August 8th, 2013 | Posted in Membership Management
Yesterday’s blog post gave a few tips on turning post-conference excitement into action. For most organizations, the challenge is not the innovative thought. The challenge is getting buy-in, whether that’s board buy-in, staff buy-in or member buy-in. When you come back from a conference with all of these delicious ideas percolating in your head, it’s hard not to explode on your nearest coworker with a mass deluge of what you’re going to do next to better your organization. But just as we all tend to turn a deaf ear to the incessant dreamer, your co-workers, board members and members will treat you with the same non-interest if they feel like all these ideas are just that – ideas. What they want, what they need, is action. But you also need them on board with this plan of action, so how do you go about this?
1. Include them. Don’t wait for them to ask you how the conference went. They’ve already assumed it was a lot of partying at a nice resort while they were busy left doing all the work. If you’re able on your plane ride home, or as soon as possible upon your return, collect your thoughts and gather themes you heard at the conference. Put them into understandable order and discuss them with your staff. Draw them into the conversation. Ask them their opinions on what you heard. Give them the value of attending the conference in a learning exchange without the headache of travel. Do not preach. Use a tone of explanation, allowing them to understand your inspiration and asking them to become a part of it. “I learned this…and I’m wondering what your thoughts are on it.” Read the rest of this entry »
April 2nd, 2013 | Posted in Membership Management
When horseless buggies (you might know them as cars) first arrived on the US scene in 1893, amidst all of the disbelief, there were a lot of buggy makers who thought these products were absurd and what the general population wanted was just fancier buggies. So they ignored these horseless contraptions with the smelly gasoline engines (not that horses don’t come with their own set of smells) and they concentrated on more luxurious versions of what had made them successful in the past — added more bells and whistles. It took years for the motor car to catch on but when it did there was no going back. The buggy and wagon wheel makers had to embrace the new technology or find a new industry. They could tailor their offerings to the new demand or they could continue to talk about why horses were better than engines. It was their choice. Some entered the horseless buggy game late but were still wildly successful by taking the motor car idea and filling a new niche; like what Ford did by bringing the automobile into economic reach for more people. You don’t have to be first to market with new technology, you just have to recognize what people want before they do.
When it comes to innovation, are you a buggy- or a car-marker?
December 13th, 2012 | Posted in Membership Management
Don’t join Pinterest; don’t create an infographic; don’t wax poetic about storytelling…if it doesn’t make sense for your organizational goals, or if you aren’t willing to invest the resources in making it a success, don’t do it. Read the rest of this entry »
December 11th, 2012 | Posted in Membership Management
One of my favorite movies is Defending Your Life, a quirky film about the after life and reviewing the fears that paralyzed you on earth. We spend a good amount of our time worrying about people liking us, what our board will say, where our numbers are…you know what I mean because you’re probably already worrying about them as you read this. And while a good amount of worry is necessary for the continuation of business (and the species), fear hampers innovation.
In a recent post on HBR, a survey from the Robert Half Group listed the top six reasons employees are afraid. The top reason, cited by a third of the responders, was fear of making a mistake. The sixth was fear of disagreements with co-workers. If we know innovation is crippled by these sorts of fear, how do you move your association away from them? The answer is easier than you may think. Read the rest of this entry »