Eric Lanke

Talk About How You Will Live Your Values

Eric Lanke

It worked. There's not much more to say than that. Last week, in Behaviors Are a Necessary Part of Values , I wrote about an upcoming discussion on values at my association's Board meeting.

Ode to the Lonely Trade Show Worker

Eric Lanke

I attended a trade show this past week. It's something I haven't done in a while, and I was surprised by how little things have changed. Aisle carpet, booth numbers, giant computer screens, shiny products on lucite display stands. And, of course, booth personnel.

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Is My Bonus Plan Needlessly Complicated?

Eric Lanke

I had lunch with a colleague this week and our conversation turned to staff bonus plans. In prefacing my description of the bonus plan I've put in place for the staff at my association, I described it (with a bit of tongue in the cheek) as "needlessly complicated."

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Before You Begin: 5 Co-Creation Tips

Eric Lanke

Back in May 2018, I participated in a virtual conference session on co-creation. It was called SURGE Spring 2018, and the organizers just posted a blog summary of some of the points I made in the session.

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When Decisions Get Made

Eric Lanke

Amanda Kaiser at her Smooth the Path blog gave me a good reminder this week about association membership dues notices. The most interesting result from the member research on renewal notices is that these letters, emails, and phone calls do not serve to change most member’s minds about renewing.

Growth for Growth's Sake

Eric Lanke

A shout out this week to Jeffrey Cufaude at the Idea Architects blog , who recently offered this piece of wisdom regarding the growth goals set by many an association board in many a strategic planning session: Double our membership. Increase conference attendance by 50%.

When Decisions Get Made, Part 2

Eric Lanke

Last week, in When Decisions Get Made , I talked about when a member's decision to renew or not to renew their membership in an association gets made.

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Going Where There Are No Podiums

Eric Lanke

Not too long ago I wrote a post about Getting Out From Behind the Podium when giving a talk at my association's Annual Conference.

The Three Things That Matter in Our Performance Evaluations

Eric Lanke

I don't know when was the last time I've written about performance evaluations on this blog -- or indeed if I have ever written about performance evaluations on this blog before -- but they've been on my mind this week.

Thinking in Four Colors

Eric Lanke

I attended a conference last week where one of the sessions was on the Hermann Whole Brain Model. Not familiar with it?

System 130

Trade Associations Really Have Organizational Memberships

Eric Lanke

I have to take issue with Amanda Kaiser of the Smooth the Path blog, who said in a recent post that trade associations don't really have organizational memberships. Your key contact member understands that some of their colleagues at their organization can be members.

We Are Making a Difference

Eric Lanke

It's not always obvious. In fact, sometimes it feels like you're not making any progress at all. But then, something happens that allows you to see what you've accomplished from an outsider's perspective, and suddenly, you realize that you ARE actually making a difference. What am I talking about?

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.

Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, Part 6

Eric Lanke

Four weeks ago, in Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, Part 5 , I continued a description of a Scenario Planning exercise my Board chair and I decided to conduct at our two most recently completed Board meetings.

Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, Part 4

Eric Lanke

Two weeks ago, in Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, Part 3 , 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 Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, Part 5

Eric Lanke

Three weeks ago, in Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, Part 4 , I continued a description of a Scenario Planning exercise my Board chair and I decided to conduct at our two most recently completed Board meetings.

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Millennials Are Lazy?

Eric Lanke

Here's a rare post on the subject of generations in the workplace. Recent readers of this blog may not be aware that I cut my blogging teeth on the subject when I hosted (with Jamie Notter ) The Hourglass Blog from 2009 to 2012.

Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, Part 3

Eric Lanke

Four weeks ago, in Step Four: Discussing the Strategic Implications, 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.

Adopting the Point of View of Your Members

Eric Lanke

Kudos to Amanda Kaiser and her Smooth the Path blog for her post, " Our Point of View is Not Our Members’ Point of View." In it, she reminds all of us association staff that what we think about the value of our membership benefits is often not what our members think of it.

Who Is In and Who Is Out of Your Association?

Eric Lanke

I participated in a SURGE Spring 2018 session on co-creation. Don't know what SURGE Spring 2018 is? It's an online, virtual conference put on by Association Success. Sessions were recorded and were broadcast May 2-4, 2018.

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.

Design Constraints Make Innovation Happen

Eric Lanke

I participated in a SURGE Spring 2018 session on co-creation. Don't know what SURGE Spring 2018 is? It's an online, virtual conference put on by Association Success. Sessions have been recorded and are being posted this week (May 2-4, 2018). Mine will be posted on May 4. Go here for more info.

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.

Measuring Success Is Hard

Eric Lanke

Measuring success is hard. Case in point this week was something we call the "up-market capture ratio" in my association's investment policy. Investopedia defines the up-market capture ratio as "the statistical measure of an investment manager's overall performance in up-markets.

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.

We Feed Our Own Whirlwinds

Eric Lanke

We had Chris McChesney speak at my association's Annual Conference a few weeks back. If you don't know who that is, he's one of the authors of The Four Disciplines of Execution , also know as 4DX.

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Getting Out From Behind the Podium

Eric Lanke

My association's Annual Conference was last week, and among the things that means for me is making a presentation to the assembled membership on what the association has been doing over the past year. It's not the first time I've done this.

Step Two: Creating Scenarios Based on Megatrends, Part 2

Eric Lanke

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

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Recruiting Members Face-to-Face

Eric Lanke

I was on the road again this past week. As has become my habit, whenever I find myself going somewhere, I check our database to see if there are any members in the area and, if so, I try to reserve some time to go visit them. That worked for one of our most engaged members this week, but on this particular trip there was another kind of opportunity that presented itself.

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.

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.

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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 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.