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What to make of those annual forecasts
By Michael J. Berens
With 2014 only a month away, last year's business plans are heading for the shredder. 'Tis the season once again for sharpening pencils, creating fresh spreadsheets and bringing the team together for a visioning and planning session. And just in time, here comes the annual parade of predictions, forecasts and trends for the coming year to give you a bit of help. Should you factor them into your plans or dismiss them as just so much seasonal industry buzz? Here are a few rules-of-thumb to help you get the most from this year's forthcoming crop.
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Go where your members are
Association Adviser
We’ve all heard the phrase “Go where your members are.” So, where are your members? Pew Research Center says that 72 percent of adults use social networking sites. This includes the 43 percent of adults over the age of 65 who have an online presence. Here is a short list of possible apps and websites to reach your members.
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CEO Recommended
Brought to you by the Fort Worth CVB
For CEOs, it's time to study up on technology
Associations Now
If you’re the head of an organization, how much do you need to know about technology trends? Detailed specs on the leading hardware and software tools? Just enough to understand what your members do every day? Enough to bluff through the procurement process? CEOs don’t need to be tech experts, AIIM CEO John Mancini says. But they do need more expertise in how technology can simplify (or complicate) the member experience.
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Simple truths about strategic planning for your professional association
Association Management Blog
Too many professional associations function without a strategic plan. And whether they know it or not, they suffer major consequences. Without strategic planning, an organization lurches from priority to priority, depending on who has the loudest voice at the Board table; volunteers are frustrated, and critical goals go unmet.
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  Vail Valley, Your Meeting Destination

Vail Valley, home to Vail & Beaver Creek, boasts non-stop air service to Eagle County Airport, a wide selection of dining options, as well as on-mountain group activities & teambuilding. With a Vail Valley meeting, you’ll provide an experience your attendees won’t likely forget, in a naturally inspiring environment.

The focused leader
Harvard Business Review
A primary task of leadership is to direct attention. To do so, leaders must learn to focus their own attention. When we speak about being focused, we commonly mean thinking about one thing while filtering out distractions. But a wealth of recent research in neuroscience shows that we focus in many ways, for different purposes, drawing on different neural pathways — some of which work in concert, while others tend to stand in opposition.
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Today's conference education model was created for an economy that no
longer exists

Midcourse Corrections
Conference education has not kept pace with 21st Century workforce demands. It is usually devoted to information transfer through a lecture or panel, rote learning and memorization of facts and figures to pass a certification test. The reality is that this old style, 20th Century, traditional expert in front of the room presenting to rows of adults that are passively listening is over. We cannot continue to use an industrial revolution mindset to solve 21st Century problems.
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How a content calendar can help your content marketing efforts
By Mayur Kisani
Reaching customers is tougher than ever among the crowd of so many businesses. The channels for content marketing — Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Slideshare and others — are constantly growing. With all of these factors, providing good, attention-grabbing content is vital to be heard in all of the noise. Understanding your target audience, identifying keywords, regularly finding ways to create and publish interesting content are a few of the challenges involved in content marketing. Read on to know how a content calendar can help overcome them.
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Kindness does not equate to weakness in leadership
For many critics, kindness in leadership equates to weakness. However, in today’s age of open feedback available on the web both from customers and employees, being a kind leader is essential to success. Being a kind leader does not mean that you don’t fire people. It doesn’t mean that you don’t make tough decisions that will impact the bottom line. And it doesn’t mean that you won’t work harder than those who are unkind. It simply means that you are focused as much on the delivery of your message as you are on the message itself.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    What association membership surveys are really saying about membership value (The Demand Networks)
How to get your members excited about advocacy (XYZ University)
Leading millennials: Are you up to the task at hand? (By Jessica Taylor)

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