Wait, Too Many People are Talking at Once!

By: Lauren Millard

How many times has this happened to you?  You’ve been on a conference call, or in a board meeting, and too many people try to talk at once.  When this happens it can cause frustration for everyone involved.  The “talkers” aren’t being heard, and those listening can’t follow anything going on.

conference

We recently held a Job Task Analysis for one of our certification programs, which involved over 20 enthusiastic people who all wanted their idea to be heard.  To help alleviate some of the frustration, we were able to implement some basic guidelines to ensure the meeting was effective, and all the ideas were heard.  Continue reading Wait, Too Many People are Talking at Once!

How Does Your Board Orientation Stack Up?

By: Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

One of the most important aspects of board management, which can often be undervalued and underutilized, is a proper board orientation for new and incoming volunteer leadership. The board orientation is the best opportunity for welcoming a new board member, teaching them about the association, the expectations, the processes and the culture.

Think about it like this – would you hire a new staff member without providing them with some initial information and training? I sure hope the answer is no! If someone isn’t properly on-boarded, can they really be effective?

Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A 2003 Study called the, Mellon Learning Curve Research Study showed that the average time for new hires, external to the organization, to achieve their full level of productivity ranged from between eight weeks and 20 weeks depending on the profession.

Fast forward to board orientations…what are you doing as an association to ensure that your board members, who essentially are external hires of your association volunteer leadership are effective on the shortest time possible?

So, ask yourself, how does your board orientation measure up?

Take the quick 10 question assessment below to see how your board orientation measures up and to help identify gaps in your program.

  1. Do you provide your new leadership with a copy of the current association budget, a copy of the association’s most recent financial statement and/or a copy of the most recent audited financial statement?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with information relative to their board responsibilities (i.e. job description, behavioral expectations, attendance requirements, etc.)?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with written association policies (i.e. antitrust, conflict of interest disclosure, etc.)?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with copies of the current articles of incorporation and bylaws?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with information on all standing committees and task forces?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with a current copy of the association’s strategic plan?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with meeting minutes for the previous year so they are aware of recent board decisions?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with information on staff and who to contact for what?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with information relative to the difference between board roles and staff roles?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you have an orientation call or in person meeting for new leadership?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points

BONUS: Add 1 additional point if an outside facilitator is used for this call or meeting.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SCORING

20 to 31 points – Congrats! Your board orientation seems to be very comprehensive and you seem to be anticipating the information that your board needs and providing it in advance.  You should teach a class!

10 to 19 points – You are on the right track! It sounds like you are working to provide a sound orientation for your board.  Keep up the great work!

0 to 9 points – Sounds like there are opportunities for improvement! Consider if items are missing or if you might be able to provide them earlier to make sure that new board members start off on the right foot.


So, how did you measure up? Are you brave enough to share it in the comments of this blog?

Bottom Line: No matter what you scored on the assessment above, there are always opportunities for improvement on your board orientation. If you are a member of an SAE, such as the Florida Society of Association Executives, ask your fellow members what they do as they on-board new volunteer leadership.  Or take a moment to ask your current volunteer leaders what information they wish they would have received prior to their term or within the first few months of their term.

Additionally, below are a few great resources for improving your board orientation program:

What other great resources do you have to share?  Please post them below in the comments section of the blog.  Happy orienting!

RachelLuomaBio

Three Tips on How to Make Your Job Successful

By: Malarie Barineau

During the last 5 years I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of different roles and with a variety of great individuals. Throughout these years I have had the ability to grow within Partners. Below are a few tips that have helped me along the way. Continue reading Three Tips on How to Make Your Job Successful

What’s Your Marketing Strategy?

By: Ricki Sexton

Why do we love jingles, and slogans, and catchy advertising?  Because somewhere, in that mystery building “somewhere”, there is a person who is designing campaigns that draw us into them, over and over, for years. Coca-Cola has been in business since 1892.  In 123 years, there has been numerous marketing campaigns.   Whether you are a Coke or Pepsi drinker, the branding of the white Polar Bear “Always Coca Cola” stands out in your mind, if you’ve watched any TV in the last 20 years. Why?  Marketing genius.  What makes for a successful marketing strategy?  Karen Klein offers up these top strategies to market your product: Continue reading What’s Your Marketing Strategy?

Off the Grid (but Not Really)

By: Amy Bean Napier

Urban Dictionary defines “off the grid” as (adj.) Unrecorded, untraceable through normal means. But with emails continually pushing to your cell phone and social media tracking your every move, it’s virtually impossible to go off the grid during a personal vacation now.  Unless you are vacationing in an area without cell phone service.  And yes, there are still areas like that, even in the United States.  I know from recent personal experience! Continue reading Off the Grid (but Not Really)

Incense in the Office

By: Kristi Spargo

Appearances can be deceiving. I may be a kid-toting, CR-V driving, Sperry-shoed Type A personality, but I’ve always wanted to be a hippie artist. Tapestries, lava lamps, tie dye and incense make me really happy. Back in college, I wanted to be the girl painting on the front lawn with the flower crown, baby doll tee and peasant skirt (yes, I went to college in the 90’s). Sometimes I wonder why I never made the leap; maybe it’s because I don’t have long flowy hair, but much more likely it’s because I don’t have a creative bone in my body.

Or so I thought. A year ago I eagerly accepted a position to once again work with Partners in Association Management, this time as a magazine editor/writer, but it didn’t come without some hesitation. I knew I could handle the editing, formatting and deadlines from my previous experience working here. Nothing makes me happier than proofing, inputting reminders into Outlook and creating organization and processes. Yet the idea of coming up with feature article ideas and cover design concepts was overwhelming. That type of work was for creative people, not me. As this year has progressed, however, I have learned that I can be creative; I just need to pair the task with my methodologies. Here are some tips that have helped the left and right side of my brain work together. Continue reading Incense in the Office

Wile E. Coyote’s Guide to Association Management

By: Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

On any given day at least two to three cartoon theme songs are running through my mind!  As I write, I am singing the Jake and the Neverland Pirates theme song.

It could be that I have two young children, or the fact that I love cartoons.  However, regardless of the reasons, I can’t help but draw parallels between cartoons and association management.  It seems that there are several lessons to be learned about how to build better associations from watching cartoon.

So, as my children would say, “Yo Ho Let’s Go”!  Continue reading Wile E. Coyote’s Guide to Association Management