Well hey there everybody, thanks for stopping by to check out my pick of this week’s Association News. I hope the week treated you well and brought with it new and interesting challenges. Take this weekend to reward yourself for your hard work and unplug from the hustle and bustle! It’s been quite an entertaining week in both the office and the news, so I’m hoping to incorporate a bit of both in today’s curation blog. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts or suggestions in the comments box below!

Mike's blog illustration This first post may seem a little bit biased towards my own role in the office here at Avectra, but I find the message both useful and pertinent to any office looking to step up its communications game. A blog can be an extremely useful took for any company looking to build a more personal relationship with its constituents. The written product we typically disseminate tends to turn into a technical manual barely even understood by our own staff – why not break down the technical jargon into a more personalized format to help acquaint people with what you really do? It’s a simple thing but one that can do wonders for making your company more accessible. On that note, however, the questions that probably loom over your head are “who will write it?” and “how can I get my employees involved?” This article from SocialFish offers a simple, step-by-step guide to motivating employee engagement and participation in the blogosphere.

I debated for some time whether or not to include this next article, as it is a sensitive topic that has stirred some shocking controversy in recent weeks. In any case, the article on Association Trends offers poignant information and suitable advice that every organization should take into consideration. With the Zimmerman trial agitating controversy across the United States, the issue of racial discrimination has become a pervasive issue that should be addressed nationwide. The article, titled “Your Conference Speakers and Racism” provides speakers with a list of guidelines they should use to govern their presentation. It is meant to avoid perceptions of discrimination of all forms – sensitivity to race, gender and age being paramount in presentation delivery. I definitely recommend the read, if only to get the conversation started between you and your speakers.

I’ve realized, as I search the Web for different stories, that I have unintentionally themed this blog post; let’s call it “Employee Engagement.” So often (especially in this member-centric discipline) we focus on our external practices – the satisfaction of our members, without fully addressing our own employees. Make sure you take the time to evaluate and challenge your employees to be better. Ideally, this would spur both innovation and accomplishment. This is especially important in these summer months; with the beautiful weather beckoning outside, it can be hard to keep people involved and on top of their game. This article on Entrepreneur addresses the issue of teambuilding and motivation, offering four solutions to a burned-out team. Personally, I suggest installing a hot tub in the office, but I’ll leave the executive decision-making to the executives (at the very least a ping pong table, though).

The dichotomy of the work environment has changed drastically in the past several years. The technology revolution has fundamentally changed the way we live and work and play – there is no doubt about it! It’s even changed the traditional office format; check out this article: “There are No Cubicles,” which details this change in atmosphere and its beneficial effect on productivity and talent acquisition. The article is exceptionally predictive and phenomenally insightful. Consider a company that has no formal headquarters situated in a singular zip code, but rather a collection of the best talent from across the world tethered to the Cloud.

Mike's Blog pic 2 There are, however, certain scenarios in which being predictive can come back to bite you in the arse – check out this story about an English company which took a risk on product ordering in anticipation of the Royal Baby arrival. Nobody in their right mind would take that risk! Oh wait…