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Feb
03

Consider how big a lean organization could be

For those unfamiliar with the concept, being “lean” means to create more value with fewer resources. Understandably, this is a topic that has gotten a lot of attention in the business world and in the association space. We’ve talked about how to adopt a lean mindset, we looked at how one week of analyzing your schedule […]

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Jan
31

How to improve a member’s conference experience, according to members

As part of my research, I’ve conducted a lot of in-depth interviews with members. Most include a discussion about their conference experiences, as it is where members tend to get the most value. Looking at the responses across more than 300 interviews of mostly very engaged members, a handful of typical weak spots in association […]

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Jan
30

Make no mistake: An association is still a business

Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States, famously said, “The business of America is business.” I like to paraphrase this quote to “the business of associations is business” because that is in fact what we are. Non-profit or not-for-profit corporations are indeed corporations; all the 501c statuses are incorporation statuses and, thus, businesses. This […]

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Jan
26

The beginner’s guide to creating video content (on a budget)

As a former film student, it excites me to see video incorporated more and more into the marketing strategies of associations. After all, it’s an extremely effective means of communicating with your current and potential members. But it can be intimidating — and that’s why many are scared to pull the trigger. How do you […]

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Jan
23

3 tips to managing external collaboration

If you want to build a culture that values collaboration, you can’t only focus on cross-functional teamwork and breaking down silos. You have to take a look at how you collaborate outside your own association, as well. This includes vendors, partners and related organizations, ranging from your foundation that shares your staff, to chapters/components and […]

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Jan
19

This lifehack will make you more efficient

The concept of lean has been met with major enthusiasm in the business world. I go into more detail in this article, but it’s about creating more value with fewer resources. So you can see why it’s so popular, right? That’s quite the win/win if it works. My introduction into this world came from reading Paul Akers’ book […]

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Jan
18

How to encourage collaboration on your team

As I pointed out in a previous post, collaboration can sometimes be seen as “interference.” It can be perceived as distracting to someone who is already focused on “their” piece of the work. If you’re a leader and you see this happening — but know collaboration is critical to your success — you might consider […]

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Jan
17

How to efficiently bring your CEO to sales meetings

I recently had a fantastic conversation with a number of senior sales executives, and the topic of CEOs playing a key role in sales was a big part of the discussion. I mean, what better person to sell your organization than the top boss? Here are some key thoughts on the process: 1. Your entire […]

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Jan
12

How to adopt a Lean mindset

The term lean in an organizational context means, “creating more value with fewer resources.” Let that sink in for a second. More value with fewer resources? How does that work? Paul Akers, author of the book “2 Second Lean,” owns a business called Fastcap, which is in the wood-working industry. Several years ago, he brought in a consultant to solve a very […]

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Jan
10

The 5 step process to innovation

Ideas are the root of all innovations. Because ideas lead to innovation we want more ideas, better ideas, the idea that will excite members. Many innovative associations use a formal or informal idea process which generally has five steps and goes something like this: Step 1: Allow members’ problems to spark innovative ideas Our members […]

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