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

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.

Jeff dove deep into the inner workings of associations, and gave us a lot of what we hope is valuable, actionable advice. Tune in and find out, or read the full transcript.
  • Why your mindset needs to be future-focused.
  • The most important thing your association can change about it operates.
  • What it means to lead an association in the 21st century.
  • The #1 resource associations can use to accelerate change.
  • The importance of high-quality collaboration -- how to get the best minds together to tackle the most challenging problems in innovative, experimentative ways
  • The role social media technologies should play in innovation
We covered a lot of ground, so sit back and enjoy! Thanks again, Jeff, for sharing your expertise.

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