Member Engagement CEO?

member engagement CEOMember Engagement CEO? 

In today’s world the notion of “lead, follow or get out of the way” is a non starter. Durable volunteer armies are built on foundations of connectivity, transparency, collaboration and cooperation. The Member Engagement CEO needs those traits to transform their organizations into “we focused” communities where members impact outcomes.

5 Characteristics of a Member Engagement CEO

1. Culture Keeper. As a steadfast leader, the Member Engagement CEO permeates a member engagement culture throughout their Associations and Societies.  Rightly so, Management expert Peter Drucker points out that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” If creating a member engagement community is the CEOs vehicle then culture is its engine.

2. CCCIC. The Communicator, Convener  & Collaborator in Chief, works seamlessly with the board, senior managers, staff and the membership.  He/she is always seeking feedback from members on products and services, obtaining guidance through focus groups and member surveys. Working with and coaching staff to devise solutions, the CCCIC keeps their eye on the ball. Policies, programs and activities continually reflect the connection to member business and personal objectives.

3. 20-20 foresight. The member engagement chief executive must have capacity to see around the corners. In a world where business cycles change at the drop of a hat, next year arrives faster than ever. Anticipating member business challenges keeps the Member Engagement CEO ahead of the game.

4. Inspirational.  Not so much by what is said but how it is said inspires and motivates stakeholders. Setting a tone of mutual respect and vulnerability, these leaders instill trust, and achieve strong team performance.  Member engagement CEO’s set high expectations and are found in the trenches always supporting their team.

5. Innovator. Challenging themselves and their team to constantly identify what’s next. Developing cutting edge solutions that help their Society or Associations maintain their uniqueness in the marketplace is in their DNA.

5 Real Time CEO Successes   

Demonstrating the potency of a “Culture Keeper,” an Association CEO unleashed an era of member engagement and remarkable revenue and member growth. Setting the culture at the outset positioned this CEO to far surpass expectations. For sure, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

As the “CCCIC,” a different Association CEO made the strategic plan update and the member survey a platform to further unite the community. The Association, despite a challenging market recapitalized its reserves, improved member retention and is seeking global growth opportunities.

In another example a CEO helped an Association with “20-20 foresight.”  A training or certification program that was previously dismissed is now being vetted for implementation. Executives coming into one professional field lacked background and skills and the Association is close to supporting the member’s business needs.

This CEO helped define what it means to be “Inspirational.” After turning around the financial fortunes of an Association, their leader insists on helping generate revenue. Staff at the Association agree their CEO is demanding, but noted that their Chief Executive is determined, hard working and fair. Needless to say, impressive financial results continue.

Always looking for “What’s Next” keeps this Association way ahead of the competitiveness curve.  This “Innovator” CEO uses a passion for the Association’s mission to develop new services every year of the last ten. Revenues grew as did member satisfaction and retention.

Member Engagement CEO? 

What rests at the center of the Member Engagement CEOs success? The drive and the extraordinary skills to build a durable volunteer army and a financially successful community.

In a tumultuous era for Associations and Societies, successful leaders embrace the mantra of the Member Engagement CEO. If proof is in the pudding, then each CEO example cited helped  bake the cake.

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Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at www.potomaccore.com,www.icimo.com,and www.verticalleapconsulting.com.

Great Strategy Deserves Strong Execution

great strategy

Great Strategy Deserves Strong Execution. After a rough patch, board members are confident that their new strategic plan brings the Association closer to their business objectives.  Board leaders are energized too, and they’ve debriefed their CEO and have requested a three year action plan with measurable results.

Genius Inventor Thomas Edison knew that transformation required more than good ideas when he said “Vision without execution is hallucination.” In a 24-7 world, execution is no longer a tactic, it must be a strategy for any Association or business venture. After all, Boards measure results and these are achieved on the basis of solid execution.

Execution is a Strategy and Not a Tactic

“Execution has to be in the culture” notes Larry Bossidy, former Chairman and CEO, Honeywell International, and Corporate Strategist Ram Charan, publishers of  EXECUTION, The Discipline of Getting Things Done, 2002 and 2009. The authors convey powerful examples of CEO’s who succeeded and failed based on their capacity to execute strategies.

Board members live in corporate cultures where metrics and data driven strategies define success or failure for their companies and their shareholders. They bring this proclivity into Association Board rooms and expect Chief Executives and their leadership team to provide them with action plans including metrics, dates and measurable results.

When the Board enthusiastically presents the newly minted strategic plan, they expect a power packed action plan matching and exceeding their expectations. Now what?

Execution Delivers Measurable Results

Measurable results are not about instilling fear, but about building a culture of expectation for Association staff. As leaders, CEO’s have the capacity to recalibrate and define expectations throughout the year. They can shift gears and utilize the new strategic plan to swing into immediate action.

CEO & Senior Management Teams own their execution, however it’s the Chief Executive who sets the tone and manages to the new expectation.

4 Steps to Strong Execution

1. Define Execution – Meet off-site with Senior Managers to formulate execution strategies. Be clear, the success measurement of the session is action plans, dates and measurable results. CEO’s should accept nothing less, and lead an energizing and optimistic session making execution the only outcome that matters. Capture specifics and schedule a second meeting.

2. Put Pieces in Place to Execute Effectively – At this meeting the CEO and Senior Managers need to align position descriptions, performance objectives and compensation. Each amplifies the execution mandate and the compensation plan should motivate the staff team to always exceed expectations.

3. Staff Assessment – Steps 1 and 2 are crucial, yet execution is only possible when Associations have the skills that match the execution expectation in place.   As leaders, an honest and objective review will insure that they are putting the best team possible on the field to compete and win.

4. Communication – W. Edwards Demming guides leaders to “inspect what you expect.” If execution and measurable results are expected,  then CEOs, Senior Managers and Supervisors must meet with direct reports on a regular basis, offer balanced feedback and focus on execution of objectives.  

Great Strategy Deserves Strong Execution

Following a record revenue losing year from weak execution, an Association Senior Manager embraced a similar 4 step approach and never looked back. Multi year growth performance followed while everyone reveled in a new culture of execution.

In the 2004 movie depiction of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team’s breathtaking win over the mighty Soviet Hockey team, Coach Herb Brooks said that “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”  CEOs’ opportunity rests inside a culture of execution. If Board members expect their Associations to heed their clarion call, then Associations need a culture of execution to deliver measurable results.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

great strategy

Seeds of Association Growth Inside Strategic Plan

Seeds of Association Growth Inside Strategic Plan

 Association Executives can rely on their Strategic Plans to direct strategy, staffing and budget investment year over year. The document is developed on a foundation of data driven strategies, core connections and member engagement. Taken together these elements can assist Association’s achieve their mission, satisfy members and sponsors and attract non members to join. While there may be no certain way to success, the Strategic Plan is a likely starting point.

Governance

Based on recent history, CEO’s experience greater boardroom participation than ever. The great recession compelled Board members and leaders to play an increasing role as fiduciaries. For CEO’s this can be welcome news, after all Board Leaders want to solve problems and they’re willing to roll up their sleeves and do whatever possible to help their Associations achieve success.

It’s a perfect time to join forces, collaborate and achieve the win-win that makes an Association durable, relevant and successful.

Seeds of Association Growth

CEO’s can develop a performance dashboard, match it with the strategic plan and develop a priority list of possible solutions to engage the Board of Directors. This level of transparency will breed trust and display the level of leadership they expect in uncertain times.

Understandably Strategic Plans in a number of cases are out of date, this creates an even bigger opportunity:

Data Driven Strategies – Survey the membership, include non members and sponsors. Organize an internal marketing committee and conduct a competitive intelligence exercise. Develop themes and match them with current strategies and investments.

Core Connections – The updated dataset will help Associations reconnect or establish an even closer connection with their members business objectives.

Member Engagement – Data and participation metrics could either reassure Associations or cause them to transform their culture once again. Members want to know they are having impact on policy direction, otherwise they invest their time somewhere else.

Throughout this effort Associations are planting the seeds of growth, because data driven strategies, core connections and member engagement are key to member satisfaction and long term revenue growth.

Make Revenue Growth Possible

CEO’s can now deliver to their Board an action plan based on actionable data and member business concerns. They’ll know they had a hand in repositioning their Association. By all means suggest quarterly progress updates, reinforce the partnership achieved in the process to keep them engaged.

It’s now a good time to ask for their help, however the request should focus on Pain Point Initiatives identified in the Strategic Planning Process:

Deploy member recruitment campaigns – Your requests must reflect the Association’s policy agenda and require just a few minutes of the Board Member’s time. Show how the new revenue helps the Association achieve objectives outlined in the updated Strategic Plan.

Invite participation on at-risk member strategies – As Board participants they know the value provided to members and can be very helpful.

In these and other cases where you engage the Board, express appreciation and report the outcome. Tally the successes and then acknowledge the individuals who were helpful.

Seeds of Association Growth Inside Strategic Plan  

One CEO utilized this approach to realize a new revenue stream and grow membership. In another case a CEO doubled sponsor sales. Planting the seeds of Association growth in ground fertilized with data driven strategies, core connections and member engagement works.

It’s useful to leverage every approach available to drive member and sponsor satisfaction while Association’s achieve revenue growth. While boards hold CEO’s accountable, Board and CEO success or failure are inextricably linked. In baseball terms we know this approach “as stepping into the pitch.” Today CEO’s should step up to the plate and swing away.

strategic plan Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at www.potomaccore.com,www.icimo.com,and www.verticalleapconsulting.com.