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Why did I use this cute pup to illustrate my post? You know what they say about babies and dogs, they get people to pay attention, and this message is important.   Several weeks ago, I wrote about the results of a survey .orgSource conducted. That’s another reason for the dog. Survey results tend to make readers’ eyes glaze over. But stay with me. I want to talk about bringing a breath of fresh air into stale scenarios and looking at routines through new eyes.   The survey goal was to learn how associations are being impacted by the pandemic and how they are preparing for the future. Based on the responses, most groups are navigating through this ...
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There’s low-fat, chipotle-spiked, lime-laced, dairy-free, and enriched with avocado. Mayonnaise isn’t alone in its overwhelming diversity. An explosion of products can make selection, especially something as significant as a new association management system, a black hole that drains organizational resources. For small associations (10 employees or less) that don’t have the bandwidth or the budget to spend on power shopping, the array of choices can be especially frustrating.   Back in the olden days, say ten years ago, choice wasn’t a problem because the options were limited. Much of the software designed for associations was high-ticket (think at ...
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Bugs and ghostly echoes are fun on Halloween. But don’t let unanticipated hauntings turn your virtual conference into a scare-fest instead of a success. On October 22, my business partner, Kevin Ordonez,, and I will host a webinar to tell you how to stop the vampires and ghouls from invading your online event space.   Our panel which includes, Joanna Pineda , Founder, CEO and Chief Trouble Maker, Matrix Group International, Inc. .,   Arianna Rehak , CEO, Matchbox Virtual Media , and Dan Stevens , President, Workerbee.TV , are experts at virtual communications, marketing, and events.   The program comes on the heels of Solutions Day, .orgCommunity’s ...
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Is it déjà vu? Back in 2018, my business partner, Kevin Ordonez, and I wrote a book. It was the result of months of thinking about how associations would need to change in the digital age. When we named our work , Association 4.0: Positioning for Success in an Era of Disruption , little did we suspect, that in short order, our entire community would be living that title.   Fast forward to Solutions Day 2020 , .orgCommunity’s signature event. I presented the results of a survey that .orgSource conducted to assess the impact of that disruption. The pandemic has accelerated many of the trends .orgSource was already seeing on the horizon and has brought ...
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The pandemic has elevated trends that were bit players to the big screen. This phenomenon was highlighted in the presentations at .orgCommunity’s recent Solutions Day . If you weren’t able to attend our signature event, no worries. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be writing about what I learned.   Associations stake their relevance, as well as large slices of budget pie, on providing quality professional development. So, staying in tune with the evolving education marketplace is critical. Sharon Rice, .orgSource’s Director of Business Strategy always has a finger on the pulse of the digital landscape. During her presentation, she shared her perspective ...
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“Your financial metrics can be great, but if dragons are all over your organization, eventually the village will burn.” Jon Wolske , former Culture Evangelist at Zappos, Zappos Tours Lead, and international speaker  I think, talk, and write a lot about organizational transformation. But I’m not always sure that the people who need to hear my message recognize themselves. Without a crisis looming, change may not seem worth the investment of effort, expense, and political capital. Unfortunately, by the time you discover the dragons, the village may have already gone up in smoke. So how do you know when to shift directions and which way to turn? The ...
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Is your association— Offering education that’s in sync with the digital marketplace? Increasing ROI and engagement with video platforms? Using pandemic-proof technology to keep the connection with members strong? Following critical industry trends? Join innovators, problem-solvers, and opinion makers to discuss these and other compelling questions at .orgCommunity’s 2020 Solutions Day . Planning the Solutions Day program is always exciting. But this year we felt special urgency. So many organizations are struggling to adjust to new ways of doing business. Everyone’s time is precious. We wanted to offer effective recommendations and insights ...
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“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . .” (at least that’s how March 2020 now feels), eyes tended to glaze over when I talked about business integration. Although the challenges of a global pandemic have made people listen more closely, I’m still not sure that everyone understands what this term means and why I evangelize the concept at every opportunity.  If associations are plagued by silos, it is because their leaders have seen them that way. That’s not due to poor judgement, it’s the result of an embedded system of operations that is difficult to shed.  But now we have been forced to look through a new lens.  Beyond Individual Systems ...
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“Imagine a future where you have the information you need to answer your most critical business questions. A time when you have the confidence to address challenging problems and thrive. And, a culture where you can embrace change, and anticipate a positive result.” Sharon Rice, .orgSource’s Managing Director of Business Strategy, described that vision to participants at the organization’s September 2019 Solutions Day. Even light-years ago when we could actually attend a conference in person, Rice was contrasting this optimism with concern for the vulnerability of the association industry. Her recommendations have greater urgency than ever as more groups ...
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This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of VantagePoint magazine , the quarterly publication of WSAE. Author Carrie McIntyre is the Customer Experience Officer at The Wyman Company ( www.thewymancompany.com ), where she helps associations solve their non-dues revenue problems. She can be reached at cmcintyre@thewymancompany.com or (703) 679-7614. Carrie is also a co-presenter at WSAE's upcoming virtual workshop, Tactics for Sponsor and Exhibitor Engagement (and Results!) in Challenging Times . I once asked a room full of small-staff association EDs/CEOs how many of them had to sell as part of their jobs, and everyone ...
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A New Website Smooths the Path to Certification Projects that can wait, do wait. It’s an adage we’ve all lived. In busy organizations, a website overhaul may fall into that category. But if you ask the staff of the Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education (CBDCE) , they will tell you that a sleek new site that reflects a name change for the organization and it’s certification program and runs as smoothly as a Ferrari, is the best reason to carve out time for this significant initiative.  CEO, Sheryl Traficano, was eager to make it easier for constituents to earn the organization’s coveted CDCES credential. “With both a new organization ...
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COVID-19 has many lessons to teach, and like the legendary nun brandishing a ruler, they are often harsh. The value of effective leadership, in times of crisis, is one truth we are witnessing on a daily basis.  In writing Association 4.0: Positioning for Success in an Era of Disruption , Kevin Ordonez and I had the privilege to interview some of the most innovative executives in the association community. I am struck by how often their advice is pitch-perfect for managing the current disruption. The following are my top five nuggets, recommendations that I believe will help every leader to navigate today’s uncertainty and support the agile, entrepreneurial ...
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Designing a new office space and making the move is no small venture. When the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) planned to move from downtown Chicago to Chicago’s Triangle Plaza near O’Hare International Airport they knew that they would need outside support to manage the project. .orgSource Senior Consultant, Kevin Martlage, had recently been working with the group on an internal business culture enhancement initiative and was happy to take on this responsibility. .orgSource would oversee construction, moving, IT, design, and decommissioning of the old space.  Everyone was thrilled to be headed towards a light-filled, contemporary office. ...
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On July 20, 2020, .orgSource celebrates 15 years in business. We are deeply grateful to the friends and clients who have contributed to our success. This journey, which has been filled with amazing people, projects, events, and education, began with a simple list. I was searching for the perfect nine to five job. But a nagging voice in the back of my mind kept repeating that I was on the wrong track. Managing someone else’s business was not going to make me happy. When I’m considering a tough decision I always make a list. Seeing the options laid out in columns assures me that an answer is a keystroke away. I created an inventory of things that I love ...
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A start-up is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty —Eric Ries   Associations can be as steeped in tradition as a Japanese tea ceremony. What can they learn from business start-ups? Entrepreneurs take uncertainty as a given, and I’m convinced that they have plenty to teach us. The minimum viable product (MVP) is one of those lessons.   Now that we have collectively experienced extreme disruption, it is time to accept this as a permanent state. With or without COVID-19, association leaders must adjust to a digital marketplace where constant adaptation is required for survival. ...
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A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. -Martin Luther King This quote from Martin Luther King defines what great association leaders do best. By promoting a culture that supports working together toward common goals, they create an environment where consensus happens. A consensus-friendly culture might seem more like a utopia than a real-life possibility, especially these days. Getting a group of diverse people on the same page is not easy. When difficult decisions must be made quickly the challenge is even greater. A remote work environment only adds complexity. The current situation is not likely to change ...
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Associations aren’t known for their ability to easily change course. The benefits of organizational agility have gained traction over the last few years, but most groups haven’t taken the concept further than lip service. Associations tend to plow through the bad weather rather than navigate around it. That’s understandable; getting a 2-ton bureaucracy to pivot is a daunting process. Being nimble isn’t just about shedding layers. Agility is as much a state of mind as it is a dynamic organizational structure. Cultivating the vision to recognize shifts in the business landscape and initiating the decision-making processes to quickly address challenges and seize ...
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Here at WSAE, we are committed to providing resources to support our members in achieving their goals. Education is the foundation of success.  Webinars . Webinars are offered once or twice monthly. Join live, or review our webinar archives list of recorded webinars to watch whenever fits your schedule.  CAE and CMP exam prep. WSAE partners with the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) to offer CAE preparation courses that incorporate study guides, reading comprehension questions, flashcards and practice tests. MSAE offers their member rate to WSAE members, which represents a $100 savings. In addition to CAE prep courses, MSAE ...
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Lately, we’ve all been doing a complicated juggling act; and, just when you think you’ve nailed the rhythm, another ball gets tossed into the mix. Managing a remote workforce , making tough financial decisions, planning a virtual conference , budgeting for the unpredictable, and finally, strategizing how to get your team safely back to the office are just a few of the challenges. It’s a lot to handle, especially when there isn’t a clear end in sight. The good news is help is available. People think of consultants as guides for long-term projects. But we are also white knights. A consultant can provide just-in-time rescue from a difficult situation ...
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COVID-19 is a once-in-a-lifetime disaster. But disruption, whether from biology, technology, or culture, is here to stay. We can’t stop the challenges; But we can be resilient enough to take them in stride and move forward to become stronger. What exactly does resilience mean? Why is it important, and how do you build it into your association’s DNA? Recently, .orgSource has been studying this question. We’ve researched, conducted focus groups, and compiled interviews with forward-thinking industry leaders. Those conversations led to our two Association 4.0™ books: Positioning for Success in an Era of Disruption and An Entrepreneurial Approach to ...
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