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Industry Changes / Challenges / Opportunities

The Power of Collaboration… Bringing New Ideas to Life
By G.A. Taylor Fernley, President & CEO

The Power of Collaboration through joint venture relationships should be part of any growth strategy going forward. Great opportunities exist by embracing this concept. Don't sit on the sidelines. Embrace the concept... be aggressive... and watch your organization grow. Many businesses today have experienced organic growth while others have done so through acquisition or aggressive new business development initiatives. Think about it for a moment... how have you grown your association, business or organization over the last few years?

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Virtual Volunteering
By Michelle Campbell, Executive Administrator

Virtual volunteering is a form of volunteering where the volunteer can work on projects using the internet. This is a great way for people to help-out when they do not have physical access to a volunteer location, have a disability, or there is some other situation that prevents them from leaving their home. It is also an attractive idea to many people who are able to get much more accomplished when they are working in their own environment and those who simply want to save travel time.

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125 Years "Old"... And Still A-Changin'!
By G.A. Taylor Fernley, President & CEO

Reflecting on the day I walked into the hallowed halls of Fernley & Fernley in 1974, the world was much simpler: all associations were financially stable, volunteers abounded, and member needs across our entire client base were closely aligned. Probably the same could be said of the landscape of the year that we were founded in 1886. Now, enter 2011. Associations are fighting to remain solvent due to dwindling revenue streams.

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The Great Escape Essential Strategies to Win the Battle Against Commoditization
By F. Scott Addis, CPCU

Is your association becoming a commodity? It is if your members can't see the quantifiable difference the association brings to their life, business, or profession. Does the organization have a value proposition that clearly articulates the benefits of membership? If it doesn't, you run the risk of falling into the commodity trap. The commodity trap is one of three traps associations as well as for-profit businesses can find themselves falling into if they aren't diligent about continually giving members a reason to belong. As Scott Addis points out in this article, when the focus is not on value, price is the only differentiator. Although this article references the words 'business' and 'consumers', just replace those words with 'association' and 'members' and you'll be able to see the practical application in the not-for-profit world.

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Associations 3.0: "The New Normal"
By G.A. Taylor Fernley, President & CEO

The business landscape as we know it is forever changed. Many industry associations are remaking themselves or disappearing entirely. The sooner we recognize that this downturn has been the precursor to another seismic shift in our economy and society, the quicker we can shift from a doom-and-gloom mindset to being exited about new growth and ready to embrace the next area of, let's call it, reinvention. We as association leaders need to invent the next "traditions" for our organizations, ways of thinking and being that will allow us to move forward with greater confidence so that we may realize our full potential and progressively and aggressively move our associations forward.

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President's Message - Be a Thought Leader
By G.A. Taylor Fernley, President & CEO

NEWSFLASH:  Loyalty is NOT dead!  Contrary to popular opinion, it is in fact alive and well and just looks a little bit different than it did in the past. Satisfaction is not nearly as important as loyalty, but do you know the difference? Providing clear direction and understanding breads loyalty, as does delivering a higher level of customer service than your competition.  To be a successful thought leader within your association or business, consider subscribing to the acronym
R-E-S-P-E-C-T which as you will soon see represents seven profound words that can dramatically impact the loyalty factor for your organization if used consistently.  The future will be exceedingly bright for those who do.

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IQ vs. EQ Hire Smart People Who Understand More Than Just the Job
By G.A. Taylor Fernley

In the business world, we are always looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage. For many years, organizations thought that bright, intelligent people were the key to superior performance. But "book smarts," in the form of high IQs or stellar GPAs, we now know do not always translate to equally exemplary job performance. The connection is limited at best.

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"Going Green"
(Adapted from NBC4.com)
By Lindsay Groff, Executive Director

It seems that everywhere you turn someone is talking about "going green". It's on your television, in your newspaper, on the internet, now more than ever before. But can we really do something to save the environment or is it too little, too late? Well, the good news is it's not too late and yes there are lots of things each of us can do to be part of the solution and better yet, save money at the same time.

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"Why Join an Association?"
By Kenneth R. Hutton, Senior Vice President

In this era of ever increasing competition for membership dollars it is necessary for every association to communicate the value it brings to the industry and the member. The decision to join an association is usually considered a personal one; however, it can be a great business decision too!

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