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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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If your organization often struggles to meet objectives, it may be time to examine your internal digital operations. The culprit can be a singular issue. Perhaps your organization over-relies on group emails or one-to-one in-person conversations. Maybe meetings are overused or non-productive. Or cross-functional collaboration tends to be limited to sharing information rather than working together in real time to sustain teamwork. Possibly it’s the simplest of digital office tools, like shared drives, that aren’t used to their full extent—particularly across departments. Most likely, though, the issue lies with not having a collaboration and digital workplace ...
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​Stuart Meyer hasn’t worked in an office setting in eight years, including the last two years as CEO of the National Barbecue & Grilling Association. He serves as a virtual CEO of an entirely virtual organization.              Since NBBQA changed its business model in 2015, the association has seen lower operating costs, more focus on strategic business priorities, higher productivity and an increase in customers.              While a remote workforce may not work well for every organization, operating trends and customer demands require associations to be more agile and take more risks to stay relevant.              On Aug. 15, I co-presented a standing ...
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It is a truism that teamwork is important to achieve organizational goals. But what makes for effective teams? Association executive John Forbes has been conducting educational programs for .orgCommunity and I am excited that he will be with WSAE during its Spring Outing presenting to its CEOs in May! http://www.wsaespringouting.com/index.php/learn One thing we learned from John is how rare a truly effective team is. So, to learn more we extended the conversation, asking about the most significant barriers to teamwork that association executives were encountering. Two interrelated characteristics emerged at the top of the list of barriers to team effectiveness: ...
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Customers today are too busy and have too many choices to invest in content that isnt relevant or targeted for themno matter how great the content may be. To be the valued and preferred source of information for your customers, you must develop a content strategyand make this a priority for your organization. Oftentimes, what stands in the way of creating and deploying an organization-wide content strategy is not knowing how to create a content strategy or really understand how it differs from what you currently have in place. So lets break through these barriers and uncover the 6 essential truths you need to know about content strategy and content performance: ...
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.orgCommunity has been engaging association leaders in a series of discussions regarding the evolution of associations and the need for innovation. Emergingand as yet unseendisrupters will require significant changes in the nature of associations, how they envision fulfilling their missions and serve their constituencies. In some industries we already have seen complete transitions due to technological innovations. Blockbusters brick and mortar business for renting DVDs has completely disappeared as Netflix led the revolution to DVDs by mail and then streaming content. Other industriessuch as transportationare still very much in flux. It is safe to predict ...
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We all remember learning about the famous psychological experiments in conditioned reflex performed by Ivan Petrovich Pavlov around the turn of the previous century. In simple terms, Pavlov would ring a bell prior to feeding his dogs (his test subjects). The dogs came to associate the ringing of the bell with the presentation of the food, and Pavlov saw that they were quickly conditioned to respond to the bell ringing and anticipating their food. Soon, all the scientist had to do was ring the bell and observe the dogs increased saliva flow. Believe it or not, that same principle is at work in your association. When we hear a name, see a logo, whiff a particular ...
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Whenever I read a biography, I try to extract lessons that can help me in my career. And as a pilot and certified aviation geek, I’ve read a lot of books about storied aviators, the most recent of which was Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds. Robin Olds was an American fighter pilot and general officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was a “triple ace”, with a combined total of 16 victories in World War II and the Vietnam War and was one of history’s most badass heroes. He retired in 1973 as a brigadier general. See if any of these lessons I lifted from my reading resonate with you as they did for me: Great ...
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We all know Pokémon Go is a monster hit (pardon the pun). Two days after launch, it was downloaded on more phones than the dating app Tinder. More people were using it than Twitter. Users were on it longer each day than they were on Facebook. It’s the biggest mobile app game ever in the United States. How can your association use the Pokémon mania to its advantage? Or, rather, should it? A Go or No-Go? Consult Your Strategy First, you must consider whether Pokémon Go—or any breakthrough technology—fits in with your association’s big-picture priorities, supporting structures and processes. You want to avoid attempting to ...
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Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to present to the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives about Content Marketing for Associations. It was a topic that I had constantly had conversations with association executives about over the past few years, so I thought I'd put together a presentation explaining the ins and outs of not only content marketing itself, but how associations and nonprofits can successfully institute a content marketing strategy of their own. The presentation was very well received, to my delight, so I wanted to share the main points with as many others as I could. Here are the main points I covered: What ...
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Association management software/systems are arguably organizations’ largest technology investment. They provide membership organizations with vital functionality for delivering member services, and serve multiple business purposes—from operating as the core system of record to event and learning management, email marketing campaigns, and much more. So why, then, are only half of AMS users satisfied with their current solution, according to ReviewMyAMS ? First, ReviewMyAMS.com Founder Teri Carden says the fact that half of AMS users recommend their AMS is a positive thing—that it debunks the notion “everyone” is unsatisfied with their AMS. ...
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Ever wonder whether your organization’s communications are on the mark with customers--and with the times? Do you ever finish writing or reviewing content and question: What’s in it for the members? Why should they care? Consider the communications audit: an assessment of the effectiveness of current content, formats, and frequency. Through qualitative and quantitative measures, communication audits help drive what content to publish, to whom, when, where, how and why. Is now the right time to take a critical look at your content? Here are seven signs that point to “yes”: More opt-outs and fewer click-throughs in your electronic communications. ...
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Thanks to digital advancements, business as usual is no longer an option for associations. Not evolving means not surviving. But how exactly can associations transform and thrive in the digital age? “Association leaders must use digital to change not just ‘how’ but also ‘what’ you do in your jobs,” says Sharon Rice, principal of Art of Planning Consulting and APICS’ former vice president of strategy, at the “Leading Digital: From Strategy to Executive” program July 19 at Rosemont’s OLC Education & Conference Center . During the interactive program, produced by .orgCommunity and sponsored by Adage Technologies , facilitators addressed what’s driving digital ...
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Technology advancements are changing everything. Consider these current and future realities: Robotics are and will continue taking over some current jobs, allowing us to discover new ones. Many organizations are trading traditional offices and headquarters for virtual environments. Books, libraries, movies, videos, games and education will change as more individuals become “people of the screens”—tethered to their phones, tablets, PCs, TVs, VR goggles. More global freelancers are being hired. Citizen journalism is increasing—ordinary people are composing 80 million blog posts each day. Everything that can be tracked ...
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Understanding the value that your website brings to your association is nothing new or groundbreaking. Your website can truly make or break the success of your organization and the growth of your membership. One of the most commonly used (and free, might I add) website analytics is Google Analytics. It tracks just about every action on your website to help provide your association with valuable insight. But, what do all the numbers and percentages mean? Unfortunately, most associations do not have data or analytical experts on staff to be able to analyze your data to unlock key strengths and weaknesses to improve your site. So having all of this data doesn’t ...
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