Welcome to Association Transformation, a new transatlantic conversation advancing the impact and evolution of non-profit organizations. We are always seeking diversity of thought and new examples of innovation in action. That and a commitment to mission driven organizations spurred this collaboration between the teams at Brewer Pratt Solutions and Consort Strategy. Together with our special guests, each episode we take a deep dive into the issues, topics, challenges and opportunities facing the association community. Between us we’ve been there, done it, got the t-shirt: membership, mergers, boards and leadership, advocacy, and education - nothing is off limits. Any subject that effects non-profits, their survival or their success is up for discussion.
Victims of our own success? An Associations Week Special
Since last year's Associations Week, it's fair to say that the membership sector has more than proven itself adept at managing change. There's no doubt that associations have demonstrated their worth as creative, adaptive, flexible, innovative, ambitious, and responsive focal points of many professional communities. But at what cost? Heightened member expectations, increased demands to "do more with less", constantly competing priorities, and a digital culture that facilities (and arguably demands) 24/7 access to services, are all combining to threaten the exceptional endeavours of our sector, as well as the emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing of staff and volunteers. Are we slipping back into old ways? Are we defining the value proposition as quantity over quality? And are we forgetting that what drives membership is that unique sense of belonging amongst a community of peers? Elisa and Andrew take some time out to discuss and reflect on the health and wellbeing of our industry.
The Equity Equation: creating a Board philosophy and building a governance legacy
It is fundamental to the principles of ESG that governance can and should be used to leverage positive, sustainable change; and as focal points of civic society, through their governance action, professional membership bodies can work to realise significant cultural change. Elisa and Andrew are joined by first-time Board member, Leanne Antoine, who as a newly appointed member of the Council of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, shares her ambitions as a volunteer leader and her insights on the role of governance in establishing and maintaining equity, diversity, and inclusivity.
The (not so new) need to know your audience
Have you ever been in a meeting with someone who is clearly giving you the same presentation they've given before to other audiences? There are some telltale signs: a generic set of benefits, little anticipation of objections, a lack of details that speak to your specific situation. Chances are that you tuned out somewhere along the way because you didn’t feel connected to what they were telling you. They weren’t talking to you but just a generalized "someone". Now think, what if your members view your association like that?
Connecting with your members is a key part of persuading, influencing, and supporting your members, but what does it mean in practice? Nona Phinn, President & Chief Messaging Officer at THuS Marketing + Branding Services joins Elisa and Andrew to discuss the (not so new) need to know, prioritise, and target your audience.
Futures literacy: an essential competency for the 21st century
UNESCO describes 'futures literacy' as "...a universally accessible skill that builds on the innate human capacity to imagine the future, offers a clear, field tested solution to poverty-of-the-imagination." FL is a capability that allows people to better understand the role of the future in what they see and do. Being futures literate empowers the imagination, enhances our ability to prepare, recover and invent as changes occur. Elisa and Andrew explore how association leaders can apply this pivotal skill in shaping and controlling the direction of their organisations.
Winning strategies for Olympian CEOs
Every four years the best are brought together to compete. What makes the best of the best in association leadership? Andrew and Elisa undertake an Olympic discussion of gold, silver and bronze competencies. In advance of the IAL releasing its leadership systems map, this week we explore the changing and emerging skills required of gold medal CEOs and how to employ and frame competency outlines in general.
The Power of the Visual to Advance Mission
Video is such a powerful medium! To educate, to engage, to bring together. You add some special effects, the written word, and some music, and you’re able to influence people in ways you just can’t do with a still graphic or an email.” While the cat’s away (no Andrew this episode)… we chat video and the power of visual storytelling to advance mission-driven organizations. Elisa is joined by producer and guest cohost Andy Carrol for a conversation with international man of mystery and video and branding expert Kurt Schneid, Executive Producer of Brand Ready Media. Join us as we discuss how nonprofit organizations can leverage visual content to heighten awareness, elevate cause, and amplify their voice. Plus, we see the birth of a bromance and learn how McDonalds was forced to abandon Styrofoam cups!! What more could you ask for in under 33 minutes!