An Executive Director's point of view


November 17, 2014: Whatever works

Posted by: David M Patt
It doesn't matter if you take notes on a legal pad, a laptop, or a tablet. And it doesn't matter how you get your news - as long as you receive what you need, when you need it.

Use whatever tools or habits will enable you to succeed at what you want to succeed at. Whether it is "new" or "old" does not matter.

Just do whatever works.

November 13, 2014: Men who don't think

Category: Culture
Posted by: David M Patt
Here's an account of an episode in which a man donned apparel that was inappropriate for a professional gathering (or any gathering, really).

November 10, 2014: What to do with passion

Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt
Here's what the Dilbert creator has to say about that.

And here's what I've said about it in the past.

November 07, 2014: The age myth

Posted by: David M Patt
"Age is not as much of a factor as previously thought when it comes to preferences in the workplace," declares a study by commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group, Inc.

Read more.

November 05, 2014: Engagement or satisfaction?

Category: Membership
Posted by: David M Patt
We know that members who are involved in association activities - e.g. attending conferences, serving on committees, contacting legislators, etc. - are often more likely to renew their membership than are those who aren't.

But we should not assume that members who are not "engaged" in these ways are less interested in the organization and its work.

Many "non-engaged" members are very satisfied with the group. And they may even consider themselves "engaged," even though they don't fall into the categories designated as such by association mavens.

So, find out what members want and then determine if the association is providing it to them.

Member engagement and member satisfaction are not the same thing.

November 03, 2014: Acceptable mistakes?

Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt
An association professional recently posted a short listserv comment that contained five strangely spelled words.

They were neither typos nor misspellings. They appeared to be the result of fingers galloping indiscriminately over keys, randomly inserting letters where they didn't belong.

The person obviously did not proofread what she had written.

Then she did it again. Two days later, she posted another comment that displayed the same careless errors.

I wonder if she realized (or cared) how stupid this made her appear?

October 30, 2014: Application fees and late fees

Category: Membership
Posted by: David M Patt
They aren't always justified.

Why should a person pay an extra fee to join an organization? What costs are incurred by the association? What did the member receive for that extra payment?

Why should a member pay a penalty for late renewal? Does the association spend more money to process a late renewal than it does for a timely renewal?

Does it really matter if a person claimed to be a member during the lapsed period? What would they gain? If the association cuts off benefits immediately, then the member did not benefit in any way during the non-paid time.

Is the purpose of a late fee merely to punish members and try to force them to renew on time?

Late fees for re-certification usually make sense. People use their credentials all of the time, so they should not be able to enjoy the benefits of doing so when they haven't paid.

But that situation is not that common in the case of membership. It seems like charging application fees and late fees are just a way for associations to squeeze more money out of members.

October 29, 2014: Micromanagers

Posted by: David M Patt
Here's a quiz you don't want to pass.

October 28, 2014: Overhead

Posted by: David M Patt
Overhead is not a dirty word.

October 27, 2014: Turnover is normal

Don't wring your hands over the problem of retaining quality employees. Many will leave no matter what you do.

Turnover is normal.

Unless your organization is a logical place for people to end their careers, expect your employees to always be moving up and out. Young people, in particular, will almost always move on - and they should. They are still exploring the industry or profession and may be growing faster than your association.

So, instead of trying to think of ways to keep them, make the most of them while there are here and help them hone the skills they'll use during the rest of their careers.

Develop a reputation for providing a high quality employee experience. And don't fret over turnover expenses. That's just the cost of doing business.
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