Daily Buzz: How to Get New Members Comfortable

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Show members they belong by helping them connect to your organization and its community. Also: Ways you can improve your work-from-home setup.

First impressions count for associations, too. Make sure your first interactions with new members are memorable and positive.

“Your new members will begin forming their opinion about the value of your association the minute they hit the ‘join’ button on your member form, so the way you welcome them is critically important,” says YourMembership’s Tirrah Switzer.

As you welcome members, remember to thank them for joining your organization. At the very least, Switzer says, be sure to provide a “thank you” confirmation page and auto-email once they sign up online.

Beyond that, associations can get creative with member praise; a welcome gift with useful resources or materials could start the relationship on the right foot. For a more personal message, have welcome messages come from fellow members instead of an association staff member.

“Have a member of the membership committee or board of directors reach out to say thanks and see how they can help provide resources, knowledge or ideas,” Switzer says.

Making members comfortable is also essential. As soon as they join your organization, direct them to online resources like an event calendar, career center, and online community. You can help new members more easily connect with that online community by assigning each new member a buddy who helps them get to know the organization and its people.

“These may seem like simple gestures, but people can decide if they’re going to participate in your organization long-term within the first days, and even minutes, of joining your association,” Switzer says.

Spice Up Your Remote Work Routine

Getting Antsy? 9 Ways to Shake Up Working From Home https://t.co/1ooUBSTfsf pic.twitter.com/oh3B5D6uLN

— PCMag (@PCMag) July 9, 2020

You might be tired of your remote work regimen, but there are ways to take advantage of your home environment to shake up the daily routine. At home, you have a chance to customize and redesign your workspace in a way that you probably can’t in your office.

“You can use common objects around the house, such as a small pillow for lumbar support, to improve your setup,” says Jill Duffy on PC Mag. “At home, you can also add candles or aromatic diffusers, which aren’t usually welcomed in a shared office environment. Bring in a few potted plants to boost your mood and clean the air.”

Other Links of Note

Nobody likes dealing with angry customers, but they can actually be good for your business, argues Kaya Ismail on CMSWire.

What are the benefits of abstract management systems? Eventsforce identifies eight reasons to invest in the software.

Want to create better visuals for your marketing? Social Media Examiner offers design tips for non-designers.

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A Look At Some New Meeting Roles

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A lot has changed in the events industry, particularly in the past few months due to the impact of COVID-19. As the industry evolves, so will the skills and job roles required. A look at some possibilities.

A few weeks ago, I came across a blog post I wrote seven years ago about new staff roles for meetings and events.

In it, I called out three that I thought could benefit association meetings at that time: an attendee concierge who would call participants after a meeting to see what they liked most and least, a conference connector who would help attendees engage and network with one another, and an exhibit hall experience manager who would be dedicated to both the form and function of a tradeshow.

While some of these roles may still be useful to your association, a lot has changed since 2013—and even more so in the past few months given the impact COVID-19 has had on the industry. In the current economic environment, hiring new staffers is probably not on the table for most organizations, but here are two roles—one related to the pandemic and one not—introduced recently that may be worth considering if you do have the opportunity, even if through partnering or expanding a current staffer’s role:

Event health advisor. Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that it was partnering with Dr. David Nash, dean emeritus of the Jefferson College of Population Health, to serve as PHLCVB’s chief health advisor. In this role, he will provide advice and guidance to meeting and event planners about health guidelines and protocols.

“By instituting the proper public health protocols, our hospitality industry should be able to safely and effectively support and protect travelers when the time comes …,” Dr. Nash said in a press release. “By incorporating the already sound and thoughtful guidelines presented by the CDC, as well as state and local public health officials, I’m confident we can develop a safe and healthy plan for all visitors.”

He’ll also work closely with PHL Health Advisors, an 18-member committee of experts from the city’s medical community. Together, they’ll relay updates to PHLCVB regarding medical information and local medical advancements in the fight against COVID-19. The team will also be tapped as an internal review board for the PHLCVB on public health and safety best practices and protocols.

Meetings accessibility coordinator. Last summer, the American Anthropological Association brought Nell Koneczny on board as its accessibility and meetings coordinator. In this role, Koneczny is responsible for accessibility and accommodation initiatives for AAA’s meetings, conferences, and communications. She also supports logistics and the call-for-papers process for several of AAA’s meetings.

In an interview with CEO Update last month, Koneczny said her role is about more than complying with the legal requirements for accommodating people with disabilities.

“My position actually goes a step beyond that, to include disability culture and to actually think about accessibility more broadly … instead of waiting for a disabled person to reach out to us and request an accommodation,” she said.

Since joining the team, Koneczny has done several things, including updating the associations’ poster session guidelines for accessibility, creating an annual meeting location accessibility and health information webpage, and expanding the accessible presentation guidelines.

In addition to these roles, as more associations host virtual and hybrid meetings, I imagine we’ll see current meetings teams learn new skills and take on new roles like event producer or virtual meeting concierge.

Whether pandemic-related or not, what new roles or skills do you think will become a part of association meetings teams? Please share in the comments.

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Virtual and Hybrid Meetings: Bridging the Gap and Driving Connection

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Here’s how Phoenix’s event business has adapted deftly in the pandemic.

While association meeting planners have long-been creating “virtual” or “hybrid” events, these terms might have once seemed jargon-y or even foreign to the casual attendee. But when the coronavirus pandemic changed the landscape of traditional face-to-face events, the general public suddenly understood the notion of both types of events as practical ways to connect, communicate—and keep doing business—even amid the most challenging of circumstances.

Hybrid events (with both live and off-site audiences) and virtual events (those with only online audiences) are not new formats—they’ve been especially popular as a way to connect large constituencies of employees, clients or members spread across the country or globe. But the COVID-19 crisis only expanded these formats’ utility.

“Before COVID, 50 percent of our clients had their events broadcasted live to create a hybrid event—we even brought in keynote presenters remotely,” says Ross Snyder, president of the Phoenix-based production company White Tie Productions. But now, he says, “We’ve seen an increase in 100-percent virtual events over the past few months, and are starting to see a comeback of hybrid events with smaller in-person audiences as cities start to relax restrictions.”

The key to making these events work well for the audience, Snyder adds, is allowing for two-way communication throughout the course of the program—not just blasting out content without the possibility of meaningful engagement and interaction.

“Answering questions from the audience in real time, using polling functionalities to get the audience’s opinion, creating engagement activities that the audience can do while watching, and facilitating small group breakout-style meetings are all great ways to keep your audience connected when they can’t be together,” Snyder says.

Being creative also opens the door for many new possibilities, says Rob Hill, CEO of Merestone, a full-service, Greater Phoenix-based production company that has specialized in streaming events for 15 years. By adding in a cooking class, a virtual happy hour [or] virtual entertainment for excitement and the ‘wow’ factor, he says, you provide attendees with an opportunity to experience the flavor of a destination.

“The challenge of these events will always be trying to recapture the excitement and energy of a live, in-person event,” he says. “To truly engage audiences in this new highly competitive, digital landscape, you need to deliver a top-notch, virtual event experience that offers superior production value to its audience.”

In addition to engagement, maintaining a visually interesting environment is key. To keep things stimulating and eye catching, Snyder suggests presenting from a unique venue or backdrop.

Phoenix remains competitive in the meetings market, thanks to its abundance of unique venues and expert event professionals. “We are fast growing with more and more talent choosing Phoenix as home,” Snyder says. “Most importantly, we are a big city that feels like a small town.”

With a significant spike in confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases since Memorial Day, it seems clear the pandemic is likely to remain a concern for the country, and certainly the live-event industry, into the future. But it’s through creative solutions, like the rise of innovative virtual and hybrid meetings, that association planners can help their memberships remain informed, connected and mobilized.

“The key to getting through this is working together and being adaptable. Everyone is ready to get back to it, but recognizes that the packed meeting spaces we are used to aren’t an option just yet,” Snyder says. “The audiences are itching for content, and even though we can’t all be together in person, groups still need to get their messages out.”

Indeed, the restrictions on gatherings have provided plenty of opportunities and incentives to innovate with virtual or hybrid components. And even—or especially—when innovative ideas come out of a crisis situation, the attendee experience can be overwhelmingly positive. “Although they’d rather be there in person, they appreciate that we just didn’t toss in the towel—and got creative [instead],” Snyder says.

For more information on how to plan your next meeting in Phoenix, contact Visit Phoenix at visitphoenix.com/meetings.

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What Success Looks Like for Association Diversity

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A recent conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion put a spotlight on the hard work associations are doing. The next step should address how leadership mirrors those ambitions.

Last week, leaders from 11 associations convened over Zoom to talk about the work that they’re doing on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). It’s a conversation that’s been stoked, of course, by the protests following the murder of George Floyd. And though most of the participants’ organizations have been doing this work for years, one theme that emerged from the 90-minute conversation, facilitated by Vista Cova’s Lowell Aplebaum, FASAE, CAE, is that there’s still more work to be done.

More to the point, it’s not the kind of work that an association leader can do alone. Richard Yep, FASAE, CAE, CEO of the American Counseling Association, noted that checking his ego at the door is essential to the DEI work his staff has undertaken.

“I think most of us realize that our job isn’t to have everybody take on our vision, but for us to cultivate what their vision is and how we mold that into something that makes sense for our members and for our staffs,” he said. “I have lots of ideas, but it really isn’t about me, it’s about those that I work with.”

Until we change leadership, this will not matter.

Those staff-wide commitments to diversity, and a willingness to consider new ideas, has borne fruit among the meeting’s participants. Organizations like the Illinois CPA Society, Society for Neuroscience, and International Association of Fire Chiefs have scholarship and mentoring programs for emerging professionals in their fields. (As does ASAE, which also participated in the event.) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Association Forum have created online resources for both staff and members alike to strengthen their sense of cultural awareness.

But one statement made during the event seemed to both tie together the efforts that were shared while also delivering a challenge to every association pursuing DEI in earnest. Rob Henry, vice president of education at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, shared CASE’s experience with a leadership pipeline program focused on supporting future senior-level professionals, which he prefaced by saying this: “Until we change leadership, this will not matter. I believe people are committed to diversity, but they are more committed to their cultures. And what we have to do is bring in more diverse leaders who will change the culture.”

If there is indeed still work to be done, especially in nonprofitdom, it’s there. One study suggests that representation of people of color on nonprofit boards and the CEO office is in the single digits; another shows that 27 percent of nonprofit boards are entirely white. According to a 2019 report from Nonprofit HR [PDF], nearly half of all nonprofits (42 percent) say their staffs are not reflective of the communities they serve.

As I wrote last week, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for organizations to rethink those dismal numbers as part of the larger strategic conversations that they’re under pressure to have now. The fact that nearly a dozen associations convened in an atmosphere of urgency to address DEI issues marks a meaningful shift in the industry: It moves the subject away from the periphery of the association world and closer to the center.

But keeping it there—especially when it comes to critical improvements like creating more diverse boards—requires a lot of patience and intentionality. That the current moment may spark more direct and open conversations among staffs and members about where their efforts have fallen short is a good thing. The next and more meaningful step is to take what’s learned and build leadership pipelines that reflect the diversity that every organization is striving toward.

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Five Benefits of Virtual Conferences

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As associations quickly transition their conferences online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that they also recognize some of the benefits that come with making the pivot to virtual.

As many associations work fast to pivot their in-person conferences to virtual ones, staff involved in getting it done may feel stressed and concerned about executing it well. For example, how do they get presenters to be engaging on video? How do they create opportunities for virtual attendees to network and collaborate? How do they get sponsor and exhibitors on board?

While those are all important questions to address, it is also important that associations realize the benefits that could come with offering virtual conferences. Here are five of them:

It may appeal to a broader audience. A virtual conference doesn’t require attendees to travel, which means they don’t have to pay for a flight or a hotel room or spend time away from their families. Because of the lower price point and ability to join from anywhere, you may be able to entice people who have never attended in person to join your virtual event. For example, your international attendance could go up, or more parents with young children may register.

Repurposed content could be a new revenue stream. Virtual conference platforms allow content to be easily recorded, which means it can be repurposed at a later date. While attendees could be given access to the archive as part of their registration fee, consider repackaging it and selling it to those who missed the virtual event. This could help your association create a new revenue stream.

It could offer new opportunities for interaction. A lot of people attend events for the networking opportunities and hallway conversations that take place. While those may be difficult to replicate in a virtual environment, consider other ways you can help participants interact—perhaps in ways that would not typically be available at a face-to-face event. For example, you might give attendees access to a live chat with a keynoter or small breakout-room Q&As with your board chair or CEO.

The platform will gather lots of data. Data collection is typically much easier when you host a virtual conference. Virtual platforms let you know exactly who your audience is and what they do. You can gather demographic data, attendance numbers, number of views, types of engagement, and more to get an idea who is tuning in, to what, and for how long. You an also track this type of data for your exhibitors to see how people are spending their time in the virtual tradeshow environment.

The virtual conference could serve as a testing ground. While virtual and hybrid meetings have been increasing in popularity over the past few years, COVID-19 left many associations that perhaps weren’t full sold on them with no choice but to actually host them. While it may have happened faster than you wanted, and you may feel like you didn’t have enough time to create the perfect event, celebrate it as a milestone and consider it an opportunity to test new things. Watch how your attendees, sponsors, and speakers interact with the virtual tools, and ask them what they enjoyed and didn’t like about the experience. Their answers can inform other virtual products, programs, or services your association creates in the future.

What other benefits do you think virtual meetings offer your association? Please share in the comments.

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Why Understanding Member Fiscal Health Is Key to Success

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Running an association like a business, not a nonprofit, requires a good understanding of the financial viability of all your partners. That means asking some smart questions about how your members are faring in the current climate.

As the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has unfolded in recent months, most associations have hunkered down and gone into preservation mode, assessed what they had in reserves, and then decided how to best move forward. Gary Oster, founder and strategic growth strategist at Topline Growth Partners, recommends one more key item: a comprehensive scan to assess the fiscal health of an association’s top members, sponsors, and strategic partners.

Business Intelligence

Association CEOs and senior leaders, Oster said, need to recognize they are nonprofits, but they are still running a business. He said a lot of leaders forget that they need enough money coming in to cover expenses so they can do the work their members want them to do.

Oster estimates that because of the current economic downturn, 90 percent of associations have eliminated a portion of their value proposition for their members. And they probably lost 20 to 30 percent of their revenue at the same time—largely, Oster speculates, because they didn’t understand their members’ fiscal health.

An astute organization needs to evaluate every member, strategic partner, and sponsor that makes a significant investment in the organization, because it’s imperative to know about member and partner revenue, profits, and details about whether they are looking to merge or acquire. “It’s business intelligence, and it doesn’t take a long time to do,” Oster said.

To delve deeper and find out what you know about your key members and top sponsors, he said, ask good questions: What do you know about your sponsors or your financial strategic partners? Do you really know what’s motivating them to be connected to your members and your organization? Do you know how fiscally healthy they are? Will members be fully engaged or limited in their participation? Will their staff attend conferences? Or, because they are on the edge of bankruptcy, will they cancel all forms of engagement?

Hope Is Not a Strategy

Some executives, Oster said, have the worst strategy of all: hope. “Hope is not a strategy,” he said. “Hope is a wish.” He cautioned that it is not enough to hope that membership dues will come in, or hope that people will come to tradeshows, or hope that foundation supporters will continue to donate.

“Actively manage your business at the top line so you can assure your future success and create a workplace where your organization thrives and your members become incredibly happy with the value that’s being created,” he said.

Association leaders who want their organizations to succeed must conduct thorough due diligence so they have a clear view of the financial landscape of all of their members and partners. “These insights could open the door to unseen opportunities—or unknown risks,” Oster said, “potentially inoculating the association from an unhealthy situation as they reframe and redirect their future success.”

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A Data-Driven Strategy for Resilience During the Pandemic

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Inside the American Optometric Association’s member-first crisis plan.

The economy is beginning to re-open, but as business leaders know, we are far from escaping the devastating health and financial effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Some organizations closed up shop during the first uncertain months of the crisis, while others, like the American Optometric Association, lept into action. Adam Reider, Manager of Technical Training & Support at the AOA, explains how they implemented a plan that put members’ resiliency above all else.

Sharing Critical Information

“When COVID-19 started sweeping across the United States, we knew instantly that the doctors we advocate for would take a hard impact,” explains Reider. “Overnight, they went from seeing their patients regularly to ‘emergency-only’ scenarios.” The AOA knew that the first thing their members would need is information on navigating this new normal of health care: everything from getting set up for telemedicine visits to applying to Paycheck Protection Program Loans.”

Utilizing Personify360 as their Association Management Software solution, the AOA decided to host instructional webinars for their members and non-members and offer them to anyone seeking information, regardless of their membership status. “This pandemic is impacting every healthcare professional in the world,” explains Reider. “So we did not feel it was appropriate for us to throw up a giant firewall. We want to be able to look back after this crisis is over and know that we truly stood for this profession.”

Waving Membership Fees

Reider says that the AOA recognized the economic hit doctors would take from not being able to see patients, and so decided to waive members’ fees for two months. And believe it or not, it was hardly as easy as it sounds.

“Our finance team and our IT staff met on a daily basis to figure out how we could do it and track it. With technology in place and collaboration from the team, we found a way to roll this out smoothly for all of our 54 affiliates—plus extending it to new members. Any doctor that joins this year is eligible for that two-month waiver.”

Planning For The Future

Having all of their information in one system allowed the AOA to be proactive and effective, says Reider. “Technology is our digital truth,” he says, “it unites all of our affiliates and allows them to work together.” That connectedness has allowed the AOA to do great things in the here and now—and to plan for tomorrow. “As doctors sign up for our webinars, we are collecting that information and cross-checking it with our member database. It is extremely helpful in planning what we do next: What topics should we cover for future webinars? How do we market them? Which are more engaging for members and for non-members?”

Having a system in place that allows for quick pivots in times of crisis not only helps the members, but the people behind-the-scenes at associations, says Reider. “It’s been very rewarding—the horizon has been very bleak these past couple of months, and it gives you a sense of pride knowing that the work you’re doing is helping the entire profession move forward in this landscape.”

Personify—We know this challenging time has created new and unique challenges in engaging with members, managing financials and driving your organization forward. Personify is committed to helping you adapt and emerge from COVID-19 or any crisis, more connected and resilient than ever. Our trusted solutions help you manage during and through these times with digital connections, virtual programming, a single source of truth for your data, and peace of mind for your members.

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Will Hyperlocal Conferences Become More Popular Post-Pandemic?

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If you’re finding that attendees aren’t willing to travel to your large annual event, it could be time to consider a hyperlocal conference strategy. Some thoughts from an association that’s already implemented one.

Even as reopening begins and restrictions on public gatherings are relaxed, the reality is that it could still prove difficult to convince people who would typically have no problem getting on an airplane and staying in a hotel to attend a large conference to do so in the months ahead.

So, besides going ahead with your large in-person annual meeting or going completely virtual, is there another option to consider?

Enter hyperlocal conferences. These are smaller-scale events that take place in different locations nationwide (or even around the globe) throughout the year.

It’s a strategy the Society of Women Engineers has actually used for a few years now. Back in 2016, SWE piloted two WE Local programs around that idea that “attendees could meet locally and learn socially,” said Executive Director and CEO Karen Horting.

According to SWE, the goal of WE Local events is to “bring the excitement and energy of our annual conference—on a smaller scale—to members’ backyards.” While its annual meeting typically attracts 16,000 participants, attendance at WE Local ranges from 250 to 1,000. Each hyperlocal conference includes professional development and a job fair, but there is also a strong focus on networking since participants include both students and professionals.

“Since women currently make up only 13 percent of the engineering workforce and even less when it comes to faculty, for students to be able to connect with professionals in their local area and even find a role model or mentor while onsite is huge,” said Horting.

WE Local also appeals to attendees because they can often drive to the meeting location, and it requires a short time commitment since they are typically two-day events. “That means less time away from their jobs, or school, or family,” said Horting.

While SWE had to cancel the remainder of its 2020 WE Local events due to COVID-19, this week it announced five 2021 dates: Three will take place in the U.S., one in England, and one in India.

Although it’s still too early to tell how attendance numbers will look for the 2021 events, Horting does think it’s possible for the WE Local events to grow in popularity given the current pandemic. “I wouldn’t rule it out,” she said. “More people may want to stay closer to home and limit who they are around, so a meeting like this could be more appealing.”

If that does happen and SWE thinks adding more hyperlocal conferences is the way to go, Horting is confident staff and volunteers can make it happen. “We wouldn’t need to re-create the wheel,” she said. “We’ve intentionally made it somewhat plug and play. We know what works and what our attendees expect at this point, so we’d be able to expand it to other cities as needed.”

For other associations considering a similar strategy, Horting has this advice: “Pilot things first to get some buy-in from local members, volunteers, and partners. Start with only one or two locations so that you can see what works and what doesn’t. Then tweak and roll out on a larger scale.”

How could you see hyperlocal conferences benefiting your association in the current environment? Please share in the comments.

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Daily Buzz: Create a Volunteer Newsletter

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How adding another newsletter can make your communications more efficient. Also: The right way to tell members you’ve raised prices.

Does your organization communicate frequently with volunteers? It might be time to start a newsletter dedicated to that audience. Without one, you might be inundating volunteers with a flurry of emails.

“Adding another thing to your communication schedule may not seem all that enticing at first, but a volunteer newsletter can actually streamline your communication,” says Wild Apricot’s Tatiana Morand. “Sending a newsletter can actually reduce email by corralling all the necessary information into one place.”

Publishing an effective volunteer newsletter means taking a few things into consideration. First, keep it short and don’t overload readers with too much content. If you have long pieces of content to share, include a couple of paragraphs in your newsletter and link to the rest of the story on your website, Morand suggests.

When it comes to what content to include, ask your volunteers if you’re not sure.

“As time goes on, you can also check in with your audience by looking at your email analytics,” Morand says. “What kind of links do they click on? Which emails never get opened? That’s all data about what your volunteers want in the newsletter, too.”

Don’t forget to show appreciation for your volunteers in your newsletter. Morand says to showcase their contributions, thank them publicly, and celebrate their service.

Telling Your Members About Price Hikes

How to Explain a Price Increase to Your Members – https://t.co/DFYEVXagyu #assnchat

— MemberClicks (@MemberClicks) June 17, 2020

Though it’s sometimes necessary, talking to members about price increases is not easy. But to avoid upsetting them or pushing them away, be transparent in your communications. On top of that, let them know far in advance so they have time to prepare.

“NEVER hide—or gloss over—the fact that prices are increasing,” says MemberClicks’ Callie Walker. “This will allow them to think things over (evaluate cost versus value) and budget accordingly, depending on the significance of the price increase.”

Other Links of Note

Need to meet on the go? Google announced that its video collaboration tool, Meet, will be available through the Gmail mobile app. ZDNet has the story.

To better market your virtual events, think about who your audience is, says a recent post from Campaign Monitor.

Want to educate members? Organizations can do this with content curation, suggests a recent post from Association Success.

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Four Strategies to Bolster Your Association’s Resilience Right Now

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From the top down, resilience is key to surviving the crises of 2020. Here are just a few ways to firm up your foundation for better days.

If you’ve spent the last couple of months battening down the hatches, don’t feel bad. It’s going around.  The secret to surviving this tough time is your ability to hang on, adapt well, and re-emerge on the other side.

In a word, you need resilience. It’s a quality that you should encourage at all levels of your organization. Here are a few ways to nurture a resilient spirit at your association:

Make sure the organization’s vision is solid. While a good technology backbone is important, it won’t be effective without vision, LumApps founder and CEO Sébastien Ricard writes for CMSWire. An organization’s vision should be broad and flexible, he says. “For instance, a company can have the core value of ‘Put the customers first’ or ‘Embrace and champion change.’ Overarching philosophical mantras like these don’t stand in the way of major organizational change. In fact, they make the process easier. Leaders need to emphasize these goals and make it clear that these objectives are what drive every other consideration.”

Develop organizational intelligence. In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, authors George Yip and Nelson Phillips say leaders need organizational intelligence (OQ) to drive the performance they want. OQ has multiple components, they say, but “one key OQ competency is sending messages that reinforce the strategy. The simpler and clearer, the better; organizational members at all levels suffer from information overload, so leaders need to be selective about what messages to send.”

Communicate regularly with staff. In an article for Forbes, Northwestern University’s Erald Minga, a human capital management and workforce strategy leader for the school, says regular messaging with your team will strengthen resilience by ensuring everyone is in the loop. “Regularly scheduled weekly all-staff presentations with updates on current events and creation of a strategic plan will help connect employees toward a shared mission and instill trust toward leadership,” Minga says. “The information should be clear, concise, and shared in a kind manner. HR can help close information gaps through pulse surveys and check-ins and provide additional support to leadership by creating follow-up training.”

Build your own resilience as a leader, too. A focus on positive emotion can help ensure that even if you feel the extremes of these tough times, you can find your equilibrium as a leader—and your team needs that. “Positive emotion broadens our cognitive repertoire. Positive emotion increases almost every factor of human performance and makes us more receptive to new ideas and feedback,” Scott Taylor, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Babson College, told Babson Thought & Action recently. “Positive emotion renews us in terms of immune system functioning as well as the ability to persist in an endeavor that we’re involved in.”

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