Where Associations Are Failing and How They Can Succeed

It is no secret that associations, member-based organizations and nonprofit boards are facing fundraising challenges. Direct and indirect competition in the publicly financed marketplace is considerable.

What is being lost in the modern scramble for fiscal sustenance is improving the experience and recognition that guests and sponsors deserve for their patronage going forward.

There are four pillars to envisioning, funding and achieving any organization’s agenda:

  1. Loyal, paying members.
  2. Devout, content-reading constituents.
  3. Eager butts in seats.
  4. Cascading revenue or donations.



Can an Expensive Meeting Actually Cost You Less?

by Seth Godin

What would happen if your organization hired a meeting fairy?

The fairy’s job would be to ensure that meetings were short, efficient and effective. He would focus on:

  • Getting precisely the right people invited, but no others.
  • Making the meeting start right on time.
  • Scheduling meetings so that they don’t end when Outlook says they should, but so that they end when they need to.
  • Ensuring that every meeting has a clearly defined purpose, and accomplishes that purpose, then ends.


Bring Legos and Crayons to Your Next Meeting

(from openforum.com)

We humans like to use our hands to express ourselves and find solutions. In fact, there are many cultures that are known for the way they can communicate with gestures.

LEGO gets that. You might think they’re just for kids, but if you set out a few blocks at your next meeting I guarantee they will be touched and assembled. The LEGO SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) initiative was started in 2004 and continues today as a way to use play with purpose, as shown by several case studies. There are 377 members in the Serious Play professional community made up of facilitators who can help you organize a better meeting or work session.

Turning Toys into Tools

According to Kamal Hassan, CEO of the Innovation 360 Institute, this LEGO methodology can facilitate many areas of innovation, including culture creation and strategy design, scenario planning, idea generation, innovative problem solving, commercialization strategy and team building. And Innovation’s ranks of satisfied customers include banks, government agencies and startups.   READ MORE

A Formula for Delegating Work More Effectively

This post is by Baron Christopher Hanson, principal and lead consultant of RedBaron Strategy/Consulting, in Charleston, S.C., and Washington, D.C. Follow the firm on Twitter at @redbaronUSA.

Delegating Work at The Speaker StudioIn this economy, employees, inventory and business models have been streamlined aggressively. Business owners are doing a larger percentage of the daily workload.

One problem is that small-business owners are failing to analyze and delegate work more effectively. For entities to expand, thrive, hire and survive, owners must create operational capacity and create windows of customer-service time.

As a growth strategist and turnaround manager, I have led organized and chaotic business owners to use fundamental activity-based costing methodologies and delegation metrics toward value innovation.

Profit is more realistically discovered by delegating “–B” and “–C” activities, tasks that detract from owner/present, owner/managed contribution margins.   READ MORE

Are You Connecting to Your Soul Cycles? Interview with Dr. Anita Johnston

Dr. Anita Johnston, The Speaker StudioThis is a delightful interview with psychologist, author, speaker, Eating by the Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnstonand storyteller, Dr. Anita Johnston.  Her interest in female psychology and the role of women in contemporary society sprang from her experience as a contestant in the Miss Universe contest when she was 18 years old. Her observations of what society dictated as feminine beauty and power, as opposed to the lessons learned from the women in her family, was a driving force in her decision to become a psychologist. After getting her B.A. and M.A. in psychology, she received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1980.  She combines her training as a psychologist with storytelling to teach complex concepts about disordered eating and body image issues.  She is the author of Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling


CLICK HERE to Learn more about the Mission of Love Retreat sponsored by Facilitative Healing Center or visit http://facilitativehealingcenter.com/mission-of-love-retreat

Are You Perceived as Confident or Arrogant?

This post is by Kurt W. Mortensen, author of “The Laws of Charisma” and several other books on persuasion, motivation and influence.

Confidence increases influence and attracts people to you. It breeds trust. The people we admire and look up to the most are usually those that know what they want and have the confidence to get it. Such confidence is conveyed via tone of voice, body language and other subconscious triggers, and leaders must learn to communicate with great confidence and authority.

But there is a fine line between being confident and arrogant. Complicating things further, how you think you come across and how others actually perceive you are usually two completely different things.

How can you tell the difference between confidence and cockiness? It’s mostly about your intention. Confidence is motivated by a sincere desire to help others and make a difference. True confidence comes from knowing that you have the tools, resources and ability to do the job that’s expected of you.  READ MORE

5 Ways to Improve Your Meetings

Meetings are very expensive. Time is precious, and having many people in a room is quite Improve Your Meetings - The Speaker Studiocostly by any measurement. The cost of an interrupted workflow is even worse, especially for a small business.

You might be especially productive early in the morning, from the moment you start working. I might require an hour or so of build-up time before I’m ready to get cranking. But when a meeting starts, our preferences and differences are cast aside. Meetings strip us of the core tenet of the creative process: autonomy.

We can’t rid the world of meetings. After all, the benefits of meeting do sometimes outweigh the costs. But we can meet more wisely.

Here are five tips for improving the experience and outcome of meetings:


When Warm Fuzzies Work with Cold Pricklies

By Anne Murray

Listen to an interview with Anne Murray on Inside The Speaker Studio.

Why do some people attack your ideas publicly, criticize you frequently, find it difficult to be tactful, insist on their view of what is logical, fail to give compliments, and then expect you to want to work with them?  Why do others give compliments and appreciation, support your ideas in meetings, make suggestions for improvement tactfully and privately, look for the positive and then expect you to want to work with them? What about your customers? Are some of them “cold pricklies”, wanting brief and businesslike transactions, while others appear to be “warm fuzzies”, wanting personal interactions before discussing the business at hand?

Because we approach decision-making with a preference for Thinking (T) or Feeling(F) we expect others to think and behave as we do. When they don’t, we label them as too weird to live, much less work here. In the South, we say they need “fixin”. We have just the tools to fix them. If only we could hammer out of them what is different from us our lives would be simpler. When these differences are not recognized and managed, conflicts erupt, communication ceases and misunderstandings are perpetuated, resulting in decreased productivity and hurt feelings. We enter the workplace 50% F and 50% T. However, 60% of males prefer Thinking and 60% of females prefer Feeling. This preference can cause stereotypical assumptions by men of women, by women of men, by men of men and by women of women! Many women (about 40%) are “cold pricklies” and many men (about 40%) are “warm fuzzies”.

Thinkers tend to be cool, objective, impersonal, principled, analytical, critical “fix-it” people.  Feelers tend to be warm, personal, involved, value based “feel-it” people. Thinkers tend to look for what is wrong, criticize it, fix it, and expect to be thanked.  Feelers tend to look for what is right, find it, appreciate it, and expect to be thanked.  Then they marry each other!

Feelers dislike conflict and need harmony at work. Thinkers see conflict as opportunity and invite confrontation. Thinkers fight and forget. Feelers almost never fight; when they do they never forget!

Many of us report to a boss or supervise others who prefer the opposite decision-making function. When Feeling women work with Thinking women they often call them a name that rhymes with “witch”. Thinking women frequently see feeling women as “pushovers” and lose respect for them. Feeling men feel pressure to behave in Thinking ways at work. They often feel they must masquerade each day as T’s and are in danger of losing valuable parts of themselves. Each may fail to understand the other. How, then, can we possibly honor and respect each other?

Obviously, Thinkers Feel and Feelers Think. We will, however, prefer one function over the other when we are at rest and we will extravert one and introvert the other. What people see is not necessarily what they will get!

This difference in decision-making has daily implications for us at work. By understanding both functions we can return to our places of work with new insights into why our coworkers do what they do and say what they say.  In addition, we can learn to quickly “read” whether the customer/client/patient/physician prefers thinking responses or feeling responses to their questions and concerns.

Many women report to a boss or supervise others who prefer the opposite decision-making function. When feeling women work with thinking women they often call them a name that rhymes with “witch”. Thinking women frequently see feeling women as “pushovers” and lose respect for them. Each may fail to understand the other. How, then, can they possibly honor and respect each other?

Most Feelers have learned to use Thinking language to communicate Feeling-based decisions in the workplace, where the Thinking function tends to be valued over the Feeling function. Of the Fortune 500 CEO’s, 95% report that they prefer Thinking to Feeling. I don’t believe that is accurate. They report what they think they “should” report to be perceived as effective in a business setting. In relationships, the Feeling values are most rewarded. The Thinker is at a decided disadvantage in intimate relationships. Both the T and F are valuable and both functions must be utilized in making sound decisions.


Anne Murray can bring this information to your conference or meeting in the form of a workshop or keynote. Special attention will be paid to conflicts in relationships arising from this difference. Men preferring Thinking will learn why they may come across as saying “Me Tarzan, You Jane; Me Smart, You Stupid”. Men who prefer Feeling seek their soul mates and will learn why they are unintentional, yet naturally occurring Babe Magnets. Thinking women will learn what to expect in marriage to a Feeling man (generally not the best fit), while Feeling women will learn why they may be universally appealing to either Thinkers or Feelers. Thinking men will discover that they may simply have married whoever was willing to pursue them!

Handout materials include descriptions of Thinking and Feeling, what each looks like at work, how each prefers communication, how each prefers to resolve conflict, what each needs to be persuaded to embrace change and how the T/F preference impacts marriage and parenting.

Highly experiential and interactive, this seminar focuses on self-assessment and humor based descriptions of differences. We will focus on communication patterns of each, giftedness of each function, how each hurts the feelings of the other, implications for sales, and strategies for easing the tension between Thinkers and Feelers so each may work and live in harmony with the other.  Contact The Speaker Studio for Anne’s availability.