An Executive Director's point of view
January 26, 2016: Snow
And when you clear the snow away, be sure to allow access for disabled people.
January 15, 2016: Big bucks
And that they give it in a strategic way.
They should identify a small number of issues they want to impact and then determine the best ways to do that. They can give money to existing organizations or they can create new ones.
550 million dollars sounds like a lot of money (because it is a lot of money). But it will only make a tiny dent, if that much, in the problems of the world.
It would be best if those folks viewed themselves as investors, not as contributors, and gave money to generate results, not merely to support "worthy" causes or their favorite organizations.
December 23, 2015: Good at everything?
Well, there aren't.
Even robust, well-managed organizations often miss the mark in some of their activities.
So, don't envy organizations that seem to be more successful than yours. Don't wish you were just like them. Don't try to imitate them.
If you think other associations could be a source of good ideas, don’t choose one as a “model.” Check out lots of different groups and grab the ideas you think could work for you.
An organization that appears to enjoy a high level of achievement in one activity may be suffering a horrible setback in another.
September 28, 2015: Action, not position papers
Announcing a policy position or publishing a journal, magazine, or newsletter article may be part of a larger advocacy strategy. But those activities, alone, are not enough.
To succeed, you must TAKE ACTION. Simply voicing your opinion is insufficient. You need to engage in activities that are likely to persuade decision-makers to adopt your position. And you need like-minded individuals and groups - including those outside of your industry or profession - to do the same.
Making speeches and issuing declarations is just not enough.
September 08, 2015: Most and least liked industries
I was surprised by the low ranking of the health care industry (I'm guessing people rated medical companies, not physicians or nurses) and the somewhat higher ranking of the automobile industry.
July 22, 2015: Like it used to be
Listen to what they say, because they may be sharing valuable insights and information that you can use.
July 10, 2015: Don't copy images from the web
July 07, 2015: Revenge of the volunteers
The company had no obligation to explain why that person had been fired. And the volunteers had no right to know.
But if a company - or an association - relies on volunteers to deliver a major portion of its services, it should incorporate their feelings into whatever course of action it pursues. (But it should not bend to their will).
Lessons for associations:
1. Anticipate an unpleasant reaction to a controversial decision, and be prepared for it.
2. Don't create a situation where anybody - volunteers or employees - can, or will, shut down an organization because they disagree with a decision that has been made.
June 17, 2015: Certification problem
The profession was not licensed, so it was felt that certification was necessary to identify practitioners who were truly qualified. Thus, additional requirements were added every few years to keep pace with developments in the field. And the changes applied to everybody.
Many certified members, though, felt the additional requirements were being promoted by those who had earned the higher credentials and merely wanted to gain a professional advantage over their less-credentialed colleagues.
Question: At what point will the credential no longer be valued?
If the majority of members reject the credentialing process, will non-credentialed members outnumber those who are credentialed? Will the association then phase out the credential or scale back the requirements? Will the non-renewed members create a competing association that will claim the credential is not necessary?
Don't ignore the problem if this happens in your organization. If you think the credential holds value, determine why people are forgoing the process and find a responsible way to accommodate their concerns. Otherwise, you might be left with a worthless credentialing process.
May 04, 2015: Rating customer service
They are evaluating the performance of the person or company that was hired to provide your answer.
So, don't say "no," even if the answer did not help you. Doing so will be treated as a criticism of the customer service personnel, who will be punished for not having provided the proper reply, even if they did a good job serving you.
If you dislike the company, its product, or the customer service process, find a different venue to voice your complaint.