Lee Helgen, Executive Vice President of IMA, joins us for this episode to discuss how international organizations like IMA handle global issues.
- International organizations have especially had to adapt in the past two years. Lee explains that volunteer forums have helped connect and inform volunteers all over the world. Particularly during the pandemic and through the resulting supply chain issues, these forums created by IMA helped those in other countries get accurate information quicker.
- Engaging the whole board helped navigate international challenges. Lee explains that IMA had to be very intentional about involving those with different perspectives. To fully understand the scope of a global issue, Lee says you need to hear out board members from other countries where laws and regulations may be different.
- IMA used a survey to gauge what members needed from their organization. By doing this, IMA was able to fully understand how they could help their global member base. Webinars, virtual networking events, and member forums resulted from listening to their members.
- As an association that deals with raw materials, Lee explains that IMA felt it should take extra responsibility when it comes to climate change and sustainability. Your organization may not have the same topic of expertise but consider your organization’s place in making the world better.
February marks Black History Month. As we strive to expand our knowledge and competency on diversity, equity and inclusion, this month offers a particular opportunity to lift up Black voices in the association community.
Artesha Moore is the new President and CEO of Association Forum, the hub for the large, yet close-knit Chicagoland association industry. The organization seeks to inform association professionals with discussion around culture, technology, and more.
Moore started in associations more than 20 years ago. Her skillset at the time included building databases, and she landed a position as a membership manager at a small association in Washington, D.C. While she says she stumbled into the association sphere on accident, she quickly found it fulfilling — even life-changing.
Now, Moore says she is excited to head up Association Forum to give back to the community that has inspired her. In this position, she seeks to do what she has done in previous positions — create a lasting framework for diversity, equity, and inclusion. For her, this looks like making sure everybody is heard and provided leadership opportunities.
Moore is excited to use her background to create lasting change in the association community. Learn more in an interview on Association Forum’s Website.
St. Paul, Minnesota, June 28, 2021 — Ewald Consulting is proud to announce that Arzu Alimohd and Katie Wallstein have earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry.
To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. To maintain the certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional development and activities in association and nonprofit management. More than 4,700 association professionals currently hold the CAE credential. The CAE Program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Arzu and Katie join eight other staff members within the company who have earned the CAE.
Being a change leader is hard. Goals, plans, measurement, and strategy clutter your desk and require way more energy than you thought. However, while you are going through a great deal in leading the change, your employees and members are looking to you for what is next.
The human element. It is what gives your organization a personality. Without humans, we would all be dealing with frustrating robots on the phone instead of your helpful, kind customer service representatives. Without humans, your organization would not have passion or heart.
Change requires catering to the humans who make your organization go round. Executive Coach Christina Colton, PhD, says,
“In my years of experience as an executive coach and leadership specialist, I’ve observed and facilitated change initiatives in Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. Across the board, I’ve found that the most successful leaders share one key trait: the ability to build trust and confidence during times of change by placing the human factor of transformation first.”
So, with everything you must deal with as a leader, how can you implement practices that help you and the fellow humans in your organization do better?
- Remove barriers that keep people from you. This may be hard, particularly if you are working remotely — but think through how you can make yourself as available as you possibly can, explains the Association for Talent Development. This may look like creating a Zoom room every week that people can join to ask you questions, voice their concerns or share ideas. Each member and employee has their own view of the organization, and every perspective you can get will make your organization that much more valuable.
- Be careful with technology. Obviously, in an increasingly technical world, we are eager to make our services more automated and tech-forward. However, this must be balanced with what gives your organization its heart. When thinking through how you are creating change, make sure that your tech updates do not wash out personalized customer service and creativity.
- Channel your inner coach. The old “lead from behind” idea rings so true in times of rapid change. Invest time in training to make sure everyone is on the same page and can operate properly as a team. The Information Services Group explains that this step is crucial in making your team feel confident about their place in the change. Change cannot happen if your employees do not know what they are supposed to do differently.
- Take care of your people. Change is exhausting. Make it fun by hosting virtual game nights, sending them small gifts like coffee gift cards “just because,” or sending them personal messages just to ask how they are doing. Anything you can do to support your employees will help them know that you are behind them in what is likely a stressful time.
Implementing change — especially across an association that must meet the needs of its members, its staff and other stakeholders — is a challenging process. By keeping a focus on human factors, association leaders can help ease the transition and ensure success.
In this episode we are joined by Founder and CEO of Creative Catalysts, Dr. Amy Batiste. She tells us all about how to thoughtfully create and navigate through change in your organization. To learn more, check out our blog, Ewald in Practice.
- We often have to push ourselves to embrace and push change. These major shifts often disrupt the day-to-day that entire organizations are used to. Part of change is embracing the discomfort and recognizing that you are on the path of becoming better.
- Don’t just go for the quick fix. There is energy and excitement that comes with change, but it takes hard work and understanding beyond the initial spark to move forward and create meaningful, long-lasting change.
- Be honest and clear about why you are creating this change. Change is rarely perfect but be transparent about where you are in the process. Communicate what you can when you can. Further, being specific about how this change fits into your organization’s mission will help with buy-
In the past year, there has been a lot of discussion around change management as many organizations have been forced into significant change as a result of the pandemic. While many had to quickly transform their organizations, it is important to reflect on how to thoughtfully introduce change into your organization.
In this post, we will walk through how to construct a change management plan. According to Project Manager, thinking through this process as the 4 Ws (who, what, when, why) can help guide you through your change plan.
- Assign roles in the process (who). Make sure your team and employees understand the part they play in this change. Your process will be much more streamlined and effective if people are not wondering who does what.
- Identify your goals/benefits of your change (what). Smart Sheet explains that in addition to informing your team of their place in the change, they need to know what they are working toward. Make your goals clear and easy to understand.
- Set a timeline (when). Determine when you want your changes to be made and work backward. How much time will each step take? How long do you think it will take your organization to adapt? These are important questions to consider when laying out your timeline for your change plan.
- Identify your reason for needing change (why). According to Smart Sheet, while this may seem obvious, it is best to never assume that everyone in your organization knows why this change is needed. Make it very clear why you are planning this change.
Using the 4 Ws will help you be thoughtful when creating a change management plan. Even the things that seem obvious—such as goals and team roles—need to be reevaluated in order to move forward with confidence and clarity.
After an unprecedented year like 2020, many organizations began looking at themselves and their industries in new, creative ways. Navigating change can be challenging for leaders and employees alike, so how do we move through this process post-2020? As Harvard Business Review put it, “traditional change management — often characterized by heavy process, lengthy timelines, and clunky rollouts — won’t cut it right now.”
Put simply, change management is all about being a thoughtful, organized leader. There are endless approaches online for the best change management process, but let’s start this blog series by breaking down the core elements of what change management encompasses.
- Goals: Forbes explains that you need a clearly defined goal anytime you are approaching change. Whether you are taking a traditional or a more contemporary approach, you need an end goal that you are striving to achieve. Put in the effort up front to clearly define your goal and work backward from there. This will help you determine your steps and approach to change.
- Communication: Mind Tools claims communication as one of their four key principles to good change management. This includes communication to your team and your employees. Be sure to explain why this change is happening and be clear about what you expect as a leader. Open yourself up to comments and thoughts from your team and employees so that everyone feels heard and in the know when it comes to big transitions.
- Prepare for resistance: You will inevitably face some challenges as you are navigating change. Whether it’s employee resistance or logistical challenges, you will need to prepare. If it is employees who are resisting, make sure to hear them out and reassure them that they will be okay. If you are facing logistical challenges, communicate frequently with your team to solve the issue.
No organizational change process is the same, but preparing yourself based on others who have successfully navigated change will help you in your process, too.
In this episode, we talk to Heidi Christianson, an attorney who works with associations. She tells us what we need to know about contracts with conference venues this year and what we should consider when planning an in-person event in 2021.
- Don’t count on a force majeure term to get you out of your contract for COVID-related issues in 2021. Heidi explains that in order for force majeure to be invoked, venues must not have any way to host your event. Most venues will argue that there is some way to still hold your event, thus eliminating the possibility of force majeure.
- If you end up needing to cancel your contract, consider whether or not you would be willing to hold your event at the same venue the following year or within a few years. Many venues have been postponing contracts in order to hold on to revenue. This could save you cancellation fees if you are willing to be locked in early.
- Be in close communication with your board and your members. If you are moving forward with an in-person event, make sure you can count on in-person attendance.