6 building blocks to an innovative culture

Association Success

For association professionals and organizational leaders, innovation should always be top of mind. But in order to accomplish meaningful change, your organization has to have the right foundation to support the experimentation and expectations true innovation brings.

10 Traits of an Innovation Mindset for Your Association


Associations can’t fulfill their missions without innovation. Innovation helps organizations create and improve processes, products, services, and experiences for their members, customers, staff, and audiences. Technology helps us turn innovative ideas into reality, but innovation is powered by organizational cultures that support and nurture an innovation mindset. 10 elements of the innovation mindset to nurture at your association. #1:


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[Cool Social Tools] The Power of Breezio


Startups and tech vendors are welcome to contact me at maddie[at]socialfish[dot]org to submit guest posts about their platforms – SocialFish readers love to read about new tools and apps! Breezio was built with that in mind: to ensure your community can collaborate, co-innovate, and co-create more efficiently and effectively and there is no other community engagement platform that works with you to understand your community’s needs and measures your goals as well as Breezio.

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Encouraging Innovation: Walking the Talk


——————– We often claim our nonprofits encourage a culture of creativity and innovation. If you genuinely want a culture of creativity and innovation at your organization, and you probably should, then you actually need to reward creativity and encourage innovation. But saying we love creativity and innovation while penalizing staff when their innovative attempts don’t work makes people risk-averse, not creative and adventurous.

Workshopping Innovation: How We Taught Design Thinking

Association Success

How a group of international association executives experimented with new innovation frameworks. It is one thing to commit to a pathway towards innovation. Bringing people along the road with you, however, can be an innovation project in itself. They were provided custom-made activity cards for each of the activities, along with references for further online resources and tools. 3) Enabling associations to develop and implement innovation with current resources.

Give Your Developers More Room to Innovate

Associations Now

Is Bottom-Up Innovation Needed? The TechCrunch piece , written by Index Ventures General Partner Mike Volpi, breaks down exactly why open-source tools turned into juggernauts and the basis for many major companies. If this sounds like “shadow IT,” yes, it’s along those lines—and I tend to think that allowing employees to play with new tools is actually a good thing from an innovation standpoint.

Aiming to Innovate? Look Beyond the Usual Suspects

Associations Now

It’s a simple, ingenious solution, and the company is currently working on launching the automation tool for other online publications under the name OutVoice. One downside is that, because of the participants’ lack of familiarity with other fields, the solutions often aren’t immediately applicable, but it gives innovators something to aim for.). Once a week or so, I wander through the website Product Hunt , which surfaces new startups and digital projects.

At CHEST Innovation Is Called Business as Usual


The association prides itself on an innovative approach that responds rapidly to changing demographics, advancing technology, and the shift from growing membership to increasing the engagement of an expanding profession. The staff and volunteer leaders are creative problem-solvers who embrace innovation and change. Updated learning, member and content management systems were needed to launch the innovative vision. An interdisciplinary team spearheaded the project.

E-commerce innovation: Engaging your customers


There are great examples of brands that have turned modern technologies and business practices into successful audience engagement innovation tools. Every organization has access to tools like social media, web hosting and blogging, but some have set a new standard for what it looks like when a company is serious about meeting their audience where they are online. million dollars to go to various communities and projects, all chosen by—you guessed it—fans on social media.

Leadership Limerick: Innovation Requires Many Contributions

Idea Architects

custom-designing keynotes, workshops, and leadership conferences that promote innovation, learning, and community. Leadership Limerick: Innovation Requires Many Contributions. When it comes to innovation, too many people think of the lone genius who invents some breakthrough product, instead of a diverse team with each member contributing different perspectives and roles to create new value. The latter is less sexy, but in reality is how the hard work of innovation occurs.

Social Media Roundup: Trello, a Tool Worth Trying

Associations Now

Managing a project can get confusing or even painful with the wrong tools. He says the board-based to-do tool “works flawlessly” on a number of platforms, and it can handle complexity without getting too complex. At YM, we’re building an innovative and robust platform of offerings designed to help organizations enhance engagement across social, mobile, and web channels,” said JP Guilbault, President and CEO of YourMembership.com.

Nonprofit Innovation Toolkits: Methods To Invent, Adopt, and Adapt Ideas to Deliver Better Results

Beth Kanter

” It is a social innovation toolkit for those who work in the development sector. The toolkit was designed through a collaboration between a European agency ( STBY ) and an Indian agency ( Quicksand ), it was commissioned by Nesta and the Rockefeller Foundation , who together saw a gap in the support for innovation provided to the development community. The overarching objective of the toolkit is to increase the innovation capacity of development practitioners.

Lean Startup Strategy: Take Your Innovation in Smaller Bites

Associations Now

I’d say mixed—the tool was mostly OK when it was just a matter of writing text in a box, but it had a lot of problems with Twitter embeds, and the company’s customer support seemed incapable of putting together a quick fix. Next time, I might test out another tool. The problem of fermenting innovation in the association world is well-documented, but the solutions are a little harder to come by.

Five Killer Graphic Design Tools for Community Managers

Higher Logic

We’ve assembled a list of the top five killer graphic design tools we think any community manager can use as a quick resource for simple design jobs. Here are the design tools every community manager should try: 1. Canva is an online graphic design platform that offers access to a wide assortment of design tools, templates, images, icons and fonts. Features include photo editing and effects tools like vignette, drag-and-drop and pre-made digital and print layouts.

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Techniques and Tools: How To Visualize Your Network

Beth Kanter

We had a wide ranging conversations about how to apply network mapping and visualization and debated about its use as a measurement technique vs strategy tool. For example, the Irvine New Leadership Network project that has used network mapping for two purposes: 1) evaluation 2) direct network engagement. He started with a simple tool call Netviz that analyzed how his friends were connect. There are even simpler technology tools to use to map your professional network.

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AUDC 13 Recap: Community and Innovation for Association Websites & Technology

Vanguard Tech

You might not want to admit it, but technology is now the most important tool you use on a daily basis. Mike Wiley and I (that's us in the photo) just returned from the Avectra Users and Developers Conference (AUDC) in Orlando, Florida and we were blown away by the amount of engagement, learning and innovation in this one conference. Innovation: Persistent and Pervasive. And the Avectra community is helping drive that innovation. How can technology help you innovate?

The Hourglass Blog: Learning Innovation from the Mayo Clinic

The Hourglass Blog

Learning Innovation from the Mayo Clinic. Heres another great HBR post describing another set of "principles of innovation." I say "another," of course, because of my work with the WSAE Innovation Task Force, where we helped define four key principles of innovation from the case studies we examined in the for-profit sector. The HBR post describes several strategies employed by the very famous and very innovative Mayo Clinic. Combination Innovation.

How to Recruit and Retain Millennial Employees (Hint: Start by Building Community)

Higher Logic

It makes sense that a generation raised on team projects would prefer collaboration to competition. Collaborative businesses focus on solutions instead of which department oversees which project. They break down barriers and let employees work together to share ideas, solve problems, and innovate. Just remember to use these tools sparingly so you don’t undermine your collaborative culture. Use Collaboration Tools to Better Serve Your Employees.

The Hourglass Blog: The Innovation Hub for Associations

The Hourglass Blog

The Innovation Hub for Associations. Ive been blogging about my work with the Innovation Task Force of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives for a while now. Through these posts Hourglass readers got a sneak peek at the Innovation for Associations white paper we authored ( here , here and here ) and the assessment tool we developed for association executives to use in determining the innovation readiness of their associations ( here , here and here ).

Fast Track Your Way to Innovation


Is your association innovative enough to survive in the roaring twenties? As you read, you might be asking: Why is innovation so important? The short answer is without an innovative approach it will be challenging to perform at the level the marketplace demands. The longer response is that innovation is about more than making new stuff. The easiest place to start building a more innovative team is by identifying the talent that already exists in your organization.

What I’m Reading

Spark Consulting

If “real innovation is always the outcome of ongoing discourse among a small group of innovators who truly understand the importance of what they’re working on,” what does that mean for open innovation projects ? Does the existence of language stifle innovation? (as Great tools to hack your life from Associations Now (plus even more in the comments).

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The Mobilisation Journal: A Way To Spread Learning About Social Change Movements Innovative Use of Technology

Beth Kanter

The Greenpeace Mobilization Lab has a project proposal idea for a “ Mobilization Journal ” as part of the Knight News Challenge. ” This blog shares some thoughts about this project and I have to give it a big round of applause. To understand the project, you have to get familiar with work of Greenpeace Mobilisation Lab. Storytelling and Knowledge Transfer :: sharing innovations, lessons learned, fail stories, and emerging best practices.

Everyday Technology: Innovative Ways To Do More With Less

Beth Kanter

Note from Beth: Innovation was the buzzword at the Nonprofit Technology Conference! I ran into the good folks at Idealware who offered to do a guest post on the topic – looking at small ways to be innovative. Everyday Technology: Innovative Ways To Do More With Less, Guest Post by Laura Quinn and Chris Bernard. But at its core, innovation is really about finding creative solutions to existing problems and needs—challenges faced by nonprofits every day.

Some Reflections about Social Data in the Cloud from the Social Innovation Summit 2012

Beth Kanter

For the past two days, I’ve been attending (and also a speaker ) at The Social Innovation Summit , a private, invitation-only forum that explores the frontiers of social innovation. The agenda includes discussion and presentation of the innovative projects and approaches and the challenges of scaling social change.

Different Ways Nonprofits Are Using Design Thinking to Solve Problems and Achieve Impact

Beth Kanter

I have also learned a lot from other nonprofit colleagues who have use these techniques, including Brian Reich (see this blog post about his design thinking work to solve the refugee crisis) who has just published a book on innovation called “ The Imagination Gap ” and my colleagues, Ted Frickes and Micheal Silberman at the Mobilization Lab. When I noticed the ImpactKit project, I was curious. This tool is called ImpactKit.

The Hourglass Blog: What's Your Innovation Readiness? Part 1

The Hourglass Blog

Whats Your Innovation Readiness? Regular readers of The Hourglass Blog know that Im chairing the Innovation Task Force for the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives. The task force met again on September 10, and one of our tasks this time was to create a tool that would allow association executives to assess the "innovation readiness" of their organizations. Does your leadership embody a true culture of innovation? Labels: Innovation , WSAE.

What I’m Reading

Spark Consulting

US copyright law is having a chilling effect on the Digital Public Library project. “Corporate antibodies” subverting your innovation process? If it’s true that you can’t improve something until you start measuring it, ASAE’s new Inclusion Index tool could be a very important step in helping associations improve our diversity and inclusion work. Another reason why Creative Commons licensing is so important?

How Associations Can Transform Higher Education

Reid All About it

Project management and team dynamics. Give students the tools they need to be successful, productive and healthy adults. Tagged: Association , Education , Future , Innovation , Professional Development. Associations & Nonprofits Association Education Future Innovation Professional DevelopmentRight now, today, in 2016 is the best time to start up. There has never been a better day in the whole history of the world to invent something.

Essential Nonprofit Software of 2014


But with the wealth of business tools and technology available, creating a consideration set for your business can seem like a monumental project. So while foundations can fund or encourage innovation, they often have no means of sustaining financial support for internal innovation. Collaborative Project Management. Like any organization, project management is important to non-profits, too. Accounting and Payroll Tools.

Let Your Member Data Show You the Way

Spark Consulting

Last week, Associations Now did a story on my awesome client NICSA and the new membership model project we worked on together last summer. You can do a lot with the tools most of us have access to,” Engel says. For small and medium-sized associations, don’t let we don’t have the tools be an excuse. innovation membership Associations Now client work

How Social Is YOUR organization?


I’m going to assume you’ve got a strategy and you’re using the social tools well–to actually build relationships online and find, create, and share “social objects” with your network. What we are launching today is our Workplace Genome Project. The tool measures 8 culture markers: Agility. Innovation. It’s official – we’re launching ! Big things are happening!!

There’s an app for that

Aaron Wolowiec

Mobile is a great opportunity to serve your members better with tools and services to meet each member’s need,” she said. Our whitepaper, ‘Strategic Mobile Trends for Associations in 2014 and Beyond,’ highlights some available tools and trends worth considering so that your association can get the most out of mobile and use it most effectively to engage your constituents.”. 4, cloud storage, is also an incredible cost saving tool.

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Goodbye e-learning

Aaron Wolowiec

While all this may seem overwhelming, “Associations Learning + Technology 2014” is an incredible measurement tool for associations, regardless of size and budget. By the way, this is a great project for interns, who love to create videos and are social-media savvy.). As a former journalist, I love data. And trend data are even better.

Higher Logic Acquires Kavi: Powerful Collaboration for Thriving Communities

Higher Logic

Last month we announced our acquisition of Socious, bringing the best minds in member engagement together to lead in product innovation and the community industry. We’re looking forward to incorporating Kavi’s Workspace tool into the Higher Logic community platform. Workspace, Kavi’s Powerful Collaboration Tool. We’re excited to offer more collaboration tools, making it easier to track projects, community activity, and networking all in one system.

Attention Nonprofit #datanerds: 3 Research Studies and 3 Cool (FREE) Data Tools

Beth Kanter

March is not only great for basketball, but is also good for nonprofit research studies about digital strategies and launches of new data tools. So if you like looking at and thinking about data and love to get your hands dirty with a data jujitsu, here’s a couple of goodies for you. TOOLS. Even if the rumor is not true, I’m switching to this tool. This tool is fun.

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Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.15.21

Reid All About it

Judges get an inside look at some of the most innovative and outstanding marketing, membership and communication projects and programs in the association profession. Advancing (and Adapting) Innovation Amid Uncertainty – A CEO Dialogue. 8: Innovate. 8: Innovate.

The Year Without Pants and How to Replace Email

Association Navigator

Most members of the Verto team are passionate and self-sufficient, but when professionals aren’t in the same office it takes extra effort to collaborate and keep projects moving. The average Verto Solutions employee works on a half dozen projects or issues each day. Email is a horrible tool for many of the things it’s used for. Blogs are the collaboration and information sharing tool to replace email. Uncategorized Association Management Innovation Verto Solutions

Why the Wild West Isn't All Bad

Eric Lanke

Like the actual Wild West, everyone is left to make their own decisions about what IT tools they will use. Often an issue in smaller organizations where people don’t have time to think strategically, staff will just use the first tool they find that solves the immediate issue, without considering other tools already in use or the long term strategy. Additionally, because tools are not standardized, staff have no where to turn when they run into issues.

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The Best Solution Begins With a Beautiful Question


Asking the right beautiful question is a powerful tool that association leaders can use to position their organizations for success. for our book, she described her need to know and appreciation for the right question like this: “ When our business considers undertaking a difficult project, I don’t wonder whether we can do it; I assume we can. Lead to innovation. What do you think these three questions have in common? “

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The Big Picture: A New ROI Calculator For Social Network Campaigns

The Big Picture

Care2 , which describes itself as “the largest online progressive network, bringing together socially and environmentally responsible nonprofits, businesses and its 7 million members,” has created a tool to calculate an estimate of cost and return on investment for the recruitment and fundraising efforts of staff in social networking sites (like Facebook and MySpace). Step 4 projects the results of the effort. Innovation. The Big Picture.