Association Management Blog

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

Mistakes Happen

Posted by Andy Freed on 7/8/14 7:13 AM

Everybody makes mistakes. That phrase is a cliché because it’s so true.   

And we make mistakes here at Virtual as well. They key is in how you recover from them. 

Check out this story: http://www.dmnews.com/this-is-how-cx-is-done-in-email/article/347377/. 

It tells the story better than I can of how we recovered from a recent mistake with one of our clients. 

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Topics: Association Management, Leadership, Associations

Winning Lessons from the World of Sports

Posted by Andy Freed on 5/14/14 4:00 AM

In Boston sports, these are “the good old days.” With the Sox winning championships, the Bruins contending for the Cup and Tom Brady slinging passes, it’s pretty fun to be a sports fan here. In honor of Boston sports, here’s what our four teams can teach associations:

From the Red Sox: “Know your role.” When a ball is hit up the middle in baseball, you never see the shortstop and second basemen collide as they both go for it. That’s because they know exactly where the other one will be.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Governance, Association Management, Membership, Leadership, Experience, Standards

The Three “I”s of Successful Tech Associations

Posted by Greg Kohn on 5/1/14 2:43 AM

As someone who's worked around technology associations for a long time, I often get asked: "So what are the secret traits of the groups that are the most successful?" Quite honestly, these secrets traits aren't really so secret. In fact, I like to call them the three "I"s. All of the better-performing organizations I have worked with have had at least one of these traits; some of the great ones have had all three.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Technology, Management, Membership, Leadership, Standards, Association Management Company

Your Choice: Change or Irrelevance

Posted by Andy Freed on 4/15/14 2:20 AM

One of my favorite quotes was when Eric Shinseki, then the Army Chief of Staff, now Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, said “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

I love that.

But boy, is it tough for a lot of associations to heed this advice. Many organizations are well on their way to irrelevance.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Association Management, Technology, Launching an Association, Membership, Leadership, Association Boards

Old soldiers never die, they just fade away. So goes the adage.

Posted by Andy Freed on 4/2/14 2:00 AM

Well, for many Board members, “fading away” means unceremoniously dropping them off the Board. That’s why former Board members are often a trouble spot for organizations—someone goes from being “in the know” to “out in the cold.” The result: a one time key member—and often still influential one—becomes disenfranchised.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Management, Board of Directors, Membership, Leadership, Association, BOD

Missed Connections

Posted by Andy Freed on 3/20/14 3:12 AM

I’m still pretty young (by my own standards). But I can remember the days of pink “while you were out” slips, calling in for messages from pay phones and (gasp) not having email at work.

And every innovation carries with it the same promise—it will keep us more connected. In many ways, this is true. When I sit in a far away hotel room talking to my kids over Facetime (when they actually answer), it’s a remarkable display of the promise of the connected society.

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Topics: Starting an Association, Association Management, Technology, Membership, Leadership, Standards

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

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

Who’s Running This Place?

Posted by Andy Freed on 3/4/13 6:18 AM

Last week, one of our clients, SAFECode, announced the hiring of a new Executive Director. Howard Schmidt, formerly the White House Cybersecurity Czar, has taken the helm. I have every confidence Howard will be a great success.

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Topics: Executive Director, Leadership, Association, Experience

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Andy Freed
President & CEO

Greg Kohn
Executive Vice President

Bruce Rogers
Founder & Chairman

Terry Lowney
Senior Vice President, COO

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