What’s the one area where you want to see your team/staff/organization improve over the coming year? Weigh in on the poll below:
I had the privilege of attending the ASAE Great Ideas Conference in Colorado Springs at The Broadmoor March 10-12, 2013. I was certainly not in a position to capture all that was happening at this inspiring conference. My hope is that if you attended this will serve as a reminder of the material covered in the sessions. Also, may this post and the notes, tweets, photos, and resources below provide you with enough insight that you too will be challenged to think differently about the challenges you and your organization face.
Conference Catalyst, Thom Singer
- This is not a junior high dance. Ask questions. Power in the word, “Hello.”
- #1 reason that people attend conferences: networking. But then we stink at it. Smile. Have name tag visible.
- Invest in people. Anything you need… it’s probably somebody’s 1st cousin who holds the answer.
- Plan while at the conference how you will follow up with people you meet.
Opening General Session: The Fascination Advantage: From First Impressions to Lasting Value, Sally Hogshead
- Are you giving your members the orange ticket- a distinct, irreplaceable experience?
- What kinds of personalities do you want to attract to your association?
- Fasination is an intense focus. You’re engaged, in the zone.
- A $39.99 UPS costume. They’re getting your kid to dress up like an employee of a company. Think about it.
Helping Your Association’s Innovators, and Generating Non-Dues Revenue, Jeff Glassie, Whitney Kulesz
- How do we support new business ventures that can transform professions/industries?
- TripLingo: 1st to receive angel investor award from ACTE.
- One difficult obstacle to overcome for angel investing from an association: just selling people on a new idea.
Associations Got Talent, Mark Milroy and Jay Daughtry
- Select 5 objects that describe you.
- How would you finish the sentence “I am…” ?
- How do you identify hidden abilities that others possess?
- Getting people to talk about their talents helps them identify their dreams
- What cues lead to misperceptions about people?
- Give people the freedom to try something new & fail at it.
Career Mapping Tools: Charting the Present and Future, Shawn Hulsizer, Scott Mackenzie
- Creating a career map can help members understand and identify their professional pathway.
- Career mapping helps rethink and reorganize association products, services, website, education, etc.
Creating Meaningful Business Relationships, Shari Harley
- In building relationships, ask more, assume less.
- Going bowling won’t help people work better together. Talking about working style preferences will.
- The people we work with often think they told us what they want, even though they didn’t.
- Candor questions: 3 things that will keep you with organization? Worst boss you ever had? Best boss you ever had?
- Do you prefer to communicate via: email, voicemail, text message or IM?
- When do you do your best work: early am, mid-day, late afternoon or evening?
- Choose candor over comfort.
Components & Strategy- Lessons from Sun-Tzu’s “The Art of War”, Cecilia Sepp, Lowell Applebaum
- If people can help build it, they’ll support it.
- When we lose focus, that’s when we start to hear the noise before defeat.
- Every member of an association should be a volunteer.
- The best marketing tool you have? An engaged volunteer.
- Do what you can when you can with what you’ve got.
Closing General Session: The Vuja De Moment: Shift from Average to Brilliant, Simon T. Bailey
- Reach the point of being uncomfortable with being comfortable.
- The same letters that spell “listen” spell “silent”.
- People engage because of authenticity.
- What are we doing to ignite a fresh a fresh vision?
- There are 20,000 moments in a day. We are in the business of managing, creating & mastering moments.
- In the dictionary failure is before success. Embrace failure. Failure is not final; failure is feedback.
- What would I do if no one paid me to do it?
- An association is a memory, a connection, a collection of moments.
- Ask yourself what makes your association come alive.
Innovation in a Box, Rick Johnston and Becky Granger
- Exercise: In 30 seconds name as ways as you can think of to use a brick.
- Think beyond the normal. Don’t let your mind edit you.
- Win like you are you used to it; lose like you enjoy it.
- Take someone else’s idea and put your spin on it.
- Innovation: Don’t worry if most ideas don’t seem immediately implementable- keep them in your back pocket for later.
Thanks to all who followed my tweets from Great Ideas. Thanks to so many who added my understanding while at the conference: Gabriel Eckert, Libby Hoppe, Dan Scheeler, Amy Lestition, Rachel Johnson, Brian Cheung, Rhea Steele, Katie Paffhouse, Kylee Coffman, Ron Moen, Jenna Crane and more. I also appreciate the numerous conversations in hallways, before and after sessions, at meals, and at receptions. All of this made it a richer experience.
For a recap of the 2012 conference, check out my The Greatest of Great Ideas in Less Than 180 Seconds post.
What lessons did you learn from Great Ideas ’13? What were the highlights for you? What other posts or resources from this conference have you found helpful?
I was able to be a virtual partipant at PCMA‘s Convening Leaders (#pcmacl) in Orlando January 14-16, 2013. Thanks much for the opportunity, PCMA. I present to you my notes and tweets from a few of the sessions I participated in.
Monday, January 14, 2013:
Morten T. Hansen: “Great by Choice: How to Thrive in Uncertain Times”
- Fanatic discipline= consistency of action, makes difference between the great & the average.
- Reliable growth is better than spectacular growth; it’s a long march to greatness.
- Experiment. Fire bullets, not cannonballs. It’s how you innovate.
- Plan for everything going wrong. Productive paranoia. The path to greatness is not paved with risky bets.
- SMaC Recipe- Systematic: Formulas; Methodological: Works; Consistency: Durable
- Great conferences create vibrant, active communities.
- Don’t be a conference that tries to add community. Be a community that holds in-person meetings.
- Invitational marketing- a community saying, “Come be a part of us.”
- Online engagement is about building social capital, giving more than what you’re asking for.
- Foster (but don’t force) connection.
- Identify intangible indicators of success.
- Large events: Incubate small experiences.
- What resonates with you? What aspects of your job do you feel yourself come alive for?
- If you don’t feel passionate about the topics you’re organizing, you can’t expect your attendees to.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013:
- Digital isn’t as risky as renting a convention center.
- Socialize your content because it helps promote your brand.
- Content management for a virtual event is key. 20 minute presentations instead of 90.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013:
Tom Friedman, New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author:
- The biggest thing happening on the planet today: the merger of globalization & the IT revolution.
- In 2004 LinkedIn was a prison, and Skype was a typo.
- Phone calls from top of Mt. Everest begin w/ “Mom, you’ll never guess where I’m calling you from!”
- Employers are looking for employees who can do problem solving, redesign their jobs while they’re doing them.
- High wage, middle-skilled job has disappeared.
- 25% dropout rate in US.
- Think like an immigrant. Think like an artisan. Think like a starter-upper. Think like a waitress at Perkins Pancake House.
- Think like an artisan. Give so much extra that you want to carve your initials into what you do.
- Think like a starter-upper in Silicon Valley. Always be in beta.
- Passion + curiosity always trumps IQ.
- Think like a waitress at Perkins Pancake House. May not control much. Deliver extra. Think like an entrepreneur.
David Novak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands: “Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen”
- What perceptions, beliefs, habits do you have to change, build or reinforce to grow the business?
- Two reasons people leave a company: they don’t feel appreciated or they don’t get along w/ their boss.
- David Novak is an All-World Ripper-Offer. He likes learning from others, getting ideas from other areas.
- Celebrate other people’s ideas more than your own. Tell people you want to hear them.
Other great resources and blog posts from PCMA Convening Leaders:
I’d also like to thank a few others I learned from and interacted with virtually. Thanks for adding to my experience and my understanding, Christine Melendes, Traci Browne, Sarah Beauchamp, Angela Carr, and Barbara Palmer!
It should be noted that there will be a Convening Leaders Redux on January 30, 2013, where some of the most popular sessions will be re-broadcast virtually. I’ll most likely tune back in. Will I meet/see you there?
What were your takeaways from Convening Leaders? What other sessions did you learn from? What would you add to my notes?
I’m sitting here on a Monday afternoon, and I’m trying to synthesize the various things that I’ve learned about over the past week or so.
First, Kent Allaway asked at the end of his PCMA blog post on Blurring Lines, ” If information truly is the key, how do we share knowledge among the community, in order to benefit ourselves and our customers…?” In this post Kent talked about competition, cooperation, and co-opetition. More and more, organizations need to find ways to add value to the lives of their customers. They made need to go outside their four walls. They may need to provide wins for others while staying focused on their own goals.
It calls to mind a recent chat I had with Hilary Marsh. We were talking about content management, content curation, content strategy, content marketing (you get the idea… content). Hilary gave me this great illustration which has stuck with me. Imagine a museum. Suppose 70% of their exhibits come from their own holdings. To make up the difference and provide their patrons with a great experience, they have to “partner” with museums and other entities and borrow from their collections. Who wins? Both do! The local museum is not looked down on because they had to borrow from a museum in Philadelphia or Chicago or San Francisco. Rather the perception is favorable. The curator made the efforts necessary to expose the local audience to exhibits they might not otherwise see. And if those individuals find themselves in one of those cities, they might be more apt to visit that museum and see the rest of what they have on display. In my thinking it’s giving up control to gain prominence.
Interestingly enough, I heard or read two references Friday to 3M, historically known as one of the most innovative companies in the US. In 5 Ways Process is Killing Your Productivity, Lisa Bodell, author of Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution, wrestles with the question, “When people’s jobs depend on meeting metrics and maintaining the status quo, can you fault them for their reluctance to expend any energy toward creation and invention?” Process keeps people in meetings and writing reports. How do we create, foster, and nurture an environment of innovation, collaboration, and engagement? (see how I used 3 of my 5 MIICE words for 2012 right there?)
The other reference to 3M came from a recent Bloomberg Radio interview with Thor Muller and Lane Becker, authors of Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work For You and Your Business. Their perspective is that one has to have a commitment to goals while having an openness to other ideas and directions. Muller and Becker believe in training oneself to be able to “link together unrelated concepts in order to generate meaningful insights”. An individual also has to be in “motion” to get out of a routine and be able to “run into new ideas in new contexts“. 3M has put itself in a position to be innovative by creating this kind of work environment. Thus, by following these kinds of approaches, the “accidental” discovery of Post-It notes was not really accidental.
And, of course, I wouldn’t have gotten to this without reading Dave Lutz’s blog post on Creating Planned Serendipity For Your Conference Success. He has some great ideas on how to foster engagement and connections at conferences. I like his take on an “army of connectors”. Putting attendees in proximity to other people and connecting them and then creating an environment conducive to conversations are key components to this concept of planned serendipity.
What additional insights can you share on collaboration, innovation, engagement, and planned serendipity? What has challenged you recently to think differently about your organization’s goals and strategies?
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!
- 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.
- 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.