24 February 2012

Friday Top 5

Posting is likely to be a little erratic over the next few weeks, as I have two multi-day business trips and several all-day meetings coming up. So this Friday's Top 5 is a "greatest hits" edition. My Top 5 most read posts of 2011:
  1. Money, Money, Money, MO-NEY (on non-dues revenue)
  2. Sharing the Love (about why the Blogger platform is GREAT, with a video)
  3. Tips for First-Timers (or, how to survive the ASAE annual meeting)
  4. Idea Swappin' (a recap of the ASAE-GW October Super Swap)
  5. Innovation: Small Staff v. Large Staff (looking at how organizational size affects ability to innovate)


23 February 2012

Examining One's Habits

Although I celebrate Mardi Gras every year with gusto, I've never taken the next step: making a Lenten resolution. No doubt, the fact that I'm not Catholic has something to do with that.

But I do like the idea of a defined annual period of time in which to consciously examine and focus on one's habits.

So this year, I am giving up swearing for Lent. Those of you who know me personally will realize this is not a simple challenge I've set for myself. But the point isn't perfection - or at least, again, not being Catholic the point *for me* is not achieving perfection. So, no, I don't plan to keep a "swear jar" or anything like that.

My goal in doing this is to become more conscious of how I use words and express myself and the impact that, in turn, has on the people around me.

Is there a habit in your personal or work life you'd like to examine more closely? Is there something you do out of habit that no longer serves you? Or something you'd like to become more conscious of? Is there something you'd benefit from adding? Can you take the next 40 (OK, technically 39 at this point) days to focus on it?

Although it's traditional, I don't think that a Lenten resolution would necessarily have to be about giving something up. It could just as easily be about adding something positive.

Maybe at the end of 40 days, I'll resume my regular speech patterns. But maybe I won't. Either way, I'll have thought about it, which is saying something.

22 February 2012

What I'm Reading

  • Innovating from the middle: not a mythical creature.
  • Not only can you innovate if you're not the CEO, if you want to be the CEO some day, you MUST learn this skill.
  • Shelly Alcorn takes on trends for 2012 and how they might affect associations.
  • Eric Lanke urges us to maintain a bias for action, even in the face of the reality that it doesn't always work out perfectly.
  • Watch your GenX talent...go right out the door?
  • Is your community manager clueless? There are warning signs.
  • All you need is love (but not the kind that's packaged for mass consumption around Valentine's Day).
  • Meetings can be efficient and effective. No, really!
  • Social curation is a huge issue, but which platform/s will win?
  • How reliable is breaking news on Twitter? If Seriously Rapid Source Review has anything to say about it, REALLY reliable.
  • Want to REALLY shorten your interview process? There are only three questions you need to ask to determine fit.
  • Finally, if you enjoy reading good books and then talking about them with smart people, make sure you check out the Association Chat (aka #assnchat) book club and plan to join us on April 17 to talk about Humanize.

21 February 2012

Go the F Home

Preach, sister!

Hat tip to John Chen for the link.

I particularly like the fact that the IGNITE presenter calls out managers. It's up to us to set a good example.

20 February 2012

Always the Last to Know: Director's Cut

I haven't used it, but Nokia has come out with Director's Cut, an automated crowdsourced video editing technology, and it looks pretty rad. Anybody played with it yet?

17 February 2012

Friday Top 5

As some of you know, my organization has been going through a merger for about a year now. We're making progress, but it's definitely still stressful for people, so we've been talking about stuff we can do to build morale. My Top 5 Staff Morale Builders:
  1. Wellness challenges with fun themes and prizes. Doing good while doing well!
  2. Reserving a conference room periodically for brown bag lunch. No topic or presentation, just an opportunity to get away from your desk and mix with your colleagues.
  3. Friday afternoon cocktail hour. Yep, one of my former employers actually did this, although not every week. It rocked. It helped that we had a fairly creative mixologist on staff.
  4. Occasionally shutting down the office for an afternoon to go do something fun together (like bowling, video games, or a movie).
  5. Doing an organized volunteer project.
What about you? What are your favorite morale-building activities?


16 February 2012

The Science of Motivation

CLASSIC TED Talk from Dan Pink, but I was reminded of it (and how great it is) by an article in the Washington Post this morning.

15 February 2012

What I'm Reading

Busy week = short list
  • Want to be more creative? Jeffrey Cufaude has some great tips.
  • How to build a following for your blog.
  • More productivity apps. (Damn! Looks like Reeder is only for the Goog.)
  • Lost in Facebook! Ever have trouble finding a brand (like your own or your members’)? Find out why.
  • Cut the crap out of your writing.
  • I'm still working my way through (and really enjoying) Swamplandia! and I just started Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales, which looks like it will teach me some interesting things.

14 February 2012

Who Cares?

The Google+ "+1" button. The Facebook "like" button. "Tweet this." These are all increasingly common forms of automated sharing. The problem, of course, is that attention STILL doesn't scale, and, as pointed out in a recent issue of MIT's Technology Review, neither does caring.

I quote:
Facebook's impending problem is that even if the company enables future pacemakers to share our every heartbeat, the company cannot automate caring—the most important part of the feedback loop that has driven the social Web's ascent. Nothing can support exponential growth for long. No matter how cleverly our friends' social output is summarized and highlighted for us, there are only so many hours in the day for us to express that we care. Today, the law of social sharing is a useful way to think about the rise of social computing, but eventually, reality will make it obsolete. 
And I've definitely seen this personally, too. "Oh you have to get on...Tumblr/Google+/Pinterest/Path/Storify/...It's great!" "Why didn't you call when I was sick? I posted it on FB!"

I don't have an answer, but I think it's important to at least start asking the question. With proliferating outlets and ways to connect, how do we ensure we aren't so busy spewing information into the stream that we're unable to take time to make true human connection?

13 February 2012

Always the Last to Know: Pinterest

OK, this isn't really the first I'm hearing of Pinterest, but it feel like it's been EVERYWHERE recently.

I have to admit, I still kind of don't see the point. Feel free to mock me.

These articles may change that.

Are you using Pinterest? How? Tell me in the comments.

10 February 2012

Friday Top 5

ASAE has just released the names of all the new CAEs who passed the December 2011 exam, and, at the same time, I got my renewal notice. First of all, congratulations to all who achieved this important professional distinction. My next renewal will take me past 10 years as a CAE. (Wow! Time flies...) Top 5 Best Things about Being a CAE:
  1. It demonstrates serious commitment to the profession of association management.
  2. Great community of people.
  3. The studying process reminds one that it's even more important to know what you DON'T know.
  4. Realizing that you don't have to be an expert in everything.
  5. Concurrently, realizing how important it is to surround yourself with good people.
Association exec? Not a CAE yet? What are you waiting for?

09 February 2012

What Do You Mean You Don't Want Me?

Last week, the ASAE annual meeting proposal notices came out. Some of us got in, some of us didn't, and some got a little of both.

Now there are half joking - but that also means half serious - conspiracy theories floating around about certain people or groups being intentionally excluded/black listed.

I think we have a mote and beam problem here.

How many of our organizations are open about our selection criteria for our conferences?
  • Does being a frequent presenter count for you - or against you?
  • Do we consider old scores?
  • What does having a "name" in your field get you?
  • Are there unwritten rules? 
It doesn't have to be this way.

sxsw takes an interesting approach: people vote on the sessions they want to see (ASAE has incorporated elements of this in the past, too). Sure, that can turn things into a popularity contest, but popular vote isn't the whole story, and it helps attendees feel connected to the event.

What can you do at your organization to be more transparent about why people are accepted or rejected for volunteer service, conference presentations, magazine articles, etc.?

Edited February 15 to add: Jeffrey Cufaude also wrote a great post about this, taking a slightly different tack.

08 February 2012

What I'm Reading

  • Are open offices and endless meetings really the best way to generate good ideas and get work done?
  • On a related topic, brainstorming is bullshit.
  • Do promotions actually motivate people? If not, what other approach could we take?
  • Aspiring CAE? Check out this great new resource.
  • Culture eats strategy for lunch.
  • Are you a networker or a connector?
  • What you need to know about the YouTube redesign.
  • Are your PR efforts making things worse?
  • I was on a multicity trip last week and consequently had a fair amount of time to read. I started with Batavia's Graveyard, a fascinating account of "history's bloodiest mutiny" and the religious and sociological context that led to it. (I had the opportunity to see the reconstructed Batavia in the Netherlands in 1990, approximately 5 years before it was finished and launched.) I also read my first Ursula Le Guin book (shocking, I know), The Dispossessed. Slow start, but interesting sci-fi, and I particularly liked the fact that, even though she clearly has a preference, at least some of the warts of even her utopian society were presented. I'm now now on to Swamplandia!, a coming of age tale with elements of mystical realism, which so far has been terrific.

07 February 2012

Bridging the Gap

I generally like to have the slides for a presentation prepped to post the same day as I give the presentation, but we were working on these up until the last minute. See below for the slides from the panel presentation I moderated at the 2012 Joint Commission on Sports Medicine and Science annual meeting last week:

06 February 2012

Always the Last to Know: Cardmunch

I joke a lot about being a closet Luddite. I didn't finally break down and get a smart phone until about a year ago. My Mac Air laptop is about 2 1/2 years old, and the laptop it replaced was about 5 1/2 years old. I don't have an iPad, or any tablet for that matter. And up until a few weeks ago, I still had a giant Rolodex on my desk that I've been lugging around for 15 years.

Which, by the way, was the problem. Without an electronic card reader, there was no way I was going to hand type hundreds of cards into my contact list. So I moved it with me from job to job, along with my lava lamp and my 4 foot inflatable Munch's "The Scream" doll (yes really).

Cardmunch changed all that.

“My name is Elizabeth, and I still have a Rolodex.” But it’s because I have a zillion cards and no card reader, so they just sit there on my desk moldering in their giant circular holder.

Or at least I did, up until the holiday week. 

I had downloaded my new favorite app, Card Munch. It’s put out by LinkedIn. You take a photo of the card with the app, and it translates the card for you, at which point you can, right from the app, add the person to your phone’s contacts, email them, and/or send them a LI invitation.

I used the quiet time over the holidays to GET RID OF my Rolodex – finally! I’ve been carrying that damn thing with me from job to job for 15 years!