Association Management Blog

Spinach and Standards: Much in Common

Posted by Greg Kohn on 9/22/15 7:00 AM

My neighbor is a spinach farmer. Because his work is so much different than mine, I ask him about it whenever I can. What I’ve learned most through our conversations is that in farming, timing is everything. This past week is a great example of that. Ordinarily my neighbor would have seeded for his spring crop last week, to ensure that the seedlings would mature enough to survive the first frost. He couldn’t do that, though, because our area received significant rain last week, softening the ground too much to accept the seeds. That meant, by his calculation, yesterday and today were the only two days available to get his spring crop planted. That his team’s plows kept running in the field until 3 am this morning demonstrated that he wasn’t taking any chances on missing that critical window. 

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Topics: Standards

Get Your Association to Think Like an Employer: Lessons from the Amazon.com Story

Posted by Andy Freed on 8/28/15 7:54 AM

There was a front page article in the New York Times recently about the culture at Amazon.com

I don’t know how much of it is true. The Times makes a compelling case. Jeff Bezos makes a compelling rebuttal

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Topics: Association Membership, Membership Value

A Must-Watch Webinar for Technical Working Group Members

Posted by Andy Freed on 8/18/15 7:00 AM

Technical working groups/consortia play a crucial role in the technology standards arena, but TWG progress isn’t always what it could be. The lack of strong leadership and clear procedure often makes it difficult for busy volunteers (spread across different geographies, no less) to stay organized. Meanwhile, technical working group projects may suffer from poor meeting attendance, role confusion, or chronic delays in decision making.

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Topics: Technology, Technical Working Groups

Remote Board Meetings: Are Your Members Playing BINGO?

Posted by Andy Freed on 7/29/15 4:28 PM

If you manage an association or standard-setting organization, there’s a good chance your governing board is dispersed across the country—or even across the globe. After all, most association board members are simultaneously leading separate businesses, and answering to the stakeholders in their respective offices/cities. Even the most dedicated among them would have a hard time attending all your board meetings, if participation always meant getting on a plane, losing a day’s work to travel, etc. 

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Topics: Meetings, Board

What My New Apple Watch Made Me Think About Standards Groups

Posted by Andy Freed on 6/25/15 7:00 AM

I love a new toy. That’s why I was so excited to get my Apple Watch last week. And as I hit the one-week mark, a few lessons have struck me:

Experience starts at the beginning. Apple is known for its packaging, and this exemplified why. Opening the watch felt like an event.  And, more critically, it was thought through. Every box had an “easy open” tab clearly marked.  By comparison, I spent five minutes with a scissors trying to open the box for another device I bought last week.

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Topics: Association Management, Association Management Company

Flying Buttress

Posted by Andy Freed on 6/18/15 7:00 AM

So many of the great churches of Europe are supported by massive flying buttresses. Not much to look at themselves, they support objects of great beauty and intricacy.  

That’s how I think of Virtual. We support objects of extraordinary achievement. Two new groups we’ve started working with are particularly intriguing. 

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Topics: Association Management Company

Where have we been?

Posted by Andy Freed on 6/9/15 7:00 AM

I was reminded today that it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Well, it’s been quite a few months. Between client meetings, new initiatives and more, we’ve been flat out.

Here’s just a bit of what I’ve been up to:

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Topics: Association Management Companies

Five Reasons Why Lockstep Board Leadership Succession Makes No Sense

Posted by Bruce Rogers on 5/11/15 8:00 AM

Once in a while we encounter an organization with a structured leadership succession process that makes no sense except, perhaps, to the founders who concocted it. I like to call this the lockstep board leadership succession model.

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Topics: Leadership, Association Boards

A Little Something About 20-somethings

Posted by Joan Jacobs on 4/30/15 7:00 AM

For over a decade, I have been attending standards and technology-focused events sponsored by client associations as well as forums hosted by venerable U.S. and global standards-focused organizations. These meetings are by and large fairly homogenous gatherings of standards professionals with deep experience in standards and who are skilled at representing their companies’ interests in industry alliances and consortia. For most, it’s definitely not their first “rodeo.” 

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Topics: Association Management, Technology, Membership

Eye Chart

Posted by Andy Freed on 4/15/15 7:30 AM

One of the best things about having a great staff is that I find that I’m wrong more than I’m right. Often I have a belief about something, but my team has better information.

One great example of that was recently when we were working on a client web site. I saw the design and thought that too much material was “below the fold” of the first screen. Turns out my thinking was entirely wrong. 

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Topics: Association Management

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CONTRIBUTORS

ANDY FREED

President & CEO
Virtual, Inc.

GREG KOHN

Executive Vice President, Client Services
Virtual, Inc.

BRUCE ROGERS

Founder & Chairman
Virtual, Inc.

TERRY LOWNEY

COO, Senior Vice President
Virtual, Inc.

JOAN JACOBS

Director, Business Development
Virtual, Inc.

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