Association Management Blog

Always On

Posted by Andy Freed on 1/23/14 6:40 AM

My holiday gift to myself this year was a Pebble Smartwatch. Of course, I got one in part because I can’t resist the latest gadget. (For other gadget geeks out there, I strongly recommend the UK Magazine T3, available on the iPad. It’s like porn for gadget geeks.)

But another reason I got one is even more pitiful. I simply can’t resist the siren song of my vibrating phone, and the twenty seconds it was

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Topics: Starting an Association, Technology, Membership, Mobile

Meetings 5.0: Five Ways to Improve Your Events

Posted by Andy Freed on 1/14/14 6:34 AM

This week I’m speaking on a panel at the New England Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the session title is. But I know it has something to do with “innovations in meetings and programs.”

And while I’m not entirely sure of the topic, I’ve got some thoughts on how meetings are changing. Here’s my “high five.”

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Topics: Organizational Development, Governance, association management, Technology, Board of Directors, Conference Planning, Membership, Training, Association Management Company

Scouting for Talent within Your Association Membership

Posted by Andy Freed on 12/4/13 3:41 AM

New York Yankees pitcher, Mariano Rivera, retired at the end of this baseball season. After all the years Rivera he’s spent in the league—he’s retiring at age 43—it’s easy to forget where he came from. But I won’t make you look it up. Rivera is a product of the New York Yankees farm system. (If you’re not a baseball fan, the farm system is a network of minor league teams that supports the major league teams—it’s where talent is developed).

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Topics: Operations, Governance, association management, Board of Directors, Membership, Experience, Association Management Company, Hiring an Association Management Company

Lessons in Association Management: How to Communicate Your Group’s Vision

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/27/13 3:38 AM

I recently read a great article in The New York Times about how challenging it will be for Microsoft to find its new CEO, given the diversity of businesses that the company represents. The article ends with a quote from Harvard Business School professor, David Yoffie:

“I think the fundamental question for the next CEO of Microsoft is, what is his vision for Microsoft?”

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Topics: Operations, Organizational Development, Governance, Board of Directors, Membership, Experience, Association Management Company, Hiring an Association Management Company

November 1963 Through the Lens of the Internet Age

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/22/13 2:00 AM

Walk past a newsstand and you can’t escape it. The 50th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination is on the cover of every magazine from Time to People. It’s a tragedy that I still can’t get my head around. And with everyone from Tom Brokaw to Kennedy’s former aides offering perspective this week, there’s little I can add to the commentary from a historical perspective.

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Topics: Technology, Leadership, Mobile, Experience, Association Management Company

Simple Truths About Strategic Planning for Your Professional Association

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/20/13 3:32 AM

Too many professional associations function without a strategic plan. And whether they know it or not, they suffer major consequences. Without strategic planning, an organization lurches from priority to priority, depending on who has the loudest voice at the Board table; volunteers are frustrated, and critical goals go unmet.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Management, Conference Planning, Membership, Association, Association Management Company

Association Board Advice: 3 Rules for Strategic Service and Less Stress

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/13/13 3:30 AM

Some would say I’m a glutton for punishment. Others would say I must have some kind of a PowerPoint fetish. A small handful think I’m trying to do something good. But whatever the motivation, the reality is the same: in addition to attending dozens of monthly association Board meetings for Virtual’s clients, when the day is done I sit on several Boards myself.

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Topics: Operations, Membership, Leadership, Experience, Association Management Company

Advice for the ages (and associations) from a political icon

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/7/13 12:05 PM

Election Day was this week in the United States. As we elect our leaders, it’s a great time to reflect on some of the folks we've had in various offices in the US. And we've had some great ones here in Boston.

ne of my favorites was Tip O'Neill. Tip was the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives for ten years. But more critically, Tip was like a walking fortune cookie of good political aphorisms.

A few of his best known quotes bear special relevance for associations.

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Topics: Technology, Membership

Diffusion of Innovation: Practical Tips for Technology Councils & Standards Orgs

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/2/13 4:00 AM

In the 1960s, researcher Everett Rogers published a work called Diffusion of Innovations that aimed to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Nearly half a century later, his research is still the guiding rule across various industries—including the technology space—for predicting and driving technology adoption strategy. Since standard-setting organizations and technology-focused consortia are largely in the business of developing and promoting the adoption of new technologies, Rogers' work has some very strong relevance.

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Topics: Technology, Membership, Technical Process, Association, Association Management Company

7 Deadly Sins of Professional Association Training Programs

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/30/13 5:00 AM

The world is filled with bad training programs. I see them all the time in my inbox. And based on so many flawed examples, I’ve compiled this list—the seven deadly sins of professional association training programs:

1.  They’re created by people who don’t understand education and training. There’s a reason education schools exist—teachers learn something about learning modalities and how to communicate material in a way that it can be retained. Many association training programs are just,

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Topics: Operations, Association Training Programs, Membership, Standards




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