An Executive Director's point of view


July 18, 2017: Learning new skills

Category: Learning
Posted by: David M Patt

July 13, 2017: I've heard that before

Category: Governance
Posted by: David M Patt
New Board members will sometimes raise issues that have already been discussed and resolved.

Still, don't be too quick to cut them off. They may not have known of the earlier exchange, the nature of the subject matter may have changed, and it may be a good idea to revisit the issue.

Before brushing aside something you think is repetitious and a waste of everybody's time, consider if renewed discourse could actually be useful.

July 04, 2017: Young Board members

Category: Governance
Posted by: David M Patt
You may find that turnover is higher among your association's younger Board members than among the older ones.

Don't let that hinder your efforts to maintain age diversity. Young Board members may still be putting their lives in order. They have other irons in the fire.

At one association, two young Board members won company promotions that required them to relocate overseas. The spouse of another was in the same situation and the couple moved away. Yet another returned to college to earn an MBA.

They weren't unhappy or dissatisfied. They didn't feel ignored. In fact, they were integral parts of the Board's governing process.

They simply had other concerns to tend to.

So, keep recruiting young Board members and don't worry about them staying only a short time. They may contribute significantly to organizational decision-making while they are here.

June 27, 2017: Why is this news?

Posted by: David M Patt
The obsession with millennial behavior continues with a recent study showing that this group is approaching the giving level of the Boomer generation.

Well, of course. As people get older, they have more money, so they can give more.

Why is this news?

June 22, 2017: Ask a friend

Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt
Researchers claim that Millennials rely on personal references for services while Boomers respond to advertising appeals.

Well, Boomers have relied on personal references for a lot of services for a very long time.

Doctors, dentists, physical therapists, lawyers, plumbers, electricians, painters, auto mechanics, landscaping companies, contractors, tailors, cleaners, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and lots of other businesses.

Reliance on personal references is not a new trend.

June 20, 2017: Dialogue or debate

Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt
Both are effective methods for getting your way.

Use whichever works best in any given situation.

June 13, 2017: Always return calls

Category: Business practices
Posted by: David M Patt

More than a week ago, I emailed a dozen places requesting information I thought they'd have. Only two emailed back. (A couple more didn't have email so I had to call. They said somebody would call back but nobody did).

My initial thought was that the ones that blew me off were a bunch of jerks. But I realized, no, they're probably just clueless.

They may not have possessed the info I wanted and didn't know what to say to me. So they said nothing.

They were wrong. Here's the proper way to handle things:

1. If you don't have the information someone requests, say you don't have it and refer the caller to another place, if you can. Don't ignore people.

2. If you don't have the information but can get it, tell that to the caller, get the info, and call back with it. Don't leave people wondering if they'll ever hear back from you.

3. If the request falls outside your area of activity, say so. And apologize for not being able to help, even if there is no reason for you to help. Don't ignore people.

4. If you think you get too many calls, improve your ability to handle the volume. Don't ignore people.

5. If you don't think people should be calling you for this information, figure out why they are and then find a way to change that.

You don't have to return unsolicited sales calls. But you do have to return everybody else's calls.

Don't ignore people.

June 10, 2017: Too much technology?

Category: Technology
Posted by: David M Patt
See what these folks have to say about that.

June 06, 2017: No lock box

Get rid of your bank lock box. You don't need it anymore.

Most people pay for memberships and conference registrations electronically. Very few pay by check.

So, save the money and turnaround time for database processing by getting your bank out of the signup loop.

June 02, 2017: A banker's viewpoint

Here's how a banker may view your organization.
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