Monday, June 16, 2008

Read along with Cindy - part 1 of 3

I pulled out the 6/08 issue of the ASAE magazine to read during a long, hot wait on a plane. As mentioned before, I've only attended one ASAE conference, hold the CAE, and would be a member even if the only benefit was their magazine. Love the ASAE magazine. But like any magazine the articles in any given issue interest, challenge, instruct, appeal to or bore based on the person reading it and their own expertise, experience and interest level.

So if you want to read along with my thoughts on a few details, pull out your 6/08 ASAE magazine and here they are:

1. Pg. 9 - Goodbye letter/advice from long time staff person. Includes "10 wishes" for the profession (e.g., "communicate authentically" and "have courage.") I wonder if the list would read the same if giving advice when not leaving - or does leaving change the advice? Maybe each of us should write our advice list now and then compare it to what we write when we leave? One wish said "minimize process". Actually I remember when ASAE was merging 2 organizations; because they sent out an ungodly amount of info about it for a really, really long time. Those at the epicenter of organizations deeply care about governance - those of us in the masses don't. Just want meaningful services. Good lesson on what not to do, as easy to believe members might care about things they really don't remotely care about.

2. Pg. 18. Guide to IRS Governance Paper. This is what ASAE magazine best at. The one page legal explanation of a wide range of details all associations need to know about. This one summarizes what IRS expects related to Form 990 (e.g., conflicts of interest, whistleblower policies, etc.). Excellent to give to new association execs and boards too.

3. Pg. 20. Online learning. Are a few choices missing on why high schoolers MIGHT like online learning? How about - no teacher watching you, greater opportunity for "open book" exams, can have game on at same time as class - the "more class options" and "to get extra help" aren't top choices that came to mind (unless the "extra help" is their friend talking on computer headset, texting or calling while they take the online class). Just a hunch - could be wrong of course.

4. Pg 22. Blog Roll. Out of 10,000 or so associations represented by membership in ASAE they couldn't find more than one Association CEO who blogs? I'm not surprised as I can hardly find more than a handful either. Sorry, but my job is actually not similar to the CEO of Sun Microsystems. I like reading about peers and associations in the ASAE magazine. If there aren't 2 more (out of 10,000) association execs engaged in social media, then that's the real story to write about.

5. Pg. 24. Association CEO in Transition. Very interesting article about those who decide it's too stressful, time consuming, or no fun at the top as CEO. Result of examples is they take lower position in another association that plays to their key interest area and strength or they become consultants. Reminds those who excel in a senior staff position that being "at the top" could mean significantly giving up the part of the position they like the most or giving up more of their lives than willing to give up. Many CEOs organize staff positions to have others handle certain operational things when don't have time/significant interest in that part of the job - but some will lose passion for the position. Changing your own job description is another option to downsizing out of the association. Really good article to seriously think about what you're doing or what you're wishing for.

This is part 1 of 3. It was a long wait on that tarmac. More comments I noted on other articles in days ahead ...

1 comment:

Lisa Junker said...

Cindy, thanks so much for these detailed thoughts on the June issue of Associations Now. (We're so honored you used some of your time on the tarmac to write about the magazine!) It's great to get this kind of feedback, and it's great to know that the magazine is of value to you.

Just so you know, the July Blog Roll article will feature association CEO bloggers. You're right, there aren't that many--but every time I look the number is growing. I'll be curious to see if it's more common for CEOs to blog in 5 years ...

Thank you again for your thoughts!