Monday, April 9, 2012

Dealing with the Silent Treatment: A Facilitation Tip

When You Get the Silent Treatment:

It's an awkward situation: You are facilitating a meeting and you ask, "Are there any questions?"  You get no response and you are feeling nervous.

The Antidote to the Silent Treatment:

Simply smile and say, "Turn to the person next to you and discuss this." You will transform the room from absolute silence to a lively discussion in less than 5 seconds.

That wasn't so hard, was it?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Complete This Drawing!

This is too wonderful NOT to share. That would be "cheating," as I noted in my previous post.

Creativity takes time! Seriously...I am NOT kidding!!!

(Source: Ads of the World.)

A Silo Busting Technique: The "No Cheating" Rule!

In an earlier post, I invoked the specter of Tony Soprano while discussing the bane of every Membership Director's existence: How to engage the entire staff in the cause of membership? At issue is how break down the silo mentality that inhibits different departments from collaborating to create member value.

In fact, this silo mentality is hardly unique to the association world, it plagues companies and organizations from profits and nonprofits, large and small...well, you get the picture.That's why organizations with a true commitment to collaboration will have some version of the "No Cheating" Rule:

Cheating is defined as:
The refusal to help your co-worker
by withholding assistance or information.

A few years ago I facilitated a staff retreat where the topic of silo busting was front and center. As a result, they invoked the following, creating-value-for-the-member version of the "No Cheating Rule."

Cheating is the failure to share information
and collaborate with fellow staff
to create value for the member.
Cheating is also the failure to
initiate value-creating activities
when, in your judgement,
they are not occurring.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get back to work and quit your cheating ways!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Put Your Strategic Plan to Work!

In these tough economic times, it is vital to get the most out of your strategic plan. That's why I am pleased to present, Put Your Strategic Plan to Work!


Rally your volunteers and staff  around a focused set of goals!

When to Use this Service:
  • To get the most out of your plan in these tough economic times.
  • To help incoming board members, volunteers or new staff get up to speed.
  • When momentum and enthusiasm for the plan may have stalled.
  • To brainstorm solutions when unexpected obstacles arise.

Delivered in the Format that
Meets Your Association's Needs

Each session is customized specifically for your association. I work closely with you to determine the needs of your board, committee and staff. The format is flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example,  Put Your Strategic Plan to Work can be:
  • Scheduled as a follow-up to your Board's strategic planning session.
  • Presented as the basis for a Board or staff retreat.
  • Offered as an educational workshop for your chapters or committees.
  • Designed as a series of hands-on working sessions for your staff.
    Each session of Put Your Strategic Plan to Work addresses the three challenges an association typically faces when implementing its strategic plan: Action Planning, Productive Collaboration and Priority Setting.

    Action Planning

    Participants dive into the in hands-on creation of hit-the- ground-running action plans. This includes:

    Identifying crucial steps: The key actions that must be taken in the coming months or year.

    Overcoming obstacles: Determine those issues most likely to derail implementation of the plan; utilize problem-solving techniques to overcome those obstacles.

    Defining task assignments: Determine who does what by when. This helps to ensure accountability.

    Developing clear, understandable measurements: To ensure the plan stays on track and everyone agrees how to monitor progress.

    Productive Collaboration
    Between Board and Staff

    This section covers three topics:

    Defining roles and responsibilities for volunteers and staff: To overcome the common problem that results when there is a lack of clear role delineation between board and staff.

    Communicating the plan: An ongoing, internal marketing campaign to promote the strategic plan ensures that volunteers, members and staff are fully educated about the strategy.

    Leadership styles and buy-in: Putting your strategic plan to work requires "buy-in" from volunteers and staff. To assist you in this challenging area of leadership, the session reviews the most effective leadership styles and priority setting styles along with practical ways to apply these to your association's situation.

    Priority Setting:
    Allocate Your Resources Productively

    This segment addresses two critical questions:

    Allocation: During the coming year, what is the most productive way to allocate our association's limited resources? What will give us the most bang for the buck?

    Leveraging: Can we identify creative approaches to achieve maximum leverage from our limited resources?

    For more information,
    feel free to contact me at:
    Click here for more articles on Strategic Planning.