Golden's Rules for Association

The Power (and Limitations) of Social Media

Golden's Rules for Association

At a recent conference, I was diligent in my efforts to use social media to not only capture my own notes, but share them with my colleagues and associates, present and absent. I got a decent amount of reaction and interaction for my efforts. Retweets, likes, comments and discussion. Nothing remotely viral, mind you, but my […]. Social Media & Associations associations impact twitter

Context, continuity, and generations

Golden's Rules for Association

A lot of self-help books and personal development coaches advise taking a break from your area of professional focus every now and then to read things entirely outside your field. In today’s world of mass media, information overload, and 24-hour-a-day, day jobs, that is increasingly hard to do. But I have found this to be […]. The Nature of Associations context mission

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Trending Sources

Why change is hard and so often goes wrong

Golden's Rules for Association

A member shared this video with me recently, which demonstrates that knowledge does not equal understanding and that it is very difficult to change biases. link] Watch the whole 8 minutes if you can … there is more here than the initial “hook” of the video: how changing one thing makes even a simple, customary task […]. The Nature of Associations The Way We Are Change Strategic Planning

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What the world needs is more association executives

Golden's Rules for Association

Closing the ASAE annual meeting in Dallas, author Dan Pink argued that, regardless of profession, we are all in sales. But the characteristics, skills and traits he described as essential for success sounded to my ears like precisely the attributes that distinguish effective association leaders, and differentiate us as a profession. Read more in my [.]. The Nature of Associations The Way We Are #asae12 Association Management association profession role of associations

The Generation Gap in Lobbying

Golden's Rules for Association

There is a generation gap between lobbyists and the lobbied that requires rethinking established GR tactics. Read my commentary from this week’s Association Trends. Association Advocacy

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Bringing the next generation into governance

Golden's Rules for Association

When I ask association leaders (both volunteers and staff professionals) what their biggest long-term governance challenge is, the most frequent answer I hear back is the challenge of bringing the next generation of leaders on board. “Young people don’t volunteer the way we used to.” ” “They don’t have the time to devote to volunteering that [.]. The Nature of Associations Association Governance governance system leadership

The Future of Membership?

Golden's Rules for Association

On November 6th, I was invited to present a TED-style talk on the “Future of Membership” at the first Association Chief Executives (ACE) Symposium. My thesis: volunteerism not membership is what makes our organizations unique; membership is a means to an end; the metrics we use to judge membership success are all wrong; and the […]. The Nature of Associations

A wealth of data … but is it all real?

Golden's Rules for Association

Seven years after the ASAE Foundation first published Seven Measures of Success it has become a whole lot easier to be a “data-driven” association. In 2006, the cost, systems and infrastructure needed to do what the remarkable 9 associations did with data was a major challenge. Less than a decade later, even the smallest association [.]. Social Media & Associations Data Driven Seven Measures Social Media

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Why these things matter

Golden's Rules for Association

Chances are that if you are reading this, you consider yourself an association professional and you appreciate the tremendous good that associations do for society. You are probably also concerned about some of the issues impacting associations, and maybe even support advocacy by groups like ASAE to address them. But do you ever involve the [.]. Association Advocacy association profession engagement leadership lobbying not-for-profit role of associations tax exempt organizations

Just because it’s easy and you can, doesn’t mean you should

Golden's Rules for Association

That was the common thread from the presentations and discussion at TREND’s Annual Communications Legal Update on October 26th. Among the high level takeaways was the need to remember that most of the arcane web of political communication, intellectual property, privacy, and commercial law that governs our digital world was written decades before digital was [.]. Social Media & Associations association law copyright Intellectual Property lotteries Social Media social media policies

Looking into the congressional crystal ball

Golden's Rules for Association

Associations have garnered their share of attention from the Hill in the last year, but no one expected a thoroughly gridlocked Congress to actually get anything done about it … at least until after the election. And after that? Read my latest commentary in AssociationTRENDS to learn why I don’t think any of the association [.]. Association Advocacy not-for-profit tax exempt organizations tax reform

Everybody lies

Golden's Rules for Association

The series had its ups and downs and wild swings in quality, but there is no question that Fox Television’s “House M.D.,” which came to an end after eight seasons this week, was consistently ambitious and compelling TV. Held together at its center by the bravura performance of Hugh Laurie in the title role, the [.]. The Way We Are market research member needs surveys

CEO effectiveness & volunteer boards

Golden's Rules for Association

I was recently invited to share one piece of advice from what I have learned in my years as an association chief staff officer on effective partnership with volunteer leaders, for a book soon to be published by ASAE. After giving some thought to the matter, for me it came down to what Jim Collins calls Level […]. Uncategorized The Nature of Associations The Way We Are Association Governance leadership

Context, confidence and authority

Golden's Rules for Association

The problem I have with most social networking is that you can’t ask follow up questions. Like a lot of people, I suppose, it took me a while to warm to Twitter and Facebook. I was initially put off by the sheer triviality of an overwhelming majority of the traffic. I mean really: I don’t [.]. Social Media & Associations Social Media

Open or closed?

Golden's Rules for Association

The online world is divided into two camps over that one. One camp thinks there should be no restrictions or guidelines around who participates in online communities. Everything should be open to everybody. If someone with a completely different set of experiences shocks you with an idea or perspective that never would have occurred to [.]. Social Media & Associations

Paradigms

Golden's Rules for Association

I recently suffered a very sudden and very significant loss of vision. Happily, the condition was fully correctible. Nonetheless, during the period of impairment I learned some very interesting things about how the brain works and we perceive the world. I discovered that when I was in familiar surroundings, my brain could reach back to [.]. Association Advocacy The Way We Are

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Association tech trends

Golden's Rules for Association

My picks for the three biggest technology trends affecting associations for 2013: 1. It’s not just social … or even primarily social … it’s all about mobile access now 2. If you are a control freak … get over it. If you still think IT is somebody else’s responsibility, you’re wrong Read more in [.]. Social Media & Associations associations Social Media tech technology trends

The social media dog that didn’t bark

Golden's Rules for Association

In the Sherlock Holmes mystery “Silver Blaze,” the solution turns on “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” ” Scotland Yard Detective Gregory can be forgiven for his confusion when he protests, “the dog did nothing in the night-time.” ” “That,” Holmes observes, “was the curious incident.” There are a number of dogs that didn’t [.]. Social Media & Associations Social Media trends

The myth about ‘special interests’

Golden's Rules for Association

Much of the public thinks of associations as “special interests” who do nothing but lobby the system to game advantage (even though U. government data shows that associations spend many times more on educational activities than on lobbying). In my opinion, “special interest” is a pejorative only when applied to a group whose interests [.]. Association Advocacy role of associations

What’s in a word?

Golden's Rules for Association

Association Trends data indicates a majority of associations do not include bonuses in staff compensation structures. Perhaps part of the resistance is simply a matter of language. ”Bonus” sounds gratuitous and unearned. But performance based compensation can be a critical element in achieving high staff performance. Read more in my commentary in the July 19th Trends. [.]. The Nature of Associations Association Management Bonus Compensation

The extent (and limits) of a board’s authority

Golden's Rules for Association

The rich “are different than you and me,” F. Scott Fitzgerald famously observed. (“Yes, they have more money,” Ernest Hemingway is apocryphally reported to have cynically added.) In the same vein, non-profit boards are different from corporate boards. They have less latitude to lead. Even when they have the clear legal authority and are acting [.]. The Nature of Associations Association Governance Boards

Review Gate

Golden's Rules for Association

Give the Metropolitan Opera credit. When its leadership screws up, they do it on a truly operatic scale. The Met is a nonprofit, structured in a manner not unlike many associations. There is the parent organization, the opera company, that delivers the core value to its membership (audience). And there is its educational foundation, the [.]. Association Advocacy The Nature of Associations association journals censorship leadership Transparency

Making innovation a habit

Golden's Rules for Association

To be real, innovation needs to be a habit, not a standalone project. And habits are learned through constant practice – doing something consistently and constantly until it becomes an ingrained feature of everyday activity. Something that is constantly happening, almost without conscious effort or thought. Part of that is systems and environment. Apple is [.]. The Nature of Associations

Professionalism, resilience and teamwork

Golden's Rules for Association

Commonplace words … but recent events have added a depth of meaning to each of them. Midafternoon on August 23rd, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Virginia. Earthquakes in this region are rare. Earthquakes of that size are unheard of. Much of the Washington DC area was able to shake it off and move on. The little [.]. The Way We Are

The Loyalty Factor

Golden's Rules for Association

As consumers, there are some products, brands, or stores we frequent out of habit. And in stable, calm and good times that’s enough. Trouble is, all it takes is the slightest little disruption to make “because I have always shopped here” an insufficient excuse for me not to take my business elsewhere. Associations are even [.]. The Nature of Associations

What opera has taught me about association management …

Golden's Rules for Association

Conflict! Treachery! Betrayal! Passion! No, I am not talking about your last board of directors meeting. I am talking about opera. And before you start rolling your eyes and dismissing opera based on the parodies or send ups you’ve seen (Marx Brothers’ “Night at the Opera,” anyone?), allow me to provide a short, painless and mostly lighthearted [.]. The Nature of Associations The Way We Are

ISO consumate association professional … plumbers only need apply.

Golden's Rules for Association

Suppose you were an association executive with a medical need. You have identified the leading doctors who specialize in the field. The decision is important. Your health is at stake. So you take very seriously the process of deciding which doctor is the best fit to work with you to diagnose your problem and prescribe [.]. The Nature of Associations association profession role of associations

Inquiry or advocacy?

Golden's Rules for Association

There are two kinds of public policy research: there is inquiry and there is advocacy. In the case of advocacy, you start with an answer and go in search of the facts that will bolster and support your position. In the case of inquiry, you start with a question and let the facts lead you [.]. Association Advocacy

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True North

Golden's Rules for Association

The following is adapted from remarks delivered at the National Society of Professional Engineer’s House of Delegates General Assembly, July 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. As NSPE ends one fiscal/program year and starts a new one, it would be typical to talk about the past year’s activity. That is worth doing: we have a good story to […]. The Nature of Associations business strategy culture membership models

Consensus is not a dirty word

Golden's Rules for Association

At a GWSAE Speakers Series event a number of years ago, Margaret Thatcher described consensus as the opposite of leadership. She used words to the effect that consensus is an abdication of leadership obligations; true leaders take you somewhere the group otherwise would never go. Recently, on ASAE’s CEO network listserv, a rather energetic discussion [.]. The Nature of Associations Association Governance governance system leadership role of associations

Associations don’t have long tails

Golden's Rules for Association

For a while there, Chris Anderson’s book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, seemed to dominate the association consulting/seminar/blogging space. Now that its currency has dimmed a little, I have a confession to make. I struggled for a long time trying to like this book1. But in the [.]. The Nature of Associations

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Stay focused on mission

Golden's Rules for Association

The new president of the national, not-for-profit organization urged his membership to remember: “The [organization] we passionately love is hardly some cumbersome, outmoded club of sticklers, with a medieval bureaucracy, silly … rules on fancy letterhead, one more movement rife with squabbles, opinions and disagreement.” ” No. All those elements might exist, or be perceived to [.]. Association Advocacy The Nature of Associations

Stop competing

Golden's Rules for Association

That somewhat startling and counterintuitive piece of advice comes from futurist Dan Burrus. “No No matter what your angle for competing – whether you are competing on price, service, quality, time, design, or anything else – the unfortunate outcome is you’re making yourself too much like everyone else. So even when you are in the lead, [.]. The Nature of Associations

On receiving the Key Award

Golden's Rules for Association

I am often asked why I have spent my entire career, and how I have maintained my calm demeanor, in a profession where success requires making people you can’t directly control work effectively together. “People are irrational, self-centered and unreasonable – why would you put yourself through it?” ” My answer is simple: because when people [.]. The Way We Are #asae11

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Have we lost the ability to argue?

Golden's Rules for Association

“It is extraordinary to notice how few people in the modern world can argue. That is why there are so many quarrels breaking out again and again, and never coming to any natural end.” How true. Just switch on any cable TV “news” show or go to any online forum. Or visit an association board [.]. Association Advocacy The Way We Are

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ASAE Key Award

Golden's Rules for Association

I am thrilled and humbled to learn of my selection to receive the American Society of Association Executive’s 2011 Key Award, the highest honor ASAE offers. “The Key Award honors the association CEO who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership in his or her own association, and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations as a [.]. The Way We Are

Who was that masked man?

Golden's Rules for Association

Does knowing nothing more about who is behind a statement than the words a person uses to express themselves make online pronouncements more or less reliable? On one hand, not knowing anything about who is blogging or tweating beyond the sometimes very limited information about themselves that they choose to make known to you is a good thing. It [.]. Social Media & Associations

Rosetta Stone for Twitter

Golden's Rules for Association

Twitter is a second language … it takes some effort to learn to speak it fluently. But does tweeting content in realtime at educational events add or detract from the educational experience? A lot of what gets tweeted at conferences and seminars is drivel, but for those fluent in the language, Twitter can add a [.]. Social Media & Associations

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

Golden's Rules for Association

The web has made it a whole lot easier to fake it. And that is, if anything, even more of a threat to serious, online communities than to traditional associations. There is little you can effectively do to police the content of others on the web … leaving it up to our associations (traditional and [.]. Association Advocacy Social Media & Associations

Us versus Them

Golden's Rules for Association

Have social networks made traditional associations obsolete? Or are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et. just so many distractions from real association work? In my view, the answer is neither. I recently addressed this issue as a guest blogger on the Amercian Society of Association Executive’s (ASAE’s) blog space, Acronym. “Us versus Them” on Acronym. Social Media & Associations