What is Associations Unorthodox?
AUGUST 27, 2012
Far too much of the advice given to boards, CEOs and senior executives today implies there is only one right way to correct the problems facing their organizations.
Associations Unorthodox e-book available on August 8
AUGUST 7, 2012
Jeff De Cagna’s new e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , will be available as a free download beginning this Wednesday, August 8. The e-book was produced in collaboration with DC-based branding firm, CHIEF.
Three design challenges for 21st century association business models
JANUARY 14, 2013
Association boards, CEOs and senior executives will need to answer a wide variety of questions as they embark on the work of developing new business models to enable their organizations to thrive over the next decade and beyond.
How Technology is Transforming Strategy
FEBRUARY 12, 2013
Register today for our March 6 Executive Breakfast in Alexandria, presented in partnership with TMA Resources. This post originally appeared last Wednesday on the ResultsDirect AssociationCentric Blog. Remarkable…simply remarkable. I find it remarkable that it is February 2013, and I am still reading magazine articles advising associations to create strategic plans every five or six years, and encouraging leaders to review those plans just once a year.
Join Jeff for P.I./TMA Resources Executive Breakfast on March 6 in Alexandria, Virginia
JANUARY 30, 2013
TMA Resources Executive Breakfast for association CEOs, C-Suite executives and other association leaders. This executive breakfast, based on the Jeff’s provocative article in the March 2013 issue of Associations Now, as well as his hands-on experience as a nonprofit board member, will help CEOs and other senior leaders better understand the board beliefs and actions that run counter to effective business model stewardship and innovation.
Join Jeff for Better Boards Workshop on March 8 in Denver
JANUARY 16, 2013
Join Jeff De Cagna of Principled Innovation on Friday, March 8, 2013 in Denver for a full-day workshop on Building Better Boards , presented by the Colorado Society of Association Executives. The Building Better Boards workshop is intended for association board leaders and members, CEOs, C-Suite/senior executives and staff involved in managing board work.
Serious Questions: Are associations dead?
OCTOBER 18, 2012
This was not the “serious question” I planned to write about this month, but a recent conversation with an association executive director inspired me to tackle it. In August, I launched the P. Serious Questions newsletter. Each issue of the newsletter presents a serious question on which I offer my thoughts for newsletter subscribers. Today, I am publishing what I wrote on the September 2012 Serious Question of the Month on the P.I. The September 2012 Serious Question of the Month.
Overcoming the association value gap: part I
MARCH 25, 2013
Of course, this is extremely difficult to do, so in Part II later this month, I will explore how boards, CEOs, and C-suite executives can work together to overcome the association value gap. This post originally appeared on the Associations Now Leadership Blog on March 7, 2013. In a recent post , Associations Now blogger Joe Rominiecki shared what both he and I regard as a startling fact: 53 percent of associations surveyed in 2011 had raised their dues in the previous three years.
Making Innovation Happen Survey: Sharing Key Results
AUGUST 12, 2012
Blog, and, in the fall, I will be releasing an executive briefing memo for boards, CEOs and C-Suite executives with recommendations, advice and guidance for pursuing the work of innovation, based on the survey results. Video not showing? Find it on YouTube. Last week, I released some preliminary results from the P.I. Making Innovation Happen Survey. This morning, I am sharing more detailed survey results in the form of the video you (should) see above.
Jeff De Cagna to deliver keynote at CESSE 2013 Annual Meeting
MARCH 31, 2013
Jeff De Cagna , chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation, has been selected as the opening keynote speaker for the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE) 2013 Annual Meeting. CESSE, which was incorporated in 1977, is an informal, not-for-profit international organization of chief executive officers and mid-to-senior level staff members of scientific and engineering societies.
Associations Unorthdox Shift #6: Build a strategically legitimate board
OCTOBER 10, 2012
While the size, method of selection and composition of boards, the role of executive committees and the nature of CEO-board relationships can look very different depending on the association, all of these choices connect back to certain deep-seated beliefs about how boards are supposed to function. Chief elected officers do not need to exercise executive authority and micro-manage their CEOs.
Why business model thinking matters to associations
JUNE 9, 2012
This post appears as an article in the May/June 2012 issue of Success by Association , the magazine of Association Executives of North Carolina. In every association, the board must constantly monitor the health of the current business model, understand and track potential disruptive threats and work with the CEO and C-Suite executives to pursue business model innovation as the inevitable erosion of the existing model occurs.
P.I. Making Innovation Happen Survey is now open
JUNE 9, 2012
This survey’s findings will help association boards, CEOs, C-Suite executives and other association leaders better understand both the drivers and obstacles of innovation in organizations across our community. The inaugural Principled Innovation Making Innovation Happen Survey for Association CEOs is now open and accepting responses. All association CEOs are invited to complete the survey , which can be found online at [link].
It’s all about boards and business models in March!
FEBRUARY 27, 2013
TMA Resources Executive Breakfast in Alexandria, Virginia including a free talk on the Five Reasons-Boards article and an optional “deep dive” session (registration fee for deep dive). In support of my new article, “Trapped in the Past,” a.k.a.
Jeff De Cagna elected chair of RedRover Board of Directors
NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, has been elected chair of the RedRover Board of Directors. Jeff will begin his two-year term in January 2013. “RedRover is thrilled to have Jeff serving as the next chair of our Board of Directors.
Announcing the Making Innovation Happen Survey!
JUNE 4, 2012
It is my great pleasure to announce that Principled Innovation is launching the inaugural Making Innovation Happen Survey for Association CEOs this morning!
Jeff De Cagna serving as curator for ACE Symposium on July 12
APRIL 28, 2013
Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE , chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, is serving as curator and provocateur for the inaugural Association Chief Executives (ACE) Symposium , to be held on Friday, July 12 at The Gannett Building in McLean, Virginia. The ACE Symposium is open exclusively to association CEOs, and CEO attendees may register their #2 executives to participate with them in the event. an executive search and consulting firm located in Northern Virginia.
Overcoming the association value gap: part II
APRIL 2, 2013
To make this happen, boards, CEOs, C-suite executives, and other contributors need to think beyond orthodoxy and embrace a 21st-century sensibility in their pursuit of business model innovation. This post originally appeared on the Associations Now Leadership Blog on March 28, 2013. You can read Part I here. In Part I of this series earlier this month, I identified the association value gap as an underlying structural problem within membership-centric business models.
Read Jeff De Cagna’s latest article on business model innovation
SEPTEMBER 9, 2012
The article appears in the August/September 2012 issue of Association Magazine, the official publication of the Canadian Society of Association Executives. The article appears in the current issue of Association Magazine, published by the Canadian Society of Association Executives. Jeff De Cagna’s latest article on business model innovation, “Designing Association Business Models for the Network Age,” is now available for download.
Sign up for Serious Questions
JULY 8, 2012
Each month, Serious Questions will explore a new “serious question” facing the association community, provide a curated selection of useful readings for association executives and share other announcements and offers from Principled Innovation. All association board members, CEOs, C-Suite executives and other leaders are invited to sign up for Serious Questions at the following link: [link].
ASAE12 Making Innovation Happen workshop agenda released
AUGUST 1, 2012
Association CEOs and C-Suite executives attending ASAE12 are invited to participate in the workshop, which will take place on Sunday, August 12 from 1:30 pm-5:30 pm in Room D161 of the Dallas Convention Center. Association CEOs and C-Suite executives planning to attend the workshop are asked to view an online presentation to prepare for the session. Association CEOs and C-Suite executives attending ASAE12 are invited to participate in the workshop on Sunday, August 12.
Making Innovation Happen Survey: Preliminary Results
AUGUST 6, 2012
If you are an association CEO or C-Suite executive attending ASAE12 in Dallas, I invite you to participate in my Making Innovation Happen workshop on Sunday, August 12 from 1:30 pm-5:30 pm CDT, during which I will discuss the key survey results. This fall, I will be releasing an executive briefing memo, building on the survey results, that will offer specific advice and guidance to association CEOs on how to advance their innovation efforts.
Jeff De Cagna to speak at ASAE12 in Dallas
JULY 23, 2012
The schedule of Jeff’s formal and informal sessions is below: On Sunday, August 12 from 1:30 pm-5:30 pm CDT, Jeff will present a four-hour workshop, “ Making Innovation Happen: An Executive Learning Experience for Association CEOs ” in Room D161 of the Dallas Convention Center. Association CEOs and C-Suite executives are invited to attend this intensive workshop, during which Jeff will share key results from the P.I.
Jeff De Cagna joins ATA Board of Directors
JULY 10, 2012
I’m confident Jeff will make an important contribution to the work of the ATA Board of Directors,” said Michael Malusevic, ATA’s executive director. Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, has been elected to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) Board of Directors. ATA, located in Portland, Oregon, exists to cure tinnitus through the development of resources that advance tinnitus research.
4 Ways Association Executives Can Reduce Staff Stress
JULY 15, 2016
Association Management Association Executives Employee ProductivityWhat costs employers $300 billion per year? Workplace stress.
Seeking Two Brave Association Executives
MAY 2, 2017
Your courage and curiosity could earn you a free place at a conference in Canada this summer! I wanted to share an exciting opportunity surrounding the Engaging Associations Forum conference, which will be held in Ottawa, Ontario July 19 th -21 st. (To To read more about the conference, click here ).
CalSAE Association Executives Name 6 Big Trends for 2014
FEBRUARY 5, 2014
and they''re only gettin'' better I''m doin'' all right Gettin'' good grades The future''s so bright I gotta wear shades.Timbuk 3 I am lucky enough to get to play along with the California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE) IDEAL(TM) learning laboratory. Things are going great.
Innovation for Association Executives
OCTOBER 31, 2014
They claim that the key to success lies in building better capabilities for execution and implementation that will enable us to deliver on our promises and beat the competition.”. I’m thinking about innovation in the context of managing associations and non-profit enterprises.
Replacing the Engine While Flying the Plane: The Association Executive’s Guide to 21st Century Change
MARCH 2, 2017
Leading Your Association Over Uncharted Territory Association executives and directors have been hearing for years now that change is coming. One association executive we’ve spoken to described this process as “replacing the engine while flying the plane.”
The Social Executive
APRIL 16, 2012
The Social Executive. Social business is good business. But don’t just take our word for it. “Access to communities and networks improve efficiency and quality.” ” Check out this GREAT slide deck by Rachel Happe. View more presentations from The Community Roundtable.
Conference Execution As Attendee Learning
APRIL 28, 2014
We focus primarily on the efficient execution of delivery of content. The focus on controlling information flow, creating a one-way and top-down hierarchical pre-planned well-executed logistical conference experience won’t cut it. Executing Efficient Information Delivery.
Community Dream to Reality: Top Five Ways to Prove Value to Executives
JANUARY 7, 2016
If you want to live the community dream, you’re going to need executives on your side. Did you know two thirds of organizations with highly involved executives are seeing their communities influence 16% or more of their organizations’ total revenue?
7 Oldies but Goodies for Associations Executives
SEPTEMBER 28, 2015
ASAE association boards Association CEOs association executives association governance association professionals SCD Group SCDdailyThe other night some couples were discussing their favorite “old” television programs. You know: Seinfield, Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, etc.
A Letter to Executives - From an Extraordinary Assistant, Erin Glaser
MAY 7, 2013
As many top level executives know, having a good assistant can make the difference between time well spent and a day wasted on busy work. Having an effective relationship with your assistant is key to improving your own efficiency and the quality of your work. The following are three areas that are vital to creating an ideal relationship between you and your assistant
Get Support for Your Association’s Community Strategy: How to Align with Your Board and Executive Team’s Priorities
DECEMBER 23, 2015
Association Management Association Executives Member EngagementA few years ago, comic hypnotists were a big draw on the corporate speaking circuit. Many companies hired them at retreats, conferences, annual meetings, and the like.
How a Tech Solution Saved This Executive Director’s Membership Growth Strategy
Wild Apricot Blog
OCTOBER 7, 2016
The story of how one executive director managed to turn around a failing growth strategy with a software solution, hitting 25% growth in six months. membership management software membership-growth executive-directorBased on The Tech Effect webinar, which runs each month at Wild Apricot.
Executive Recruitment: Lessons From Megyn Kelly’s Move to NBC
JANUARY 9, 2017
When hiring for your association’s executive positions, take these steps to make sure you’re getting the best people. Associations need to attract executives who can fulfill their missions and lead their organizations into the future.
6 Lessons for Association Executives
SEPTEMBER 14, 2014
Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of the Coca-Cola Co, wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal headlined Truett Cathy’s Lessons on Life & Business. As I read these six characteristic s, I envisioned them as pretty good lessons for association volunteers, leaders and association executives. As you think of your association (yourself, you other association executives and your volunteers), which of these characteristics are most important?
[Cool Infographic Friday] Coaching Executives for Engagement
NOVEMBER 14, 2014
“Members are more engaged in communities with executive participation.” ” Isn’t that all you need to know? ———-. photo credit ). Featured Useful Data
How Can Your Executives Help Your Community Managers?
DECEMBER 9, 2015
When planning a community, it can be hard to distinguish just how your organization’s executives can support the community manager in building a successful customer community. However, this is a very important step because the executives are usually responsible for organizing and prioritizing company priorities and goals.