Thanks for taking the time to unwind from a long week with a new collection of association management trends handpicked for you from across the Web.

Every week, I sit down to flesh out the content of this blog, and every week I have no idea what the end product will look like. I don’t mean to highlight the fact that I’m unprepared, or I lack the pre-planning necessary for successful blogging. Instead, I want to take that fact and draw attention to my realization that my blogging preparedness is indicative of the association industry in general. Think about it; the association industry is a dynamic one, driven by the enthusiasm and support of its members and so does, to a large extent, mirror the changes and trends of the world that surrounds it. These changes can be difficult to predict or completely understand. In light of that, I present to you a selection of stories that I hope will further define our understanding of the association industry and improve our productivity as professionals within it.

financial reservesThis first snapshot is quite an interesting one that (I would imagine) gets overlooked more often than you would think. Financial planning is no easy undertaking (which is why most companies can justify devoting an entire department to it), but it doesn’t simply boil down to a goal of enormous cash reserves. In this article, author Terry Lowney discusses what I’m going to call “reserve management.” Essentially, the practice addresses the basic question: “How much money should I keep in the association’s reserve?” Honestly, it’s a little bit surprising! Obviously we know that having too little money is not a good thing, but Lowney raises concerns from the opposite end as well.

So often in membership-centric industries we find ourselves devoted to the concept of attracting and empowering new members. We devote much of our advertising and outreach power to the “next generation” of industry professionals that we can tend to overlook our older, longer-standing members. In this article on Association Advisor we take a look at this trend in a bit more depth and work to understand ways to combat. It can be easy to think that, because they have been around for quite some time, long-standing members deserve less of our effort and guidance. This mindset can be detrimental to member-retention and to the depth of experience and knowledge available, ultimately, affect the success of the association.

While not specific to the association industry, this next article is a bit more generally applicable to decision-making and leadership. We invest quite a bit of trust in our leaders and expect them to make the best decisions for the good of the whole. However, being human means that leaders can fall victim to poor decision-making (just as we all can). This article addresses the roots of poor decision-making and serves as a reminder to leaders everywhere that their position, and the future of the organization, is intricately tied to their success and vision.

We’ve addressed the issue of long-standing members of associations, so I thought it only fair to include an article that looks at the whippersnappers. While, as we conclude earlier, it is important to keep your older members engaged and feeling valued, it is equally (if not more) important to prepare for the upcoming swarm of the millennial generation. Just entering their college years (or recently graduated), this generation is going to be taking the workforce by storm, prompting a fundamental shift in the professional world. This article addresses some of the ways a company can prepare for their emergence.

ASAE Annual 13With ASAE 2013 behind us, I have seen a plethora of articles recapping the event and offering informed opinions. Being a rookie in the industry, however, none of them really seemed to reach out to me. That’s when I decided to modify my search and I ran across this article. I think I enjoyed it most because it didn’t just try to recap the event – rather, it generalized the event (including preparation and reflection) into a “how-to” guide. It offers some helpful conference advice for first-timers, including how to stand out in a crowd and prepare for the event that lies ahead.

Thanks, as always, for reading along. I particularly enjoyed this week’s articles – they were informative and detail-oriented; I hope you felt the same. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week

Enjoy this video in the meantime.