Friday, 21 November 2014

OG CSAE Fall/automne2014Executive

OG CSAE Fall/automne2014Executive

In this issue...

  • CSAE O-G is Recognized for it's Innovative Programming! (Page 3)
  • Carleton University MPNL Program's Capstone Project and Practicum Opportunities for CSAE Association Executives (Page 6)
  • Making a Difference: One Child At A Time (Page 8)
  • What I learned at a Softball Game (Page 12)
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Page 14)
  • Focusing on what makes us feel good (Page 18)
  • Tête-à-Tête: The Beginning (Page 23)
  • There's No Life Like It!: Associations (Page 26)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

3 MORE Books Every #Association Executive Should Consider

We have come across a few more books that association executive should have a look at:

Road To Relevance: 5 Strategies for Compeitive Associations; by Harrison Coerver & Mary Byers, CAE

Road to Relevance, the complementary companion to Race, doesn't stop at identifying the strategies.  It gives real insight into how to adapt the strategies to your organization's circumstances so that you can execute.  Case studies, adaptable examples, and provocative questions are included throughout Road to help you work through these strategies from adoption to implementation.

Operating as you've traditionally done for the last 10, 20 or more years is not a viable option, argue the authors.  Association leaders must be disciplined strategists, focusing the organizations they serve on value they can deliver and structuring accordingly to compete in the "new normal."  Use insight from Road to Relevance to lead your organization to an evermore-valued, sustainable, and relevant future.

Social Intelligence Demystified: How Associations Can Master the New Rules of Engagement in the Digital World; by Julie King

The Internet has had a profound impact on the way people come together and discover information, resulting in a new form of social intelligence that affects all associations. Not-for-profits are uniquely positioned to dominate under the new rules of engagement, yet they face significant risks and must be prepared for tough competition from the business sector.

In this important and timely publication, social media expert, Julie King, provides association leaders, staff and volunteers with a concise, big-picture understanding of these changes and how to move forward using actionable steps. This fascinating book empowers associations to make smart decisions about how they can and should be leveraging digital technologies in their organizations and provides an invaluable array of tools for them to do so.

In Your Face!  Canadian Association Leaders Share Candid Advice on Pressing Issues; by Sandi L. Humphrey, CAE

In Your Face! Is a frank look at the challenges facing today’s Canadian association and not-for-profit sector.  In this long-awaited publication, editor, Sandi L. Humphrey, CAE, has assembled a group of association leaders who have demonstrated a real ability to effect change in their own organizations and who were willing to speak candidly to their peers on issues of both strategic and tactical importance.

From empowering employees and managing internal power struggles to trimming your by-laws and navigating the perils of non-dues revenue, In Your Face! provides sound advice and insight from experienced not-for-profit leaders that will truly enlighten industry contemporaries as well as Canada’s next generation of top association professionals.

What other publications have captured your attention lately?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

3 Books Every #Association Executive Should Consider

We have been asking around to association executives, and have come up with the three books that association executives should consider adding to their library.  If you already have it, maybe it's worth reading again?

Online PR & Social Media: For Experts, Authors, Consultants and Speakers; by Randall M. Craig

Develop your association’s reputation, get found, and attract a following.

Your not-for-profit probably has a web site, blog, and a LinkedIn profile. If you are on the leading edge, you are on Facebook, and have posted videos on YouTube. But, is all of this giving your organization exposure? Are you being contacted by media? What are your search engine rankings?

In this book by social media expert, Randall Craig, you’ll learn how to build your organization’s following, engage your stakeholders and manage you social media strategy and risk management policies. This must-read publication will tell you which PR sites you should and should not join, how to use social bookmarking to extend your time investment and how to monitor your reputation.

Your association has spent years developing its benefits, mission and expertise. Why not let people know about it?

What Makes High Performing Boards; by Beth Gazley, PhD and Ashley Bowers

Boards matter to organizational performance.  But the diversity of the nonprofit sector means there is no single formula for effective governance.  Structure, size, rate of growth, geography, and other organizational differences can cloud our understanding of board performance.The study behind this book, therefore, pays special attention to the intentional decisions boards and staff make to achieve high performance regardless of context.

The research was produced through an ASAE Foundation collaboration with Indiana University.  Prior to this study, research into the governing practices of associations and other member-serving organizations across the 501(c) spectrum was hard to come by.  Yet many nonprofits are dues-reliant associations serving members from professions, occupations, trades and businesses, sports, and cultural activities.  This study is the first to offer a representative snapshot of current governance practices in these associations and member-serving organizations.

Keep Your People in the Boat:  Workforce Engagement Lessons From the Sea; by Crane Wood Stookey

Association executives talk a lot about leading change, but at the heart of it that really means leadership that changes people's attitude. In leading a team, or implementing change across your association, you have to become skillful at working with people's attitude.

Engagement is a state of mind. The fruit of effective leadership is an engaged and expansive state of mind, a big view, in the people you lead. In this highly original and timely book, Tall Ship officer and leadership coach, Crane Stookey, shows you how to lead your association staff and volunteers to do their best and to be their best no matter what challenges they face. Drawing on 20 years of experience of leadership and workforce engagement at sea, the author joins provocative theory with hands-on, real-world practices that you can apply to you’re the leadership of your not-for-profit.

What are you reading?

Thursday, 6 November 2014

An Association’s Road Map to Handling Criticism on Social Media

Negative comments are as much a part of social media life as typing updates, retweeting posts and liking statuses.

There are many ways to respond to negative comments about your association and the internet is full of as many horror stories as tales of triumphs.

Responding to criticism on social media has the power to lift your association to new heights or toss its reputation over a cliff. It’s a tough tightrope to cross, so we’ve put together eight tips that will hopefully help organizations cross safely to the other side and make them stronger on the way.

1. Have a Plan

Being unprepared to deal with online criticism can lead to knee-jerk reactions, misinformation and further damage to your association’s reputation.
It’s crucial to discuss how best to address complaints and where to get the right information and answers with other in your organization. Look at several possible scenarios and how go about dealing with them. It’s not possible to predict every situation, but having a roadmap definitely helps when the unexpected comes up.

2. Respond Quickly

One of the worst things an association can do is ignore a criticism or take days or weeks to respond. This delay shows your community and the public that you don’t value them enough to get on the problem right away.

Responding quickly, even with a message that simply acknowledges the comment and lets that person know you are working on a response, shows you care and will work to rectify any problems and meet any need. This show of loyalty and care will keep people coming back even after a less-than-perfect experience.

3. Be Transparent

When an organization receives criticism, the natural tendency is to deal with it in a more private setting. But being transparent with negative comments on your Twitter feed, Facebook page, blog comment section or elsewhere can work to your advantage.

By addressing the issue in a public forum, in a sensitive, calm and constructive manner, it shows everyone that your association is honest and genuinely cares about helping its members and the community. It builds trust, loyalty and engagement as well as neutralizing any accusations of censoring.

There are exceptions to this rule. If comments are hateful, discriminatory or meant to fuel these types of discussions, responding to them and keeping them visible will not help you, your organization or anyone in the community. Delete them and move on to responding to those who actually care about resolving an issue.

4. Don’t Play Tug-of-War

It’s okay to not fight back once in a while on social media. Sometimes those making negative comments will argue with you. Don’t argue with them.

This doesn’t mean you have to back down completely, but always be polite, respectful and try your best to find and solve the issues behind the criticism. If this is not enough, do not engage in an argument. It makes your organization look combative, harsh and unwelcoming.

5. Listen

Listening to negative feedback is important to finding a solution and building your organization, but sometimes the answer doesn’t come after the first response. Longer conversations, through social media, email or over the phone, may be necessary to address an issue that was brought up online.

Again, this doesn’t mean a back and forth argument, but a conversation where you listen to the problems, explain your side of the story and listen and respond once again.

6. Find a Solution and Follow up

Once a complaint has been brought forward, work hard to find the answer to the problem. Keep that person and the rest of your network informed of the progress and make sure to follow up with the individual who originally made the complaint.

Seeing the problem all the way to the end lets your community know that your association is dedicated and treats every one of their members with the same care and devotion as the next. It will also encourage loyalty and trust, which generates great word-of-mouth for the organization.

7. Don’t Be a Robot 

Remember that your organization is there to help real people with real issues. Those who write negative comments are just as human as you are.

Be human in your response to complaints. Whatever you do, do not use a canned corporate response or a generic, one-line answer. This makes others feel like you’re brushing them off; it is disheartening and even condescending. Addressing people by name, mentioning the specific problem and using humor (when called for) are all simple ways to let others know you value them as individuals.

8. Build on It

Okay, so you’ve received a complaint and are in the process of finding a solution. Now is a great time to use these negative comments to generate positive growth for your organization. Engage your online community in helping find an answer to an issue. Ask followers and fans for ways to make your organization better. Your weaknesses will remain just that until you recognize them and fix them. This sometimes requires new perspectives. Some organizations open social media forums that act as virtual suggestion boxes. Not every idea can be put into action, but your members will appreciate the sentiment and you might be amazed at some of the great ideas brought forward.

No two complaints are the same and your responses should be equally unique. When responding to criticism, you should be respectful, quick and strive to find solutions. Providing great answers to issues on social media can mean the difference between your organization falling behind and soaring high.

Author Bio: Marc Cousineau is the President and Founder of Incline Marketing. Marc is passionate about helping non-profit organizations and associations grow and serve members through online marketing and social media.

You can follow Marc on Twitter, @marccousineau2, and follow Incline Marketing @inclinemktg

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at