Articles & Presentations

The Future of Membership

As presented at the first Association Chief Executives (ACE) Symposium, November 6, 2013.

AssociationTRENDS Commentaries

A wealth of data … but is it all real?” – 14 February 2014

Association tech trends” – 31 January 2013

Why these things matter” – 14 December 2012

Just because it’s easy and you can do it, doesn’t mean you should” – 21 November 2012

The myth about ‘special interests’” – 12 October 2012

Looking into the congressional crystal ball” – 20 September 2012

“What the world needs is more association executives” – 16 August 2012

What’s in a word?” – 27 July 2012

The generation gap in lobbying” – 21 June 2012

Caught Between Push and Pull

John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison’s book The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion argues that the era of “push” markets – in which future demand can be predicted and systems can be designed, calibrated and controlled to meet it – has passed. In its place, “pull” is emerging as the governing market principle, driven more by networks of people and resources, both within and outside of formal organizational structures, which engage to meet their needs in more flexible ways. Associations, in many aspects, are ideally positioned to tap into this market change, but are associations themselves locked into “push” systems of organization that will impede their success? Click Caught Between Push and Pull for my presentation on this subject at the April 2011 DigitalNow Conference.

Free: Is $0.00 the Future of Associations?

Chris Anderson’s book Free: The Future of a Radical Price picks up where his bestseller, Long Tail, left off. In it, he argues that the digital age is exerting an inexorable downward pressure on the prices of all things “made of ideas” and that $0.00 is the future of business. Thought leadership and knowledge – products and service made of ideas – are quintessential elements of the association brand. What does this controversial thesis mean for the business model of associations? Click Free  for my presentation from the April 2010 DigitalNow conference, laying out the underlying assumptions of Freeand Anderson’s taxonomy of “freeconomics,” looking at present day examples in each category, both in the for-profit and association market space, and considering the contrary view from Malcom Gladwell, among others.

What Makes Associations Remarkable?

The Journal of Association Leadership – Spring 2007 Click What Makes Associations Remarkable for a summary of ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership’s study:  Seven Measures of Success.

What Opera Has Taught Me About Association Management

Conflict!  Treachery! Betrayal!  Passion!  No, I am not talking about your last board of directors meeting.  I am talking about opera. I was recently invited by the Fellows of the American Society of Association Executives to do a presentation on “What Opera has Taught Me About Association Management.” To view the presentation click here. To read the text of the presentation click here:

Rationalizing Programs and Services: A Case Study

On 14 April 2011, I moderated a seminar at ASAE with authors Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers on their new book, Race for Relevance: Five Radical Changes for Associations.  In applying the principles from the book to my own association experience, I presented a case study on assessing return on investment and strategic prioirity for programs, services and activities.  Click Rationalizing Programs and Services Case Study for an executive summary of the ROSE project. 

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