Eric Lanke

Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, Part 2

Eric Lanke

Two weeks ago, in Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications , I continued a description of a Scenario Planning exercise my Board chair and I decided to conduct at our most recently completed Board meeting.

The Idea Swap

Eric Lanke

I attended an educational conference last week and a wonderful thing happened to me there. I got a new idea. I don't know yet if it's a good idea or a bad idea. Maybe you can tell me. But that's not the point.

Run Your Next Welcome Reception Like an Apple Store

Eric Lanke

This week I reviewed the free e-book, Fueling Exceptional New Member Experiences , from Amanda Kaiser at Kaiser Insights and the Smooth the Path blog. My favorite part was the section that talked about the importance of making a positive first impression with new members.

Membership Sales Is About More Than Just Increasing Membership Numbers

Eric Lanke

We focus a lot on membership sales in my association. This year perhaps more than at any time in recent memory because we have identified increasing our membership numbers as our Wildly Important Goal for the year.

Step Three: Writing Snapshots for Each Scenario, Part 2

Eric Lanke

Two weeks ago, in Step Three: Writing Snapshots for Each Scenario , I continued a description of a Scenario Planning exercise my Board chair and I decided to conduct at our most recently completed Board meeting.

Step Two: Creating Scenarios Based on Megatrends

Eric Lanke

Two weeks ago, in Step One: Identifying the Megatrends , I continued a description of a Scenario Planning exercise my Board chair and I decided to conduct at our upcoming Board meeting.

Oranges Are More Important Than Apples

Eric Lanke

Lately, I've been spending more time than usual on my association's financial operations.

System 130

You Must Be Staff Driven

Eric Lanke

Last week I wrote about a presentation I would be giving at one of my association's major conferences -- a presentation on the work product of one of our technical committees.

Step One: Identifying the Megatrends

Eric Lanke

A few weeks ago, in Letting the Future Guide the Present , I provided some background for a Scenario Planning exercise my Board chair and I decided to conduct at our upcoming Board meeting.

The Importance of Making Commitments

Eric Lanke

It's been a while since I wrote about my association's on-going experiment with 4DX -- The Four Disciplines of Execution.

System 130

Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications

Eric Lanke

Two weeks ago, in Step Three: Writing Snapshots for Each Scenario, Part 2 , I continued a description of a Scenario Planning exercise my Board chair and I decided to conduct at our most recently completed Board meeting.

80% Is Good Enough

Eric Lanke

I used to blog a lot about innovation in the association environment. I used to think a lot about the subject, I helped write a white paper on the subject, helped launch a regional conference focused on it, and have tried to move my association on to a more innovative footing.

The Joy of Membership Interview

Eric Lanke

I was recently interviewed by Joy Duling of The Joy of Membership blog, for The Movement Summit , an online event she is creating and hosting, which will be happening live next week, November 6-10, 2017.

Part Three: Writing Snapshots for Each Scenario

Eric Lanke

Two weeks ago, in Step Two: Creating Scenarios Based on Megatrends, Part 2 , I continued a description of a Scenario Planning exercise my Board chair and I decided to conduct at our recently completed Board meeting.

Letting the Future Guide the Present

Eric Lanke

I had a good discussion with my Board chair this week. We're looking ahead to our next Board meeting and it's time to start framing an agenda for the discussions that will take place there.

When Action Items Aren't Action Items

Eric Lanke

Last week I wrote about a message my Board chair and I had crafted to help frame the discussion at our recent Board meeting.

Review 141

Working Committees Have Plenty To Do

Eric Lanke

We're looking ahead to another calendar year in our association, and as part of that look forward we are setting a year-long course for some of our working committees. Working Committee is the term my association uses for what others might call Program Committees.

I Don't Know How To Do That

Eric Lanke

I was talking to a friend last night about one of the newest education programs in my association. He's a friend, but he's not in the association business, and I often find his viewpoint as an outsider to my world refreshing.

How To 130

It Takes Resources

Eric Lanke

Another lesson for me this week that demonstrates how a strategy without the resources to support it is a recipe for failure. We sometimes deceive ourselves in the association business.

Automation Is Not Always the Answer

Eric Lanke

I had an interesting conversation this week with a colleague on the subject of membership engagement tracking. It's not something that every association does, evidently, but it is something that my association does.

Peer Surveys Protect the Status Quo

Eric Lanke

Like many association professionals, I suspect, I belong to a number of associations myself. One of those associations -- comprised primarily of the staff executives of associations that look and behave like mine -- recently conducted a survey of its membership.

Survey 130

When Governance Means Governance

Eric Lanke

I'm gearing up for another Board meeting this week. That means, among other things, that I've been in communication with our Board chair about necessary agenda items and things that we would like the Board to achieve by the conclusion of the meeting.

Getting New Voices Heard at the Board Table

Eric Lanke

The Board of my association uses a structure we call Strategic Task Forces. I think I've written about them before on this blog. They are task forces of the Board, but we invite a number of non-Board members to serve on them as well.

Board Succession Quiz

Eric Lanke

As I said a few weeks ago, another association has invited me to speak at their Annual Leadership Conference on the subject of high-functioning association Boards. I'm going to hit four subjects during my presentation: Board selection , Board discussions , Board decisions , and Board succession.

Board Decisions Quiz

Eric Lanke

As I said a few weeks ago, another association has invited me to speak at their Annual Leadership Conference on the subject of high-functioning association Boards. I'm going to hit four subjects during my presentation: Board selection , Board discussions , Board decisions, and Board succession.

Hurricanes and Asynchronous Communication

Eric Lanke

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were on everyone's mind these last few weeks. Even if you weren't directly affected by them through mandatory evacuations, storm damage, or the tragic loss of life, the hurricanes were undoubtedly on your mind and they probably impacted the way you did your job.

Board Discussions Quiz

Eric Lanke

As I said last week, another association has invited me to speak at their Annual Leadership Conference on the subject of high-functioning association Boards. I'm going to hit four subjects during my presentation: Board selection , Board discussions, Board decisions, and Board succession.

Associations Are Non-Profits for a Reason

Eric Lanke

There is a clear and important reason that associations are organized as non-profit organizations, and it isn't so they can get out of paying taxes. My musings in this regard were inspired by this post by Anna Caraveli on The Demand Networks blog.

Board Selection Quiz

Eric Lanke

Another association has invited me to speak at their Annual Leadership Conference on the subject of high-functioning association Boards. A handful of these opportunities have come my way since I started blogging, and I frankly relish them.

Moving the Goal Posts

Eric Lanke

One of the central challenges we face in our association is determining how we're going to measure success.

Course 130

Sticking to What You Know

Eric Lanke

It's hard for me to write about anything this week except the presentations that I'm going to give at one of my association's major conferences next week. Hard, because creating and rehearsing them has occupied an enormous portion of my mental life this week.

Giving Core Values Teeth

Eric Lanke

I heard a great way for organizations to give their core values "teeth" at a recent conference I attended.

Run Your Next Dues Renewal Effort Like a Fundraising Campaign

Eric Lanke

Spark Consulting is out with another white paper -- this one on what associations can learn about relationship building, campaign management, and attracting Millennials from charitable fundraising organizations. It's another thought-provoking read for association CEOs. If you're interested, you can download "Steal Like a Fundraiser: Innovations in Cause-Oriented Fundraising for Associations" here. It's free and you don't even have to register for it.

Leaving Your Family at Disneyland

Eric Lanke

I think I've mentioned Corner Office before -- an on-going series of interviews with CEOs of different companies and organizations that appears in The New York Times.

A New Kind of 80/20 Rule

Eric Lanke

Most people are familiar with the 80/20 rule. If not, Google it, which, oddly in my browser, consistently provides the definition from Wikipedia in a box at the very top of the search results. Maybe I should cut out the middle man and just start searching for things on Wikipedia? But I digress.

Clarifying the What Not the How

Eric Lanke

I'm doing performance evaluations with my direct reports this week and, on the advice of one of those direct reports, I'm asking everyone for their feedback on my performance as well.

Multiple Views Around the Board Table

Eric Lanke

At our recent strategic Board retreat I had an interesting experience. I was sitting at the head of the Board table, as I always do, only the person on my left was not the Board chair that I had worked throughout the past year with.

Sharing Results from the Board Meeting

Eric Lanke

Those of you who are chief staff executives of associations, I have a question for you. Each time you come back to the office after one of your Board meetings, what do you tell your staff about what happened at the Board table? Let me guess. Only what they need to know. I used to feel the same way.

Review 130

Build Before You Change

Eric Lanke

As I write this I am on the plane out to my association's annual strategic board retreat. For those who wonder when I find the time to write my blog posts, airplane rides are great for my output. I just finished re-reviewing the report I've prepared and will give to the board.

Review 130

It's Okay to Ignore People

Eric Lanke

My phone doesn't ring as much as it used to. Fifteen years ago, it seemed, my phone rang all the time.