Transparency of Association Leadership

People will do business with you if they know you, like you, and TRUST you.

People will join, participate, and share their hearts, ideas and minds if they know you, like you, and TRUST you.

People will give all that they can if they…..

Where are the new leaders?

Where are the new leaders?

What is stopping new members from actively participating in the bureaucracy of leadership, in my opinion, is the lack of transparency of how the association makes decisions and communicates those decisions with their members.  Generation Y is a very giving, sharing, and community based demographic but are they not giving more??  I think it is because they are not involved in the process or cannot see what is happening behind the scenes.

Here are some ways to improve the transparency:

RSS.  Associations make decisions often and members need should be informed IMMEDIATELY.  This does not mean send out an email blast.  It means adding RSS feeds for status updates, calendar appointments, and changes in practice.  This can be done using a blogging or online social networking platform.

Google Docs.  Decisions, minutes, bylaws, and committees communicate regularly by email are working harder than they have to.  Committee members can be allowed to share and edit documents in real time and make decisions how they can be posted to the web for FREE.  In addition the revision history and RSS feed for documents can

Podcasting.  Set up a free teleconferencing service with and interview a person of influence.  Take the MP3 recording and edit using and upload the file to  Total cost $10/month for unlimited plus $10/year for the domain name.

Social media.  I see more associations using this as a way of positioning themselves online.  How do you make it better?  Discuss hot topics that answer frequently asked questions.  Include RSS feeds from your blogs, podcasts, and status updates.  Set this up once and like Ron Popeil would say, “Set it and forget it”.

New and existing members will appreciate innovative ways of communicating with them.  The only cost is time and time is money.

Time saved:

Once a blog entry has been posted it releases to all of the online social media.  Total time 20 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once a Google document has been edited it releases to all those who have access to the feed.  Total time 0 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once the podcast date has been determined you have to record, edit, and release to the feed.  Total time 30 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once the social networking account has been set up and RSS feeds in place there is not much else to do.  Total time to set up RSS feed 5 minutes.  No extra steps.

Has your association staff been retrained to accommodate this new form of social media?


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3 Responses to “Transparency of Association Leadership”

  1. Marsha Says:

    Our industry is at a crossroad. We are now faced with the challenge of working with different generations. We teach our members how to communicate and market to the different generations and now Asociations need to do he same by being more flexible and adjust in the way we interact with our members.
    Thanks for this information. We can use this information to evaluate ways of making Association information more accessible to members and open the doors for our new members.

  2. Suzanne Close Says:

    Excellent information. How do I get the buy in from the Association powers that be since the majority of them are not Gen Y’ers? I can lead them to the water but I cannot make them believe it to be true! Thanks for the info Doug.

  3. Doug Devitre Says:

    How do you get the non-gen Y to buy in? Great question. Duress perhaps?

    No really, here are my thoughts…

    1. Take a hard look at the budget. Eliminate activities that involve paper, postage, live meetings, and print. The information can easily be replaced in an online format.

    2. Stress the time savings. It takes 3 – 4 times longer to work in the traditional format. Duplication of efforts and timelines make people work harder than they have to.

    3. Education. The goal of for 2009 should be learn RSS. If every knew what it was, how it can help them, and how it can help the association then more time and money will be saved.

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