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Jeff De Cagna on how to build your association for the future

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Last week we posted our podcast interview with Jeff De Cagna, Chief Strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC. After serving as an association executive for over 10 years, he now advises associations across North America and around the world.

We picked his brain on what associations should be doing today to position themselves for long-term growth and success. He gave a lot of advice, so we thought we'd post the transcript of our interview too if you want to save the text and reference parts that interest you most or that you want to share with your colleagues as part of your internal advocacy.



Janelle: Hi, everyone. Janelle Kozyra here for an Inmagic podcast. I am joined today by Jeff De Cagna who is an author, speaker, and advisor to associations throughout North America and the world. He is the Chief Strategist and founder of Principled Innovation, a company that he started after working as an association executive for over 10 years. Jeff, it's nice to have you with us today.

Jeff: Thanks very much, Janelle. It's a pleasure to be with you as well.

Janelle: So tell us a little bit about your background. How did you decide to make the move from working as an association executive to helping associations as a strategic advisor?

CMSWire notes how well Presto 3.7 plays with myriad third-party knowledge repositories

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Given the popularity of SharePoint across the enterprise today, it's almost a given that any enterprise product needs to work with the platform. Inmagic Presto, for instance, has supported SharePoint since 2009.

However, when it comes to knowledge management, you'll find SharePoint is not the only third-party knowledge repository player. There are myriad platforms that organizations have made commitments to over generations of knowledge sharing and management. And they are not intending to abandon them any time soon.

In fact, one of the advantages many third-party knowledge repository vendors have is that their customers are often locked into their technology. It's not easy to move from one platform to another, and it's not easy to be motivated to switch because of, say, one killer feature.

Building your associations for the future: What every association executive should know

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Many association executives continue to run their organizations "the way they've always done it." It could be anything, from the way they serve members to the way they train employees. But as soon as we do something the way we've always done it, we potentially stop growing, stop innovating, and, at the end of the day, stop competing.

This is not to say that things that are working must be changed. However, even things that are working can probably still be improved. This is what separates average associations from those with the most members, the biggest staffs, and the fattest budgets.

Jeff De Cagna
That's what you'll hear if you spend more than 60 seconds with Jeff De Cagna, who's telling association executives to "let go." Let go of how you've done things in the past, and adapt to the new realities of the future.

Jeff advises associations across North America and around the world. He founded consulting practice Principled Innovation LLC in 2002 after serving as an association executive for over 10 years. He also co-authored "We Have Always Done It That Way: 101 Things About Associations We Must Change" and blogs at the Principled Innovation Blog.

We recently interviewed Jeff about why associations should take a hard look at their business models and determine how they should change it to position themselves for long-term growth and success.

Six new ways to access, manage, and share information

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Presto customers will soon be noticing some new features. We released Presto 3.7 yesterday, which is includes six major new features and functionalities that our customers have been asking for.

In particular, Presto now lets users sort browse collections, which is recently one of our biggest customer requests. You can now browse collection nodes and sort within a node by rating, date created, title, and more.

For all of the new things you can do in Presto now, take a look at our press release. For more information on Presto, hit our website. And if you have any questions, you know where to find us!



Inmagic® Presto 3.7 Streamlines Information Access and Simplifies Deployment

New features in Presto enhance the integrity and accessibility of third-party information

WOBURN, Mass.-May 11, 2011-Inmagic, Inc. today released the latest version of Inmagic® Presto, a technology built to support Social Knowledge Network applications. New functionality in Presto v3.7 streamlines connections to third-party repositories so information can be easily indexed and searched from Presto. In addition, Presto now lets users sort browse collections -- recently one of the most requested features by customers. Presto 3.7 also features improved user views and configuration for more intuitive search and organization of information, and offers out-of-the-box templates for faster deployment.

My farewell to all our readers!

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This is my last week at Inmagic and I can't get "The Sound of Music" song, "So Long, Farewell," out of my head. This is my farewell post and it is with mixed emotions that I am moving on from Inmagic.

Three-and-a-half years ago, Mike Cassettari hired me part-time to help out with marketing and PR until the company could find someone full time. And like an annoying relative, I stuck around.

I've learned a lot while I've been here. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the social media, Enterprise 2.0, and collaboration evolution, and I would like to thank everyone in the Inmagic community for the dialogue, support, and always-interesting insights.

How a new social library is helping the Australian rail industry fight knowledge loss from a retiring workforce

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The best way to fight knowledge loss from an aging and retiring workforce is to avoid losing the knowledge in the first place. That's exactly what the Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation (CRC for Rail Innovation) is doing for the rail industry.

The CRC for Rail Innovation is a leading research body for the rail industry in Australia. It's made up of various rail organizations and Australian universities, and is supported by the Commonwealth Government.

The organization recently created the Rail Knowledge Bank with help from our partner, Maxus Australia. Powered by Presto for Social Libraries, the Rail Knowledge Bank is a centrally managed portal that is home to Australian and international rail-related information. The point of building it in Presto is make the information easily shareable to current and future generations in the rail industry.

The Rail Knowledge Bank is the CRC for Rail Innovation's answer to address the loss of industry knowledge due to widespread workforce retirement -- a problem exacerbated by the recession and resulting layoffs. Tens of thousands of workers are eligible to retire in the next five to 15 years, yet freight- and passenger-rail traffic needs are projected to remain unchanged.

MIT's Michael Schrage on how to use innovation to achieve business objectives

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We recently posted our podcast interview with Michael Schrage, a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business. If you're more of a reader than a listener though, grab this transcript of our interview and feel free to start perusing.

Michael is a top thought leader on innovation, having pioneered techniques for using rapid prototyping, simulations, and modeling to improve return on innovation investment. In our interview, he talked about some of his core recommendations for how to not only foster innovation, but how to make it actionable and use it to achieve business objectives.

Give it a read, and feel free to bookmark this post for future reference.

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