Here are our favorite posts this week about participatory culture, voter engagement, organizational change, ballot language, boards and committees.
Don’t fear the feedback, says Michael J. Berens at MultiBriefs Exclusive. You need member feedback for the knowledge it provides and for the feeling you give members when they know their opinions are valued. However, you might have colleagues who resist listening and acting on feedback. Berens says:
“Whatever form (feedback) takes, whatever the tone — positive or negative — it is valuable information, and someone in your organization should be scanning it for the nuggets it contains. More importantly, those nuggets need to be shared with the rest of the organization so everyone has a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not.”
His article provides tips on how to determine whether feedback is actionable and what to do if it is.
Organizational change is especially difficult when it involves changes in sacred cow programs or services, technology or business processes, governance structures and accountability mechanisms, says Patrick Mallory at Governing. He shares five key success factors for change and advice on how to help your organization embrace chance and achieve more tangible results.
K Street Café reveals “the real secret sauce” that helped Obama win his campaign in 2008 and can help your organization get out the vote in 2014: peer-to-peer contact. “The Obama campaign leveraged volunteers to contact their own peers via Facebook, email or face-to-face conversations — leaning on research that showed persuading people was easier when done by a friend or neighbor,” writes Politico’s Bryan Tau. Identifying and leveraging real-life relationships is much more effective than blast emails. eBallot clients can use our new VoteNow Facebook app and Social Media Share tool to spread awareness and increase turnout for elections through the power of friends and “likes.”
Ballot language matters, says The Campaign Workshop. They provide tips that can be applied to organizational measures, such as referendums and bylaw approvals. For example, if ballot language is unclear or obscure, it will be more difficult to pass the measure. Seems obvious, but often the terms and jargons we use are familiar to us but not to the majority of voters. Test proposed ballot language with friends or family who aren’t familiar with your organization or the issue. Do they get it? Does the language lead them to be biased one way or the other?
Are executive sessions “a best practice, a bad habit, or something in between?” Anne Cordes, CAE and Mark Engle, FASAE, CAE write about “governance behind closed doors” at Associations Now. They say, “An association board may sometimes feel the need to dismiss staff—and even the CEO—for an executive session, but doing so may sow seeds of distrust.” Their article reviews the purpose of executive sessions, who should and should not be included, and when they should be held.
If your organization’s committees have a high turnover rate and/or low productivity rate, you’ll want to read Laramie Board Learning Project’s post on ten ways to vitalize your committees. The ideas shared will make committee work more meaningful and satisfying to members and more effective for the organization.
Your efforts to reinvigorate your committees will be for naught if committee meetings are in need of repair. The Berger Leadership Blog shares ideas to improve meetings collected from some of the most popular business publications, like Harvard Business Review and Entrepreneur.
Crowd Vote of the Week
Yesterday, the nominations for the MTV Movie Awards were announced. You can vote online in traditional categories like Movie of the Year but also for Best Kiss and #WTF Moment. The awards show will air on Sunday, April 14.
Enjoy your weekend!