I was facilitating a strategic planning session for an association.

I use the Strategic Intent Model ... which begins with where you are (current condition) and then “jumps” to the future status (desired condition). (See image below.)

A couple of the board members were rabid Cubs fans (you know, the professional baseball team that always gets close but never wins the World Series). After spending 35 years in St. Louis, I can be considered a fan of the Cardinals (you know, the baseball team that holds the most World Series trophies in the National League).

At dinner, the Cubs fan shared the changes the Cubs had made to try to get their first World Series victory in 108 years.

New owner: The Chicago Tribune sold Cubs to the Ricketts family.
New general manager (experience; built team that won first World Series in Boston)
New manager (old pro)
New players: Cubs dumped big salary players, let go of star players and built from within
New culture

That night, I woke up thinking about the Cardinals:

Could this happen to you?

WZZM TV failed to learn the lesson from the Chicago Tribune’s headlines claiming that Dewey Beat Truman.

Breaking news ... Oops ... it ain’t over til its over! Local news station delivers entire report on Michigan winning

In case you missed in Saturday, the University of Michigan attempted a punt with 4 seconds remaining in the game. But, contrary to this reporter, the Michigan punter “muffed” the punt, a Michigan State defender caught the ball and ran it back for a touchdown giving Michigan State a win as the game ended.

Another lesson learned?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Does Your Association Blog? Consistently?

I was looking for local attorneys for my mother-in-law (who is moving here next month) and came across a firm that included a blog on its website.

I clicked on the blog tab and was surprised (even disappointed) when the last post was dated in mid-2014. The firm started its blog and was posting once a month ... but, then abruptly stopped. Why?

Does your association blog? Regularly? What is your strategy?

Check your association’s website. I’m often surprised at how few association websites keep current. Old blog posts. “News” sections where the last “news” item is more than six months old.

Someone within the organization needs to “own” the blog and website and be responsible for keeping it current.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Can you really motivate association staff?

Jamie Notter posted a great piece this week on culture headlined Why Successful Companies Are Okay with People Leaving.

  • But your employees are humans, not spare parts, and that fundamentally changes asaethe equation. The potential of a human-centered organization is dependent on the humans inside the organization reaching their own potential. When your people can be themselves at work, feel a deep connection between the work they’re doing and their own development, and consistently do what they’re best at, then performance goes through the roof. We intuitively know this (and call it “high employee engagement”), yet since we continue to manage with a machine mindset, we are rarely able to achieve it.
Yesterday’s paper carried two related stories:

Miami Dolphins fire head coach “for failure to motivate players.”
  • “But doubts only grew this season regarding Philbin's inability to motivate players with his bland demeanor.”
Washington Nationals fire manager for reasons including “poor communications”
  • In describing what he will look for in a manager to replace Matt Williams, Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo might have been pointing out exactly what he felt went wrong with the man he hired two years ago and fired Monday.
  • "Leadership qualities, knowledge of the game, X's and O's are all important. Communication in the clubhouse, communication within the coaching staff, is vital," Rizzo said during a telephone conference call.
The real question ... 

  • are professional staff “entities” that can be motivated? Or, are most staff self motivated?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Do your board members have offices in your association’s headquarters?

If so, why?

I’ve always worked with national/international associations and we did not have offices for board members. Perhaps large local associations provide officers for board members?

I raise the issue because of the on-going saga here with the local school board and school superintendent.

The school board seems dysfunctional. They have been through 6 superintendents in 18 years. The most recent superintendent resigned less than three years after her appointment.

When she was hired as an interim/acting/temporary/permanent superintendent, I posted this blog in 2013 asking: Would you take this Nonprofit CEO position?