The Hourglass Blog, you know that I previously chaired the Innovation Task Force of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE), and was the lead author on the White Paper on Innovation for Associations that the Task Force published.
Building on that foundation, WSAE launched something called Innovation Circles: informal professional networks where people interested in exploring innovative approaches to specific issues do so and share their experiences with the broader community.
I led one on Member Engagement. It was a focus that arose directly from the challenges facing my own association. When I came into the President/CEO position, I inherited an association that was already benefiting from high levels of engagement among a group of leaders on our Board of Directors and our key committees. And much of the success we experienced was a direct result of their dedication to our mission and their involvement in our activities. However, we came to realize that we were not building an appropriate pipeline of engaged members who were ready to step into the leadership positions of the future. As a result, our momentum slowed, and we started looking for ways to engage a broader pool of our members in our activities and the strategic and operational mechanisms that determine and create them.
The Innovation Circle was an opportunity to share ideas with peers who were facing some of the same challenges. We met roughly every other month by conference call to share war stories and help each other brainstorm possible solutions to specific challenges. For me, the result was ten member engagement solutions I was able to blog about (see index below) and apply in varying capacities to my organization. I also had an opportunity to share some of my ideas and lessons learned in a couple of webinars--the first archived here, the second recorded specifically for this blog here.
I think it's safe to say that given the generational, technological and economic changes that are actively reshaping our environment, the question of keeping members engaged in building productive leadership capacity for our organizations is one of the central challenges most of us are facing. As I continue to tackle this issue for my own association, I'll use this blog as an opportunity to share information and add even more voices into the conversation.
Here's an index of the related posts appearing on this blog:
02/13/17 - Be Sure to Thank Your Power Members
12/12/16 - The Busy Time of Year
09/12/16 - Your Approach to Working Committees Reveals Your Organizational Culture
09/05/16 - The Limited Power of the Ask
06/06/16 - Does Your Association Put Up Signs?
08/24/15 - You've Got to Meet the Decision Maker
07/20/15 - Getting Members Engaged Is Like Running a Maker Lab
01/05/15 - When Old Dogs Have to Learn New Tricks
12/15/14 - They'll Remember That You Let Them Down
10/27/14 - Yes. Really. Nights and Weekends.
05/26/14 - Should You Break Your Own Rules?
09/09/13 - Member Engagement? It's...Well, It's Complicated.
08/26/13 - In Praise of Past Presidents
08/12/13 - The Mission Driven Volunteer
06/24/13 - Member Engagement Starts at Home
06/17/13 - It Doesn't Scale
06/10/13 - Member Engagement and Association Building Blocks
05/13/13 - Getting Used to the Dark
02/11/13 - Recorded Webinar: What Does Member Engagement Mean to You?
11/26/12 - Member Engagement Solution #10: Member Engagement Is About Much More Than Just Volunteering
11/12/12 - Member Engagement Solution #9: Discourage Non-Performance by Rewarding Performance
11/05/12 - A Member Engagement Experiment
10/29/12 - Member Engagement Solution #8: Effective Orientation and Interaction is Key
10/22/12 - What Does Member Engagement Mean to You?
10/15/12 - Member Engagement Solution #7: Advisory Groups Can Be Tremendous Win-Wins
10/01/12 - Member Engagement Solution #6: Provide Structure, But Not Too Much
09/17/12 - Member Engagement Solution #5: Don't Waste a Volunteer's Time
09/03/12 - Member Engagement Solution #4: Manage Volunteer Transitions
08/20/12 - Member Engagement Solution #3: Recognize Volunteer Contributions
08/06/12 - Member Engagement Solution #2: Recruit with a One-to-One Philosophy
07/23/12 - Member Engagement Solution #1: Don't Forget the Fun
07/02/12 - The Chairman's Gift
06/25/12 - Trust and Association Nextpeditions
06/18/12 - Issues with Member Engagement
05/14/12 - I Don't Want to Serve on Your Committee
04/30/12 - Everyone Is Responsible for Member Recruitment
04/23/12 - Who Revolves Around Who?
04/09/12 - Bucking the Trend
03/19/12 - Innovation Circle on Member Engagement