In January 2002, Peter and I, on something of a whim, opened Mariner Management & Marketing. We had just both left our “day jobs” (Peter as EVP and me as Membership & Marketing Director for a trade association) at the close of 2001. We had a vision to create a new model for supporting association chapters. In came out of a belief that chapters are a critical link in the member value equation that too often falls short.
So I call the bank/ phone company/… to ask a question about my latest statement, for example, and I get a voice mail prompt to enter my account number. After several more auto-queries (and often quite a few expletives), I get a human on the other end of the line. The first question they ask is…”What is your account number?”
Volunteer-managed chapters often struggle with the question, “At what point do we need to hire outside help?” The answer depends on several factors including an honest, accurate assessment of what needs to be done. (Note, a full discussion of the latter is another blog post on the propensity of chapters to mis-define themselves simply as mini-versions of the national association and thus burden themselves with far too broad a task list.) The decision to outsource is driven by three questions that get at financial and human resources.
In the November issue of Popular Science (yes, sometimes I do more than look at the pictures!), there’s a great article about one of the world’s foremost network theorists, Albert-Lazlo Barabasi. He recently developed a program, which using cell towers as nodes, allowed him to predict, with 93% accuracy, an individual’s location within one square mile.
There's a fascinating piece in the November issue of Popular Science re the Santa Cruz Ca police department's use of datasets to predict tomorrow's crimes today. Not quite the "Minority Report", but definitely aligned with Reggie Henry's (ASAE's CIO) mantra "we need to be present at the moment of need".
ASAE11 was a great experience on many levels. But it also prompts me to ask a question. My top five reasons for giving ASAE staff, volunteers and attendees an A+:
The countdown has begun to the #ASAE11, ASAE’s annual conference in St. Louis, MO. There are many reasons I am excited including the session I will be involved in on Monday, August 8 at 8:45a. This session, “Design for the Future: Creating a Sustainable Local-State-National Member Community”, shares the journey the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) took to retool their local chapters for the future.
Day 19 ... Two days in row, I waited until the end of the day for my dip into the lake. Both had beautiful skies, sunny days until I headed to the lake. A few dark clouds, then thunder. The light flashing indicated the lake was closed. Damn.Tomorrow I will head to the lake as soon as the day warms. I will not miss another day. The good news is that my chapter board did seize the moment. We agreed to join a member in co-sponsoring a great September training event. Hmmm ... let's all remember, seize the moment!
photo credit Stephen Rees
Day 18 ... Sports Week is a 6-day flurry of activities at Eagles Mere held once each in July and August. It’s a sports contest. It’s friendly competition. It’s a model for chapter award programs. Why? Well everyone has a simple, achievable goal – complete at least 5 (3 if you’re 20 or older, a category called the Bald Eagles) events.
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