Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Now Part of PITV

As you may have seen on Jeff's blog, I am now part of Principled Innovation TV. I had started up my video blog, 501cTV, before the holidays, but slowed down as my work and personal travel picked up. So I am happy to announce that I will be focusing my efforts on PITV. I wish to thank those that supported 501cTV and hope you will do the same for us on PITV.

See you at the Tech Conference!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sports Are Powerful

I thought about posting this on my sports blog, but I think it can apply here too. Things that you wouldn't necessarily think are powerful, really are. The men's basketball coach at IUPUI coached barefoot last night for a cause. The game drew only 1,000 fans, less than some high school games. Most people have probably never heard of IUPUI and may not again. But he was able to make a huge difference in the lives of a lot of people.

Sports are powerful. Even small college athletics can be powerful. What is something that your association can do that is truly powerful? And don't be so nearsighted that it has to totally align with the mission of the association. If it does, that's a bonus. But if not, don't worry about it. Giving you members an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life that needs it is a universal mission.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Chuckle for Your Thursday

I love Dilbert. Great stuff. This is just too funny.

Might be a good contest for your association - come up with nonsense song lyrics and produce a song about your industry.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Generalizations versus Stereotypes

What is the real difference between generalizations and stereotypes? I took these two definitions from

Generalization - a proposition asserting something to be true either of all members of a certain class or of an indefinite part of that class.

Stereotype - an often oversimplified or biased mental picture held to characterize the typical individual of a group.

The only real difference I see is in our perception. Stereotypes are usually frowned upon, but generalizations are ok. When we look at our members, which are we making? Does it matter?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I am not as cool as Ben with my numbers, but I am happy to report I have more than 100 connections on LinkedIn and am approaching 100 posts on this blog.

Going back and reading Ben's post, it looks like I need to spend more time on Facebook. Oh well.

Catching Up on my Seth Godin

I love reading Seth Godin books. They just help to energize you and your creativity. I was reading The Big Moo last night and saw a great line (page 134 if you have it).

"Don't let the seeds stop you from enjoying the watermelon."

Seth goes on to say you should tell yourself this everyday to help change your attitude. I couldn't agree more. I know I sometimes let the seeds get in the way.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits

I love reading Fast Company. I was on their website and saw a web-only article with the above title. It is really an excerpt from an upcoming book, but thought I would share nonetheless.

On the surface (without reading the book) this seems very "No Duh" to me. You spent 3 years studying 12 non-profits and came up with this? Sorry, it really seems basic. See Good to Great or 7 Measures.

I will be interested to see the book. But I have a feeling this will be re-hash.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

On a Serious Note - Could Use Your Help

One of my Catholic U. classmates, Kevin Beirne, recently suffered a huge tragedy. His wife Maggie, another CUA alum, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 31. You may have seen the story in the Post. He is now the single father of twins under the age of 2.

There is a fundraiser scheduled for Friday night, Feb 1 to help the family. It will be held at Adams Mill in Adams Morgan. Details can be found on Facebook:

If you can go, I would appreciate it, as well as their family. Come out for a few cocktails after the Tech Conference. We can celebrate my birthday too, while helping a family in need.

If you cannot make it, you can still help here.

Maggie was a wonderful person, and so is Kevin. I can't imagine what I would do if this happened to Mary. Please help if you can.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Too Much Hype = Less Value

Don't you feel that you can hype something so much, even something of value, to the point you lessen its value?

Church of the Customer talks about the opposite. No hype at all = lots of value.

Two topics are swirling around everything these days, and there is so much hype and lip service around them, that I feel we haven't moved anywhere significant with either one: diversity and social responsibility.

Let me say first of all, I am for both of the concepts wholeheartedly. I am just tired of constantly reading someone's update on either one or both. Just do it. Don't constantly tell me what you are thinking about doing, what you are doing and then what you did. No one is arguing that these are bad. No one is saying do less. I just want to be at a point where both are inherent, and updates are not constant beckons for pats on the back.

Time, or Lack Thereof

Melinda Dreier, I am sorry, Lindy Dreyer posts about Overload. (sorry, had to do it)

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone I tell about blogging and RSS feeds looks at me like I don't do anything on a daily basis besides blog. I hate the huff I get, and then the diatribe about how they have no time already, and they can't imagine reading a blog, let alone writing one.

Get over it people. It takes the same amount of time to write a blog post as it does an email. And feed readers allow you to find content you choose, new content, a million times faster than reading the newspaper. And I am sure you all have your guilty pleasure websites you spend 5 minutes to 5 hours a day on. Replace that with 5 minutes of blogging or reading blogs, and you will be part of the collective blogoclump in no time.

It is ok to be afraid of new things. That's natural. But don't do yourself a disservice by making up excuses that aren't real excuses. It is easier than you think, and you will be happy you did it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Turn for 8 Things

I did an earlier version of this, but it was about 8 habits. Ben tagged me for a list of things you don't know about me. Ok, I will bite. Some of you may know some of these, but oh well.

1. My wife and I are having our first baby, due April 5th. It is a girl, and we don't have a name yet.

2. I was an entrepreneur at an early age. I hosted a baseball card show in my parent's garage at age 11.

3. I have an MBA and a Masters in Sports Administration. Sports Ad - oh well. I could be ED of a sports association.

4. My wife and I actually both work for the same association. It is the second time we have worked at the same place since we have been married.

5. I have a puggle named Erin (go braugh). We got her before puggles were "in" dogs, as a co-worker put it, "before they came out."

6. I still play soccer anywhere between 1-4 days a week.

7. I watch way too much TV. I love DVR, but it means we watch a lot of shows.

8. I once caught a 30 lb. striped bass and have it mounted (but my wife won't let me hang it in the house.)

Enjoy everyone! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another Great Term

Seth Godin has a post today about Non-Profit fundraising. In it he mentions an earlier post and ebook he created about "Flipping the Funnel."

I love that term - Flipping the Funnel

Now, if I could only figure out a way to combine that with my juice and squeeze line... Any suggestions?

One of My Favorite Metaphors

While listening to a DC morning radio show, I was reminded of a great metaphor that came from a mediocre teen comedy movie, but one I truly love and can see relating to a lot of what we do.

"You gotta ask yourself, is the juice worth the squeeze."

It can apply to members deciding to join or renew. It can be for you, deciding to do a task or start a new program. There are endless ways to apply this. Long story short, make sure the juice is worth the squeeze.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Social Media Experiment

To dip our toes into social media, we created groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Very easy, nothing to it really. Before the email (posted below) had even finished processing, we had 43 members of the Facebook group and 55 in LinkedIn. I am happy. I know that those will only grow as more people read this email. Now we have to figure out how to leverage this.

Friday, January 4, 2008

If I Read Any More Books, My Head Will Explode

Upon gentle nudging after my 2 Books You Should Read post, I read another book on generational differences. It is a nice, fairly short ebook (about 60 pages).

Generational Diversity in the Workplace: Hype Won't Get you Results by Jamie Notter, yes the Jamie Notter.

I knew Jamie had written this a while back, but I had just never gotten around to picking it up. Jamie does a good job talking about the generational differences and how you should take them into context. Two sections are especially worth reading: Products and Services and Systems and Processes. These two are where I think association folks will get the most out of the book.

The book does focus more on workplace/management issues rather than dealing with members. To me, Sladek's book is more about applying the generational information to members or potential members. Either way, both are solid reads in my opinion if you are interested in the generational discussion.

Now, back to Maslow.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I Dig Mark Cuban

I dig Mark Cuban. Always have. I dig Cuban for the way he got to where he is. He had some luck on the way, and he will admit that, but he also worked his butt off. He is in an enviable position. This blog post of his sums him up.

The Sport of Business

One particular section jumped out at me that could be related to associations:

Every day some stranger from any where in the world that you have never met is trying to come up with a way to put you out of business. To take everything you have worked your ass off for, and take it all away. If you are in a growing industry, there could be hundreds or thousands of strangers trying to figure out ways to put you out of business. How cool is that.

The ultimate competition. Would you like to play a game called Eat Your Lunch. We are going to face off. My ability to execute on an idea vs yours. My ability to subvert your business vs your ability to keep it going. My ability to create ways to remove any reason for your business to exist vs your ability to do the same to me. My ability to know what you are going to do, before you do it. Who gets there first? Best of all, this game doesn't have a time limit. It's forever. It never ends. It's the ultimate competition.

Are you making sure you are competing to keep your members and to keep your association relevant?

Another Book

I can't believe I am doing this, but I am going to talk about another book. Seriousy, I am not a big book reader, but lately I am. In my last post, I mentioned the latest book on my nightstand - Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow by Chip Conley.

I am only halfway through (which is pretty good for me), but I wanted to share some nuggets.

"Psychologists and business consultants look for what's broken and try to fix it. Yet, "fixing it" doesn't necessarily offer the opportunity for transformation to a more optimal state of being or productivity."

From Nietzsche - "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how."

When looking at Maslow's Hierarchy, business managers tend to focus on the bottom, because things like salary and satisfaction are measurable. David Ogilvy of Ogilvy and Mather once said, most companies use research and surveys "as a drunk uses a lampost...for support, not illumination."

So far, good stuff as a hit the halfway point.