Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Most of the country (and really the world) have been self-quarantining at home for six weeks or more. We’ve dealt with figuring out how to work and school from home. We’ve struggled with spending 24/7 under the same roof with our family members – and even though we love them unconditionally – we know why our children must leave home after high school. We’ve learned how to shop for everything online and put in place decontaminating procedures for all our packages, groceries, and really anything that enters our house.

One of the results of this pandemic and our desire to contain it has been a stagnation of the once robust economy. Businesses – large, medium and small are struggling to survive. It’s no wonder that so many of us now are turning our attention to “restarting the economy”.

But what does that mean and do we have to return to our previous physical work locations and same old work ways to restart the economy? To understand the answers to these questions, we must understand how we got here in the first place. Can a virus, even if creating a pandemic really stop the global economy?

Clearly many businesses have continued throughout the pandemic slowdown. We applaud those workers – first responders, healthcare workers, essential construction workers and more – who have continued to show up for work to help those less fortunate and keep some of the economy going.

Many of us are tired and frustrated with being at home and want to do our part to restart things. Several state leaders have recently decided to “open” their states to help restart their economies. Still others aren’t sure their states are ready.

The bottom line is this: Most people don’t have to go back to their offices and businesses to restart the workforce and economy. Everyone needs to make their own informed decisions about their ability to return to the workforce safely and/or if a return to the workplace they occupied six weeks ago is required.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been able to do everything I need to do for my job while working from my home office. I’ve met with all the people I need to meet with (and many I didn’t need to meet with). I’ve performed all the tasks my job requires. My co-workers have all done the same. Many of our clients are in the same positions. Most have been able to handle their jobs either from home offices or as essential workers implementing new, health and safety procedures in their more traditional work setting. Many are struggling, not because they can’t do their jobs but because their markets have been impacted by the economic downturn.

So why does our economy need restarting and what can we do to make sure it happens successfully?

We are afraid of things we don’t understand. This virus (COVID-19) created more sustained fear than anything in my lifetime. That fear has caused a ripple effect that has impacted the global economy negatively.

People are afraid of how the virus might impact them, their family or people they know. People are afraid of how they might be exposed to the virus – from other people, from door handles, containers, their pets, and more. This fear causes people to make decisions that impacted the economy in negative ways.

Restarting the economy won’t be easy. There isn’t any one way it can be done successfully. However, until we overcome our fears about the virus and its impact on us, our economy will not restart successfully.

We need our leaders – governmental, business, faith, athletic and others to instill confidence in us to help us overcome our fears about the pandemic, the economy and our recovery. This is a time for true leadership – not the fear-mongering kind – promulgated by people who think that is the best way to win elections or propped up by media who think that is the best way to secure viewers.

We need the kind of leaders like Ronald Reagan during the early 80’s helping overcome fear of oil and gas shortages and high inflation; or George W. Bush who helped our country overcome the fear of terrorism; Michael Jordan who helped the people of Chicago overcome the fear of never winning a NBA Championship. (Tongue in cheek with that last one) but if you’ve been watching The Last Dance, the story of the 1997/1998 Chicago Bulls quest for a sixth championship in eight years, you will see that Michael helped his team overcome fears and that lead to their eventual success.

So, if you want to help restart the economy, do what you can to overcome your fears and help others around you overcome theirs.

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Meetings are necessary to achieve consensus – especially in associations.  We’ve all been in those meetings that were a complete waste of time.  Make sure meetings you run are not a waste of time but are productive and help your organization work toward achieving its mission. 

To do so, we have identified seven keys to running successful, productive meetings:

  • Have an agenda for every meeting
    • Every meeting should have an agenda that identifies all the items to be covered during the meeting.  The agenda should clearly state the purpose of the meeting and the expected outcomes for the meeting and should be distributed enough in advance of the meeting for participants to review and give thought to the items being addressed. The purpose and expected outcomes should also be restated by the leader at the beginning of the meeting. 
  • If you need volunteers for activities, get them lined up before the meeting – never ask for volunteers during a meeting
    • So many times it happens, an item is discussed and after it’s decided upon, we seek a volunteer to “lead it”.  You know in advance the items being addressed and discussed so line up your volunteers before the meeting.  This will help assure you get interested, passionate people leading your activities.   
  • Make sure all planned actions during the meeting are related to strategic goals of the organization
    • If it’s not helping to achieve your mission, you shouldn’t be doing it. 
  • The meeting leader (President, Committee Chair, etc.) should be a facilitator, not a dictator
    • This is very important and is often a difference between for profit corporate leaders and successful association leaders.  Remember all members are equal.  It’s the job of the meeting leader to facilitate the discussion – make sure all points of view are given an opportunity to be discussed and debated.
  • Achieve consensus
    • Before any votes are taken, make sure all participants understand what they’re voting on and give ample time for discussion. 
    • Do not allow people to filibuster or to repeat positions already articulated by others. 
    • See our blog on achieving consensus for more information.
  • Make sure all decisions are clearly articulated at the end of the meeting
    • In order to assure the expected actions occur between meetings, it’s important the decisions are clearly articulated.  If assignments are created, be sure due dates are also assigned.
  • Be sure accurate minutes are taken during the meeting and distributed promptly following the meeting including any assignments and due dates
    • Minutes are the historical record of your meetings and decisions.  Be sure you have accurate minutes for all your meetings.  Additionally, between meetings, follow up with people who have assignments to be sure they’re on track

If you follow these seven simple steps your meetings will be efficient and will lead to successes for your association.  Happy Meeting!

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We can likely all agree that in business cash may be King but accountability is next in line for the throne. 

In our businesses if we don’t establish Strategies, Goals and specific, measurable Objectives we hold ourselves and each other accountable for achieving, we will not achieve our mission.

Associations are no different – except that associations are led by volunteers.  Everyone knows you can’t hold volunteers accountable right?  WRONG!

This is the biggest mistake we see associations make every day.  However, it’s an easy mistake to make because of the nature of volunteer leadership.  Volunteers have “real jobs”; volunteers have families, volunteers have other interests AND volunteers aren’t getting paid to do their “Association job”. 

What are some things that can be done within the association framework to change this paradigm and create accountability?

  • Staff and volunteer leadership both need to make sure the association has SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timely) goals aligned with the association’s mission.
  • Each SMART goal MUST have a person responsible for making it happen.  (Note:  This person doesn’t have to do all the work but is the person RESPONSIBLE for making sure it is accomplished by the deadline). 
  • At each meeting (committee, board, staff, etc.) SMART goal status should be shared.  If a goal is falling behind its scheduled deadline, that should be reported and discussed.  If changes are appropriate, they should be made and documented.
  • Between meetings, staff MUST follow up with volunteers who have been assigned responsibilities.  The purpose of the follow up is two-fold.  First to make sure the volunteer understands his/her responsibility and the task at hand.  Second to make sure the task is being addressed and an appropriate status report will be given at the next meeting.
  • Between meetings staff MUST report to the chair or appropriate volunteer leader on assignments for which they’ve been given responsibility.  This will help hold staff accountable for their responsibilities as well.
  • During meetings it’s likely that additional tasks will be identified.  It is the responsibility of the staff and chair of that meeting to clearly articulate the new tasks at the end of the meeting and make sure they’ve been made SMART and have a responsible party assigned to assure their implementation. 

Following these simple guidelines for holding staff and volunteers accountable will help your association be more productive and encourage a healthy environment between and among the volunteers and staff who are all working together to achieve the mission of the organization.   

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One often heard piece of advice is when a person steps into a leadership role in business, the first thing they should do is find their successor. That’s very true for most companies. Is it true for associations?

The short answer – YES.

Think about the various leadership opportunities within an association. The Board of Directors, the Officers, the Committee Chairs, the Chapters (if there are any). It is critical that association leaders have planned successions for all leadership positions.

But how can they do this? After all, they’re volunteering their time and need to focus on the important aspects of the association, like its mission, right? Of course that’s true, but remember, if there is no succession plan, there is no way the organization can achieve its mission.

Here are some helpful tips for volunteer leaders to initiate succession plans:

• Officers. Every association should have a policy for electing officers. However, in addition to the election policy, there must be a clear path to find the best candidates for office. Typically these candidates come from the current Board of Directors but may also come from committee chairs or even committee members. As soon as one is elected into an officer position, he/she should start thinking about who would be a qualified, effective leader in that role. At that point the “recruitment” process begins. The officer should initiate discussions with other officers and those tasked with developing nominations about who the best successors may be. After consensus is reached, the officers and nominating committee members should reach out to the potential nominees to gauge interest and “sell” the positions. Many associations do some form of this but most wait until the end of their term to begin this process. It is critical the process to find your successor start at the beginning of your term. What kinds of qualities should you look for in a future officer?

o Someone committed to achieving the mission of the association
o Someone who has demonstrated their his/her willingness and ability to commit the required time to the position
o Someone who is open minded and interested in the opinions of others
o Someone who is a consensus builder
o Someone who has a positive attitude and outlook about the association

• Directors. The pool of potential Directors is usually larger than potential Officers. Typically these are the people who are chairing committees or who have been engaged in the association for some time. It is every director and officer’s job to help find (and even groom) future directors. Again, this process should start at the beginning of the director and officer terms to allow ample time to find the right candidates. The process should be coordinated through the Nominating committee process. What kinds of qualities should you look for in a future director?

o Someone committed to achieving the mission of the association
o Someone who has demonstrated his/her willingness and ability to commit the required time to the position
o Someone who is open minded and interested in the opinions of others
o Someone who has a positive attitude and outlook about the association
o Someone who will come to meetings prepared and ready to make necessary decisions

• Committee Chairs. Typically, any member of the association can be a committee chair. The best way to assure a smooth succession plan for a committee is to appoint “vice chairs” for each committee. The vice chair is the logical successor to the committee chair. As soon as one is appointed committee chair, he/she should begin the process of finding and selecting someone to serve in the vice chair role. The best pool of candidates is, of course, from active and engaged committee members. However, that’s not the only pool. There may be other members interested and capable. If you know someone who has the leadership qualities you desire for the association, but they haven’t yet been engaged, a vice chair role is a great place to start. What kinds of qualities should committee chairs and vice chairs possess?

o Someone who has a positive attitude and outlook about the association
o Someone who has the willingness to commit the time required for the position
o Someone who has specific knowledge or interest in the content area the committee is focused on, is helpful, though not required
o Someone who can run an effective meeting by keeping the committee focused on the agenda
o Someone who can engage others and encourage their participation in the committee or other association activities

As an association leader your most important job is to focus on achieving the mission of your organization. Your second most important job is succession planning – making sure your association has qualified leaders filling officer, director and committee chair roles for years to come.

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I view leadership as a journey. Like most journeys it has its highs and lows. Sometimes I am working on all cylinders and practicing great leadership techniques. Other times, I struggle and find myself practicing more of the “don’ts” than the “do’s” of leadership.

I suspect most leaders have similar experiences.

Like most worthwhile things in life, I find when I’m struggling with leadership I need to go back to the basics – to remember that leadership isn’t about ME – it’s about others!

If you think about most great and sustainable leaders throughout history, they have one thing in common. It’s not that they were the smartest people of their time. They didn’t have the most resources at their disposal. They weren’t always the most outgoing or had magnetic personalities. The one thing they all have in common is that, as leaders, they served others, not themselves.

Given how true it is that the best leaders are selfless leaders, it amazes me how little is written about being a selfless leader. If you google “selfless leadership”, the second and third items are from 2015 and 2011 respectively. That’s incredible!

Click here to read an interesting post on selfless leadership.

Click here to take Inc. magazine’s test to see if you’re a selfless leader.

Personally, I think leadership can be learned and there are a few things you can practice to become a selfless leader. (You won’t do these all the time. When you catch yourself falling short – try again).

In every situation, put others before yourself. Recently I had an opportunity to take the day off for something we call Summer Friday’s. However, the person mainly responsible for answering phones in our office was on vacation. Rather than have someone else in our office come in on their day off, or have our customers call in to an automated system, I answered phones for part of the day. Doing so allowed others to focus on their jobs and gave me an opportunity to “walk a mile” in our receptionist’s shoes.

Be positive, not negative – Encourage, don’t criticize. This can be a hard one for anybody. It’s not easy to always be positive. Truthfully, no one can do that. But staying positive especially during times of adversity and giving words of encouragement instead of criticism is the mark of a selfless leader.

Taking time for others. A selfless leader ALWAYS makes time for others even when they don’t have time to give. We are all very busy in our lives. Time is our most precious resource. The best leaders find ways to give their time to others every time they need it. The people they lead aren’t “afraid” to ask their leader for help and appreciate it when their leader spends time with them without being asked. Back in the old days, some people referred to this as “MBWA” or “Manage by walking around.” For selfless leaders it’s more than that. It’s not just walking around but actually engaging with your team and giving yourself to them unconditionally.

Be an active listener and a passive talker. This one is difficult for me. I, like many leaders, am a “talker.” I enjoy interacting with people. However, selfless leaders actively listen to others. They don’t just hear the words, but they also relate to them and engage with that person to help solve their problems or contribute to their goals. As a goal, leaders should listen 75% of the time and talk 25%. As a leader, I need to remind myself, as I do often, that listening is more powerful than talking. I try to be the last person to talk in a meeting or in a conversation so I can hear what everyone else is saying first and only contribute when I have something valuable to offer.

So why is selfless leadership important to associations? Associations are natural places for selfless leadership to be practiced and learned. By their very nature association leaders are volunteers putting the needs of others before themselves.

If you’re an association leader, you are already practicing some of these selfless leadership concepts.

If you’d like more information on being a selfless leader or if you’re interested in professional management for your association, please contact CM Services’ President and Head Coach, Rick Church at rickc@cmservices.com

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Being a volunteer association leader can be very rewarding both professionally and personally. At the same time, it can be one of the most challenging undertakings for a leader.

Let’s face it – people who choose to lead are typically the busiest people we know. There is an old adage, “If you want to get something done, give it to someone that doesn’t have time to do it”. That adage seems to often hold true.

It defies logic though doesn’t it? How could the busiest people we know manage to get more done than other people we know? The busy people aren’t necessarily SMARTER than other people we know; they aren’t BETTER EDUCATED; they aren’t MORE ENGAGING. What makes them so different than other people that they are able to succeed in the job they get paid for, succeed in their family lives AND ALSO find time to help lead an organization of peers on a volunteer basis?

What makes them so BALANCED?

Clearly they have mastered Executive functioning skills. Executive functioning includes the ability to focus or pay attention; ability to organize, plan and prioritize tasks and activities; the ability to focus on the completion of a task already started rather than getting distracted; the ability to recognize differing points of view and assimilate them effectively; the ability to control one’s emotions.

To some people Executive functioning skills are second nature. These people don’t even know they have a skill, practicing these skills is just what they do. Chances are, if you’re a successful volunteer association leader, your Executive functioning skills are strong.

However, to many people Executive functioning is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. The good news is that they can be learned and practiced. The result? A more rewarding life because you are able to accomplish more given the same amount of time and other resources as others.

How can you learn to practice these skills? There are many books, consultants and tutors out there to help. One I’ve found that I like and connected strongly with is a book called Decide by Steve McClatchy. The book is a short read and is very useful.

You can catch a glimpse of Steve’s philosophy and a little about the book by watching this short video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJcmT_qbw0E

Another way to learn these skills is through training provided by your Association Management Company (AMC) or by observing the way your AMC team approaches the business of association management.

At CM Services, we know the volunteer leaders of our association client partners have jobs, families and other outside hobbies and interests. So we don’t waste their time and resources. Instead we provide them with training, guidance and counsel so they can succeed in their volunteer roles with our client partners.

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Remember the phrase “Jack of all trades and Master of none”? Some people think of Association Management Companies (AMCs) as just that – Jack’s of all trades but masters of none. That perception is simply not true. AMCs are Masters of One, not Jacks of All.

In fact, the opposite is quite true. Association’s that hire their own employees as staff (especially small to mid-sized associations) tend to ask their employees to be more “generalists” in association management than “specialists”. In other words, direct employee staff of associations are often asked to do more than that for which they are trained for or schooled in – beyond their core competency. They may plan meetings but are also asked to do the accounting. Or they may answer the phones and also be asked to develop educational content. When working outside their core competency, people cannot be efficient in delivering services and perhaps, more importantly, the services they provide outside their core competency will inevitably not be expert.

An Association Management Company is, according to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), “a professional service company that specializes in providing management services for associations on a fee-for-service basis. AMCs provide the professional staff, administrative support, office space, technology, and equipment an association needs to operate efficiently.”.

By their very definition AMCs are specialists.

AMCs deliver professional services to associations in a number of areas. However, because AMCs deliver these services to many associations, their employees can focus on delivering the services they do best. So, when partnering with an AMC, an association won’t get a generalist who is having to do many, often unrelated tasks. Instead the association will get experts who specialize in an area of expertise and work to deliver the best possible quality service to their association client partner.

Not only are AMCs providing expert resources to deliver services to their association client partners but, most often, they are able to provide resources that their association client partners couldn’t otherwise afford as a result of the AMC’s shared resources approach to association management. So, an AMCs client receives specialized services from expert resources they otherwise may not be able to afford.

The next time you’re considering how your association should be managed, consider an AMC so your association can benefit from the specialized expertise it needs and deserves.

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Consensus is a collaborative process by which decisions are made based on overwhelming agreement of a group. Ultimately a decision by consensus is one that everyone supports (or can live with).

Associations are groups of people or companies with similar interests or in similar professions or industries.

Even though bylaws and rules of order typically set numerical requirements for voting, associations by their very nature must make many decisions through a consensus process because there isn’t one person in charge or one “owner”.

But how does an association leader help the association achieve decisions through consensus? This can be especially challenging because most association leaders are volunteers who have never followed a consensus based decision-making process. They’re used to making the decisions on their own or within a small leadership team.

Here are some keys to follow in helping your association implement a successful consensus-based decision making process: (more…)

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You’re in a leadership position in your association. The Board isn’t completely satisfied with the current management team. But you don’t want to go through the hassle and extra work involved with a management change while you’re leading the organization – save that for the next leader, right?


Though it certainly would be easier to not have to deal with a management change while you’re volunteering your time to lead the association, putting it off for the next leader won’t help your association move forward and meet its goals. Additionally, when it’s time for a management change, putting it off can cause more problems than moving forward with it.

You’ve never done this before, what do you do – how do you approach this?
Below is a step by step process for making a management change. Follow these steps and you will successfully navigate the management change.

• Board Authorization – Never should a few Officers or Directors take action without the full Board’s knowledge and authorization. If there are issues that are causing your Board or some of your Board members to consider a management change, talk about them openly and honestly amongst the Board and with your management team. Give your management team a chance to address whatever issues are causing concern. If you’ve tried to rectify the situation and the management team is just not right for your organization, make sure it is the consensus of the Board to undergo a management team change before taking any action.

• Determine what management structure to pursue – The Board should determine if it wants the association to be managed by employed staff or by a professional services company known in the industry as an Association Management Company (AMC). To help in this determination, consider resources found on the AMCinstitute’s website here: https://www.amcinstitute.org/page/TheAMCModel

• Create a Search Committee – The Board should identify a Search Committee whose responsibility will be to facilitate the process for your association. The ideal Search Committee will have members with different interests/points of view. It should be made up of approximately five people. Consider a few current Board members, perhaps a key committee chair or two and a past president. Consider having your current President serve on the committee in an ex-officio capacity.

• Develop a Request for Proposal – In order to develop a complete RFP you need to gather information about your organization and do an honest assessment about what’s working and what isn’t with your current management team. Your RFP should include at a minimum the following information about your organization:

o A brief history of the association
o An explanation of why your organization is considering a management change
o Your organization’s current strategic plan. If there isn’t a formal plan, share your organizations mission, vision and plans for the future.
o Include your organization’s current budget
o Describe your organization’s membership structure and leadership structure
o Describe all your organization’s major programs and activities in detail (meetings, publications, marketing, advocacy, benchmarking, etc)
o Provide a summary of all existing contracts your association may be obligated to
o Provide a Scope of Services. This should include office hours, Board meeting frequency and location, facility requirements, financial management requirements, membership support required, publication support required, committee meeting frequency and locations, meetings/conference frequency and locations.
o Provide a list of any other information you would like the RFP respondents to tell you about themselves. Perhaps you’re interested in the history, the way they approach association management, how they will charge for their services, references, etc.
o Timeline. Be clear about deadlines for receipt of proposals and then also include information about the timing of your review process. When can respondents expect to hear from you. Will there be in person interviews? If so, when? When will a final decision be reached?
o Contact information for questions and for receipt of proposals.

• Set evaluation criteria and prioritize it – The Search Committee should meet to discuss what criteria they will use to evaluate the proposals received and what level or importance to place on each criteria. Some examples of criteria a Search Committee may consider could include: Size of the management company (Number of employees, number of clients), Types of organizations managed, Size of organizations managed, Location of management company, Number of years the management company has been in business, Is the management company accredited, etc.

• Identify which companies should receive the RFP – The Search Committee can use a number of methods to identify management companies to receive the RFP. Perhaps the best are:

o Consider if any Board members or association leaders work with management companies in other association’s they’re involved with.
o Google search – consider terms that fit your association like: XXXX association management company where XXXX is your industry; or association management company, XXXX where XXXX is the location you desire; or just association management company.
o AMCinstitute (www.amcinstitute.org) is the trade association for association management companies. You can complete an online RFP form with the AMCinstitute and your RFP will be distributed to all the AMCinstitute members. Or, if you prefer to be more targeted, you can go to www.amcinstitute.org/search/ and find AMC members based on certain criteria you enter.
o Be sure to give AMCs at least a month to respond to the RFP and provide them an opportunity to ask questions about your association and the RFP so they can develop the best possible proposal.
Distribute the RFP – Send the RFP directly to the AMCs you identified in the previous step or through the AMCinstitute RFP distribution process.
• Evaluate Responses – Distribute all responses to your Search Committee. Use an evaluation grid to have each member of your Search Committee evaluate each response based on the criteria agreed upon. Make the rating system clear to the Search Committee. Combine all Search Committee ratings together in your spreadsheet and identify the top 3-4 candidates.
• Interview Finalists – Set up interviews with the 3-4 finalists on the same day or on back to back days. Provide the Search Committee members with an evaluation grid for the presenters. Following the presentations during the same meeting, discuss the finalists and determine the AMC you will be recommending to the Board of Directors.
• Board Recommendation – Search Committee presents recommendation to the Board of Directors for approval. Search Committee should include a summary of the process followed, key points and lessons learned during the process as well as the reasons they are recommending the AMC selected. Board should vote on recommendation and authorize President to negotiate a contract with the AMC selected
• Negotiate Contract – The President should then work with the selected AMC to finalize an agreement. After the agreement is completed, the Search Committee should notify all other AMCs considered that a decision has been finalized.

The entire process can take as few as two months and as much as one year depending on your organization’s timetable and volunteer availability. While the process sounds a bit overwhelming, in reality if the steps above are followed, not only will it lead to the right decision for your organization but it will be an efficient decision as well. Members of the Search Committee will spend between two and four days of their time from start to finish.

The best part is your organization will have professional management that can help lead the way to identifying and accomplishing its goals for years to come – and it will because you were willing to step up when it was needed.

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Boards of Directors Members and Committee Chairs are key leaders who determine whether an association is successful or not. What does that mean? It’s simple – associations whose directors and committee chairs are not focused on the organization’s strategic plan, are not consensus builders, and don’t know how to run effective meetings cause their association’s to fail – or at least stagnate. Conversely, directors and committee chairs who are focused on achieving the results desired by the organization, who engage others toward achieving those results and who run effective meetings, lead their associations to success.

But you likely didn’t get to choose the directors and committee chairs you serve with or whom you serve as staff for right?

So, what can association’s do to assure their leaders are qualified and ready to lead their association?  It’s simple – train your leaders!

Think about it. In your business, what do you do to make sure your employee’s are all working together toward a common goal and are equipped with the skills and tools they need to achieve that goal?  You make sure they understand the direction your company is headed in and provide them the proper training to get there.

The same is true with associations – except the people you need to train aren’t getting paid to do their jobs – they are volunteers. And in many cases, they are volunteers who don’t have experience building consensus or leading an association.

Every association should have a volunteer training program – just like every company should have an employee training program. The training should cover at a minimum the following:

Board orientation for all new directors and officers. This orientation should teach the volunteers about the association, its policies and programs. It should inform them of their duties and responsibilities. It should get them up to speed on meeting dates and deadlines and should update them on the current strategic plan, directions and measurable goals of the association. Though this is a “new” director orientation, all directors and officers should be invited to participate.

Treasurer training. Every time your association elects a new treasurer he/she should be invited to the association office for treasurer training. During the training he/she should become familiar with his/her new responsibilities as well as the expectations for the role. Examples of all the reports he/she will receive should be provided and it should be made clear how to read and evaluate those reports. Finally, the controls your association has in place and the procedures your association follows when handling all accounting and financial transactions should be shared and demonstrated.

Committee Chair training. At every meeting of your association when committee meetings will be held, the association should provide committee chair training. The training should focus on making sure the chairs understand their committee’s role in the overall association. (How do they fit in with the strategic plan?) It should also confirm with the chairs the objective for each of their individual committee meetings. Finally, it should provide some guidance and input on how to run their meetings effectively.

Ongoing Board Training. At each Board meeting, consider setting aside time – perhaps the first hour – for training. The training can be reminders of the Board’s duties and responsibilities, it can include tips on being an effective meeting participant, building consensus and more.

Providing training for the volunteer leaders of associations makes them better leaders and as a result makes their associations more successful.

If you don’t have a training program for your association, create one. If you’d like suggestions or help in creating your training program, contact CM Services’ Head Coach and President, Rick Church at rickc@cmservices.com.

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