Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jumpstarting an Essential Conversation

So, not too long ago I got an email from Jeff De Cagna:

The post he was talking about, Next Steps for Association Innovation, is where I detail the work I've been helping to spearhead as the chair of the Innovation Task Force of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives, and its plans to launch a new online community dedicated to innovation for associations and to host a National Summit on Association Innovation at the WSAE Annual Educational Conference in September 2011.

Now, in my opinion, Jeff would be perfectly justified to take WSAE and its efforts to task for coming very late to a party he started throwing years ago. If you don't know Jeff, he has been talking about the need for associations to embrace innovation for as long as I can remember, which means he's probably been talking about it even longer than that. And, personally, Jeff has always impressed me with his consistent ability to ask the questions most working association executives don't want to hear, but know they should be thinking about. So when I got this email, I responded in kind:

What followed was a telephone conversation and a series of email exchanges where we agreed to trade a few posts on each other's blogs about the work of the WSAE Innovation Task Force and the status of innovation in the association community. Jeff will start on his blog, then I will post on Hourglass, then Jeff, then me--the two of us trading ideas and building on each other's thoughts as we explore three critical questions:

1. Why is innovation critical to the future of associations?
2. What factors prevent associations from making innovation an on-going priority?
3. How can associations embrace innovation more easily?

Readers of both blogs are invited to participate in the conversation by posting comments on either site. We'll both be reading them all, and incorporating your ideas into our discussion as well.

I'm hopeful that with Jeff's keen understanding of our industry and its challenges, as well as his natural flair for the thought-provoking, we'll be able to generate some substantive dialogue and help advance this issue for our community. And I'll be along to lob in some spitballs, just to keep things interesting.

Please join us!


Post a Comment