I had the opportunity to attend the ASAE Great Ideas Conference in Colorado Springs over the last 3 days. I attended sessions on social media, online communities, crowd sourcing, staff and volunteer satisfaction, tweetups, and the future of publications. Several individuals have already written blogs with their perspectives. I am now offering my own.
My biggest takeaways
My biggest takeaways
1. Don't worry be crappy.
It pains me so much to continue to delay launch dates because everything has to be perfect. I would rather roll out a partly completed product or service, allow members or staff to provide feedback and provide opportunity for feedback and improvement. Holding back in this area continues to stifle innovation and further delay the indispensability of an organization to its membership.
2. Thank your staff and vounteers
No matter the commitment for volunteers (a single day, week, month, or multi-year commitment) say thank you. If you or your organization brought a group of people together to develop a product or offering, share it with he volunteers for free instead of having them come to you.
3. Lack of autonomy in the work place
Look at all your organization's rules that hinder autonomy. Why do you have the rules you do? Dress code? Personal use of work equipment and time? Consider reviewing these rules and see if they are really needed. Releasing the control may show your employees that you care about them as people, not just machines and blobs.
4. Print isn't dead?
I heard that print will be dead when ALL text books go digital or when all the individuals that love paper, magazines, newspapers, and printed documents are dead. While I see some truth to that statement I think that more options need to be given to association members to opt out of print publications including journals, newsletters, fliers, brochures, promotional materials, etc... Most, if not all, of these documents are created in programs that can be made into PDFs. You'll even have additional functionality by turning on live links and continuing to give your members a tour of your website.
Organizations also need to be better about providing tables of contents with relevant, chunked information where members can cherry pick what they'd like to receive electronically.
5. Member satisfaction
My favorite idea lab that I attended gave 9 great questions for assessing volunteer satisfaction within your organization. These questions each have a 10-point likert scale where 1 is strongly disagree and 10 is strongly agree.
a. Staff and senior volunteer leadership acts with authenticity and inspires trust.
b. Negative volunteers are not promoted into leadership positions or indulged for their behavior.
c. The organization provides a wide variety of ways to get involved as a volunteer with a range of time commitments.
d. The organization supports and nurtures the personal and professional development of volunteers.
e. Staff makes an effort to understand the intrinsic motivations of each volunteer and to ensure that their personal goals for volunteering are met.
f. There are many ways to volunteer with a wide variety of commitment levels.
g. The organization provides an environment that actively encourages the development of personal and professional relationships between volunteers.
h. Volunteers are routinely given fun, creative, and rewarding work to do.
i. The organization and staff demonstrate genuine appreciation for volunteers and their contributions.
I would highly recommend this conference to you and your colleagues. ASAE & The Center provide a great atmosphere for networking, growth and learning, within your area of focus and outside of it, and top notch speakers at opening and closing sessions. Thanks to each and every one of you who shared your great ideas with me. I hope to see you next year at the BROADMOOR resort in March 2011.
Virtually ~ Tom