Weekend Reading from Votenet: May 17, 2013

May 16, 2013 May 16, 2013 in Weekend Reading by Michael Tuteur, Votenet CEO

Here are our favorite posts this week about association trends, governance and other interesting topics.

New Digital Influencers: The Coming Youthquake (Brian Solis)

A study of young adults in the US and UK, GEN Z: Digital in their DNA, prompts Solis to suggest that older adults become more aware of and less stuck in their assumptions and perspectives so they can better understand Gen Y and Z and make better organizational decisions. 

“What’s clear is that Generation Y and Z are born digital and therefore engagement strategies, products, services, and employee relations need to also be born digital to meet expectations. If you think you’re placating or giving into this generation whines or unfounded demands, think again. This is just a way of life for them and any organization or decision maker that doesn’t understand them cannot with any meaningful effect engage them or earn relevance among them.”

This post provides interesting data about Gen Y and Z and is required reading for anyone whose organization plans to be relevant, at the least, in the coming years.

The Best Advice (Cindi Phallen, Create Possibility)

“Collective wisdom is a powerful thing,” says Phallen. A mentor once told her that the only competent people he ever saw fail were those who didn’t ask for help. This advice applies to organizations too. She mentions a concept we see frequently recommended to boards, the “strength of diverse perspectives.” Boards that lack diversity of perspective are susceptible to group-think and are less able to understand, react to and anticipate the needs of members and prospects who are unlike them, like Gen Y and Z. Reach out beyond the board to tap into the wisdom of members and others who care about your association’s mission.

The Best Advice (Dani Robbins, Non Profit Evolution)

“You will get the board you build,” says Robbins. In another “The Best Advice” post in this non-profit blog meme, Robbins writes about board development:

“…an intentional process that includes strategic prospecting, recruiting, and orienting for new board members and educating, evaluating and recognizing our current board members, coupled with a strategic plan (that is being followed) and the introduction of generative discussions.”

In their other lives, your board members may run large corporations, but they’re not association management experts, you are. Don’t forget that.

Good Conflict Makes a Good Board (Solange Charas, Harvard Business Review)

Charas’ dissertation research “revealed two kinds of boardroom conflict — cognitive and affective — with very different implications for board performance.”

  • Cognitive conflict is task-oriented, with a focus on how to get things done to achieve optimal results, and is essential in creating value.
  • Affective conflict is emotionally oriented, with a focus on personal differences, and inhibits the creation of value.

The next time you sit in a board meeting, notice moments of conflict and identify which type you are witnessing. Charas also learned that there “appeared to be a relationship between board governance quality and prior personal relationships of directors.” How directors are recruited affects board dynamics and governance quality.

How People Sit in Meetings and What It Really Means (Nate Bolt and Matt Huynh)

Warning: this is a bit silly. If you’re surreptitiously reading this while sitting in a meeting, look around the room and see if any of your colleagues match up with one of these illustrations. What about you? You just might be an Addict.

Cool Client Idea of the Week

The American Anthropological Association is calling all member shutterbugs. Their annual photo contest “is designed to demonstrate the rich possibilities of anthropological work through photography.” Members vote for the winners which will be displayed at their annual meeting and in their magazine. A photo contest is a great way to let your members express (and flaunt) their creative abilities — talents that might not normally be revealed in the association context.

Crowd Vote of the Week

Minor League Baseball is inviting fans to its MiLB.com #foodfight. The foodfight pairs 64 MiLB teams against each other in four categories: Gut Busters, Hogs ‘n Dogs, Scrumptious Sandwiches and Local Legends. Round One began Wednesday and ends May 29. You can vote for one item in each category on the website, and you can also vote on Twitter by using the hashtag #foodfight. So what will it be? Fried Moon Pies? Helmet Nachos?

Enjoy your weekend!

crowd voting

Photo by Michael Glasgow (Flickr CC license)