Author: Amanda Kaiser

Amanda Kaiser is a qualitative member researcher. She has conducted 319 member interviews and counting. Through these interviews she helps associations understand their members’ goals, challenges, opinions, fears, and hopes. These insights become the building blocks of their member-focused vision and future-focused strategy, innovation and marketing plans. Amanda also writes a three-times weekly blog for association professionals. You can check it out and subscribe at SmoothThePath.net or follow her on Twitter @SmoothThePath.

Aug
10

Are you keeping your ‘ski patroller voice’ in check?

My husband is a volunteer ski patroller at our local mountain. Most ski patrol work is providing first aid, responding when a skier is injured. They are also responsible for enforcing the rules, which is the part of the job none of them like very much. While the first aid work is rewarding, rule enforcement […]

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Jun
12

Is your association on Day 1 or Day 2?

Have you heard about Day 1 and Day 2? I had not until JP Guilbault CEO of YourMembership mentioned it at the company’s recent conference. A few days later, my dad mailed me the first pages of Amazon’s 2016 year-end annual report, which is a letter from the company’s CEO to shareholders. I find the letter […]

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May
17

Do you know your association’s value trigger point?

Ask engaged members when they realized the value of the association and many could tell you the exact moment. They can quickly recall a single event or moment when it was clear to them they made the right decision in joining. The moment new members understand the value of the association is the Association’s Value […]

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May
08

The most frustrating thing new members do

One of the most frustrating dynamics for association staff is noticing that some members join but then never take another single action. They don’t read the emails. They don’t sign up for webinars. They don’t log in to the website. You may be surprised to learn that this is super frustrating for new members as […]

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Apr
27

Why new members actually join associations

We think new members join for professional development and networking, but a new member joins for one of these reasons: They believe in the cause. It is time to invest in their career. Someone they respect is a member. A boss or manager says they have to join. They are on a hunt to find […]

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Mar
02

Are you safe to be yourself at work?

What makes some associations high-performing and the rest so-so? Why do some teams reach or even exceed their goals and why do some fail? How do some organizations embrace change while others can’t seem to get out of their own way? These questions are coming up more and more in the association community. And the […]

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Jan
31

How to improve a member’s conference experience, according to members

As part of my research, I’ve conducted a lot of in-depth interviews with members. Most include a discussion about their conference experiences, as it is where members tend to get the most value. Looking at the responses across more than 300 interviews of mostly very engaged members, a handful of typical weak spots in association […]

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Jan
10

The 5 step process to innovation

Ideas are the root of all innovations. Because ideas lead to innovation we want more ideas, better ideas, the idea that will excite members. Many innovative associations use a formal or informal idea process which generally has five steps and goes something like this: Step 1: Allow members’ problems to spark innovative ideas Our members […]

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Nov
09

Technology will displace your members’ jobs

Technology is never going to stop. Technology is going to continue to make human jobs obsolete. Now we can say, of course, technology would displace human jobs on an assembly line. Thank goodness that so many difficult and dangerous manual labor jobs have been taken over by automation. No longer do we shovel coal into […]

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Sep
22

To innovate, you need a supportive CEO

If I could have dinner with any actor alive, dead or fictitious I’d pick Kermit. Yes, Kermit the frog, the Kermit that Jim Henson brought to life. One of the things that is so appealing about Kermit is he is an underdog. A humble but optimistic guy who left his hometown swamp in search of […]

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