Back at it again, folks – and this time with a lovely set of articles on the association world! I hope everyone enjoyed our nation’s birthday in an appropriate fashion; taming bald eagles and stitching American flags. Seriously though, I hope you all enjoyed your fourth and had the time to sit back and reflect on a country that has given us all so much. Writing this blog, I tried to pull some stories that will slowly ease you back into the workplace mindset. Remember to have fun – enjoy what you do! We all have the opportunity to shape our workplace, take the time to do it. Don’t just show up, be there. Get those creative thoughts flowing and, as our friend Gandhi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” That being said, let’s get into it!

This first article reminds us all to “Remember the Human Factor in Membership.” Author Tony Rossell brings up an interesting, and often overlooked, point; so often we are bogged down by the ins-and-outs of marketing that we forget who we are reaching out to. These are real people with real thoughts and ideas and concepts of communication. Rossell urges us to keep this in mind when developing marketing campaign strategies, and offers us suggestions in improving our personal approaches to marketing.

Did you make it through that first article? As a reward for your hard work this week – here is an interesting infographic and pop-culture reference I’m sure we all can enjoy. “A Who’s Who of the Minions” from the movie Despicable Me 2; I’m sure we could all use a couple of these in our lives – if only to make us laugh. Take a look around your office, try to match them up with your coworkers. Trust me, I’ve already done it and it’s a blast. Enjoy!

Green officeYou’ve probably noticed, in recent years, a fundamental shift towards the “paperless association.”  This article by Bruce Rogers on the Association Management Blog urges us all to take a look at our own business practices and consider where we can make changes – changes that will reduce both desk clutter and environmental damage. Look around, where can you cut back? Let’s aim for cleaner and greener offices.

It’s a question we’ve all faced at one time or another, and one that we will all likely face again in both our personal and professional lives – how can I inspire leadership in my team/coworkers/family/friends? Honestly, it’s a tough question, and to say that there is a simple answer would be a lie. This article by Gwen Moran on Entrepreneur identifies some of the most fundamental ways to inspire leadership, no matter your approach. Take the time to evaluate yourself as a leadership and consider whether you’re up to par. Think about where you could use improvement and make a concerted effort to grow. It will only benefit you and your team in the long run.

InternsSo, maybe I’m a little bit biased, but this next article has “phenomenal idea” written all over it. My internship here at Avectra has been both rewarding and informative. It has been a great opportunity to grow and contribute in a professional setting. “Internships: The New Rules” urges us to consider the benefits of an internship for your organization. It compels us to reconsider the outdated concept or “free labor” and embrace the opportunity of fresh and new ideas that interns can offer

Well, I hope I’ve given you some food for thought over the weekend – though I’m sure the last thing you’ll be thinking about this weekend. In any case, I hope you’ve enjoyed the articles and have found some minions around the office (though I doubt they’ll do your work for you) and had a quick chuckle. I know it can be overwhelming, the amount of opportunities for change. It can be a daunting task to overhaul the routine and reimagine the architecture. My hope is that these posts help to get the ball rolling and ideas churning – that’s half the battle.