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The Greatest of Great Ideas in Less Than 180 Seconds


I present to you “The Greatest of Great Ideas in Less Than 180 Seconds”: the best of the notes, quotes, tweets, posts, and questions from ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference. I have organized these topically rather than by session or chronologically. I have put in bold ones that resonated with me, my personal favorites.May the content below inspire you to more great ideas!

On presentations and learning:

  • The brain craves meaning before detail.
  • Give people three reasons they need to do something. Short term memory can’t handle more.
  • Think visually and tell stories to be remembered.
  • Retention goes up to 65% when just an image is used. Telling stories is underused.
  • The story is for your audience, make sure they care about what you’re talking about.  
  • Talking trumps listening, cut presentation content in half and provide time for discussion.
  • Provide bite-sized education: 10-minute segments are best.

On innovation and creativity:

  • CEOs and senior management must be open to innovation from any level.
  • Innovation like jazz often happens in the spaces between the notes.
  • Innovation is not about products and services; it’s about experiences.
  • The overhead projector appeared in the bowling alley 30 years before it appeared in the classroom. We’re slow to innovate.
  • Sell dreams, not products.
  • Dream bigger! As Steve Jobs said, in crazy there is genius.
  • Creativity is found in connecting disparate concepts. Connect ideas and fields: Steve Jobs modeled Apple stores after the Ritz-Carlton experience.
  • There is no magic toolbox for innovation. But uncover opportunities. Then act.

On leadership, opportunities, and competition:

  • Visions should be bold, concise, crisp and have a deadline.
  • Besides identifying new business opportunities, associations have to identify current ones that are no longer relevant and eliminate them.  
  • FedEx redefined overnight service. How are you redefining your market?
  • If we hypothetically created the competitor that puts us out of business- what would we do differently?
  • In a global economy you compete with everyone from everywhere for everything.
  • Think big, start small, and scale fast!

On collaboration:

  • Collaboration is too often something we are weak at internally which is why we have trouble collaborating externally.
  • It doesn’t have to be your program you’re promoting. You may need to collaborate with others to better serve members. What collaboration could occur so we can achieve our goal?
  • Inventing it all yourself is too slow and too expensive. Do you have the capacity to make the right connections?
  • When you plan, do you collaborate to paint a clear picture? What does your preferred future look, feel, and sound like?

On the role of associations:

  • Association web sites need to focus on benefits and information to members- not about who and what the association is.
  • If we closed our doors, would they notice?  What would members not be able to do for themselves? Innovation comes to life when you think differently.
  • Associations should not want members; they should want engaged, empowered, and active citizens.
  • We don’t always have to be education providers, we can serve as curators and provide value to our members.
  • If an association does not build the capacity to innovate, its very existence is thrown into question.
  • You have to conceive of your brand as having an impact beyond your potential membership base.  

Miscellaneous:

  • 75% of association executives believe their members use smartphones, but only 28% of associations have a mobile strategy
  • In Japan buildings are painting giant QR Codes on top of roofs so they can be seen by Google Maps.

What would you add to this list? What are your key takeaways? What blog posts on Great Ideas have you gotten additional insights from? (Feel free to provide links below.)

I’d like to thank Amanda Batson, Bob Vaez, Jamie Notter, Devin Crosby, Abby Myette, Maddie Grant, Tobin Conley, Walt Tracy, Kim Howard, Linda Eller, Jane Lee, Lowell Aplebaum, Sarah Albright, Stacy Copeland, Scott Oser, Nancy Fisher, Mark Dorsey, Staurt Meyer, Nora Burns, and Carmine Gallo for their tweets, comments, and contributions to my understanding.

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  1. maddiegrant
    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks Jay for this list! Great snapshot.

  2. March 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks Jay for this list! Great snapshot.

  3. March 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Great to have two of my Tweets mentioned here, thanks Jay.

  4. April 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Great recap Jay! My challenge is focusing on my top three ideas to implement. @ChicagoGirl27 gave us these great sticky notes to help us focus:

    I loved the Ignite sessions, particularly the “Let’s Date First” session by Meeting Change:
    http://meetingchange.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/asae-great-ideas-ignite-session-associations-lets-date-first/

  1. December 31, 2012 at 10:35 am
  2. March 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

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