Featured Articles

Be the first person to recommend this.
What would you expect a conference called Solutions Day to deliver? Answers to tough questions, strategies to tackle challenges and new perspectives. Our speakers made good on that promise. In the next few posts, I’m highlighting some of my personal aha moments from the November 15 event. If you’ve been considering how to make the most of new data that’s available from your association management system, Thad Lurie, number cruncher extraordinaire and vice president business intelligence at Experient, had some great recommendations. Thad’s presentation was a fascinating discussion on the practical and psychological impact of big data. Data is the Foundation ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Presenters who illuminated the future. Industry partners who are inventing tomorrow. And, the best and brightest colleagues in the association community—that was Solutions Day. .orgCommunity’s year is book-ended by two signature events. The wrap party for Solutions Day is over. But before we roll up our sleeves for the Innovation Summit (February 28, 2019), we’re taking a moment to recap the exhilaration of a great learning experience. When I needed help with the Solutions Day launch video, I turned to the techie I can always count on to get me up-to-speed in a hurry—my twelve-year-old. Watching my kids dive fearlessly into the deep end of technology ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The board is the cream of the crop, and there is an A-list staff to match. Financial and volunteer resources are plentiful. All the elements for success are in place. But the association is not winning. Instead of accomplishing goals, the management team spends their time putting out fires, running interference and quelling frustration. What is the missing ingredient? An effective organizational culture is that powerful energizer that can mean the difference between progress and stagnation. It’s the invisible, but potent, force that makes the office either a place where employees develop what’s best in themselves and others or a situation so broken that negativity ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Are you looking for heart-pumping thrills, bold challenges and a totally unforgettable experience? Pass on the skydiving. Skip ziplining the rainforest, and nix the heliskiing trip to Patagonia. Writing a book will give you all that excitement and more. My business partner Kevin and I never imagined what an incredible journey our work on Association 4.0--Positioning for Success in an Era of Disruption , would be. The book was inspired by changes that we were seeing in our consulting business. When we were new entrepreneurs, you could fit the scope of technology into the same neat boxes that contained the hardware and software that made it ...
0 comments

A Better Burger?

Be the first person to recommend this.
A classic branding lesson from a four-year-old Which is better? Pepsi or Coke? Mac or PC? McDonald’s or Burger King? Actually, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. And here’s why. Before consumers establish loyalties to brands they love, they first have to be drawn to that brand. And like “baby duck syndrome”—where a duckling imprints itself on its mother or the first mother substitute that it comes in contact with—our brand loyalties are often formed in the same way. According to Charlie Hughes and William Jeanes, authors of  Branding Iron , “Consumers admire and gravitate to companies that display a compelling vision—a vision executed in ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Readers are too busy and have too many choices to invest in content that isn’t relevant or targeted to them—no matter how great the content may be. To be the valued and preferred source of information for your customers, it requires developing a comprehensive communications plan—and making this a priority for your organization.   During the  Association Media & Publishing Annual Meeting , June 25-27 in Washington, D.C., I’ll reveal what it takes to create a comprehensive communication plan. I will co-present on this topic with Meg White, managing editor of REALTOR Magazine.  Can’t make the session? Here’s a sneak peek on the 7 steps it takes to achieve ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Have you been through a system implementation that took significantly more time or money than expected? Or that pitted team members—maybe even entire departments—against each other as the new system couldn’t accommodate everyone’s wish lists? Perhaps your less-than-ideal experience was due to duplicative work or efforts. While these experiences are fairly common, they don’t have to be the norm for your organization. During AMS Fest , June 6-7 in Chicago, we will present on “Frictionless Implementation: A Case for Early and Ongoing User Adoption and Change Management.” (AMS Fest is where association executives, AMS consultants, and AMS vendors will ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Attending the 2018 DigitalNow conference in Austin was a great experience. I was surrounded by the uber game-changers, innovators, and disrupters in the association industry. Artificial intelligence, eco mapping, and voice interaction played supporting roles, but digital transformation was the star. If you’re not as immersed in all things technical as I am, you might be wondering what that means. Are associations migrating to a digisphere where cyborgs and bots will replace us lowly humans? Well, not yet, at least. Conference thought leaders describe digital transformation like this: . . .the convergence of digital technologies applied to organizational ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Even if your desk is a kitchen table and business casual means PJs, your company’s communications can still impress like Madison Avenue. Technology has made this the age of the entrepreneur. Whether you are a small business or association or just anyone trying to use their budget wisely, you can take advantage of an array of free or inexpensive software designed to give a dowdy marketing program a Hollywood make-over. I have used many of these low-cost options both in my work as a consultant with .orgSource and in my passion project .orgCommunity. Some of these tools have helped me to grow businesses beyond what I imagined was possible. Get Your ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
It may be tough to imagine your association creating a 21st Century breakthrough product or services like Oculus Rift, Spotify or the Kindle. But it’s a reality that association business models are facing pressures that require innovation. These challenges come from many areas, including the impact of technology, changes in consumer behaviors, and more competition for customers’ attention, time and money. Through my experience with clients of all types and sizes, the associations that are “innovation ready” are the most likely to remain relevant and to continue to meet customers’ evolving needs. Being “innovation ready” means having the ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
We’re celebrating AAPD because it has committed to a cavity-free youth through community-based initiatives in underserved areas and kid-focused programming. Association and history:  Founded in 1947,   the AAPD   is a not-for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry and is the recognized authority on children’s oral health. As advocates for children’s oral health, the AAPD promotes evidence-based policies and clinical guidelines; educates and informs policymakers, parents and guardians, and other health care professionals; fosters research; and provides continuing professional education for pediatric ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
When asked about writing for digital platforms, three “Fs” always come to mind: fast, front-loaded and friendly content. “Fast” means making information quick to find and digestible; “front-loaded” refers to revealing up front what the topic is about and why it’s valuable to the reader ; and “friendly” indicates writing in a conversational tone. But perhaps most important these days is a fourth “F” – “findable.” Content that gets noticed on search engines is successful content. With Google processing 40,000 queries every second, according to Internet Live Stats, you must ensure your content rises to the top of online searches. How can you get your content ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
As we start the new year, we all are inundated by predictions for the future. At .orgSource, we all have been thinking a lot about the future. Later this year we will be publishing a book on "Association 4.0." Many of you may have heard Kevin and I speak about disruptors looming on the horizon and how associations will need to undertake some fundamental changes. For 2018, we think there are two words that should define the focus of associations: strategy and innovation.  Strategy  We are not suggesting dusting off your strategic plan or engaging in the same old periodic planning retreat processes so common among associations. Instead, we are suggesting ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
​ Is the New Year an opportunity for a new association brand? Is your association in a funk? Have you lost your marketing mojo? Are you sensing that something in your approach or your offerings are “not quite right”? Has your mission and your passion gone astray? Have you lost the driving force for the association that once provided so much motivation and inspiration? Don’t fret! This new year many be THE opportunity to refresh your brand. Any business can fall flat for any number of reasons, and most are not of your making: New competitive forces; a change in the marketplace (like new technologies or delivery systems); your own growth; fickle focus. ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Anticipating and adapting to change has always been a characteristic of successful association leaders. However, existing business models no longer seem sufficient. We are in a period of major disruption that requires more robust responses to change. Over the past year, there have been several significant signals indicating that association leaders need to think about disruptors in a new era of interconnectivity. These signals in 2017 have included: A rise in digital workforces, with more fragmentation and specialization in job functions.   This is occurring with more regularity to attract and retain workers and reduce costs. Transitioning to digital ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
About a year ago, the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE) recognized they had a problem that many other associations experience as well. Their attendance to in-person events was consistent in terms of numbers, but very few of those attendees were young professionals. The Board had the foresight to recognize that this was a major problem. After all, they understood that young professionals are the future of their association and without their participation, the association faced challenges in years to come. President & CEO of WSAE Michelle Czosek approached staff member Emily Viles about starting a taskforce in order to identify the shortfalls ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
You get   why data is important , and you’re serious about transforming your organization into a culture that embraces data-informed decision-making. Carpe datum! When evaluating data analytics technology, it’s tempting to focus exclusively on the front-end design and usability, but how you store the data has major implications too. Begin forming your strategy by understanding the options and tradeoffs. Most associations don’t have the resources, expertise, or time to undertake building data storage in-house and so they typically choose between outsourcing two common approaches: a data warehouse or a data lake. Whichever path you select will set strong ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
As mobile and on-demand trends transform work environments and customer experiences, CEOs must borrow the CIOs' mindset to keep up and stay ahead.  They must identify, invest and implement smart ways to use technology to their advantage. And they must think about infusing technology and digital strategy throughout the organizational structure. CEOs who think of technology as a tool—but not as a strategic imperative—will be left behind. But how can CEOs accomplish this?  .orgSource interviewed current CEO and former CTO Bill Bruce, MBA, CAE, for his perspectives. Bruce is the executive director at the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Albert  Einstein once famously proclaimed, “If I had 60 minutes to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes defining it, and five minutes solving it.   Helping leaders define problems is exactly what Solutions Day 2017 set out to achieve. Produced by .orgCommunity, Solutions Day 2017 on Sept. 14 focused on a new mindset. Presenters and industry providers inspired association leaders to expand their views on managing organizations by being more proactive—by being “problem finders.” Participants were encouraged to ask questions and challenge assumptions, leading to the formation of new ideas and revealing new opportunities for innovation and growth. We packed ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
You recruit the top talent. You invest in the latest technologies. You update procedures. Yet, you struggle to maintain your current market position. That may be a sign your culture needs modifying. Organizational culture reflects an entity’s deepest and most tightly held beliefs and values. Often, they have been shaped over years, even decades. And this deeply entrenched culture may have played a considerable role in the organization’s ability to succeed. But as times change, business models and cultures must evolve. Effecting Cultural Change At .orgSource, we believe that to realize your business goals, boost brand recognition and increase ...
0 comments