The challenges of 2021 also brought opportunities to learn, grow, and shift perspective. .orgCommunity’s goal is to advance this bright side of disruption.

The organization, our professional development and networking affiliate, was launched by my business partner Kevin Ordonez and me to help our colleagues solve their toughest problems.

Our goal is to connect association leaders with people, ideas, and services that position them for success.

This is how .orgCommunity delivered on that promise in 2021. Many offerings are currently available on the website for your enjoyment and education.

Promoting Professional Excellence

44 CAE Credit Hours Provided

The CAE is a badge of accomplishment. If you were working toward that recognition, .orgCommunity offered a leg up, providing almost half of the credits to be eligible for the exam. Presentations by thinkers who regularly break the mold Like Greg Larkin, founder of Punks and Pinstripes, kept learners on the cutting-edge of innovation.

Greg is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. Here’s a little New Year’s advice from him on how to keep fresh ideas flowing.

Greg believes that when original thinking gets stuck, it has no value. If the interests of the punks and the pinstripes are not in alignment, innovation can’t happen. Power can’t all be in the hands of the group that has the most to gain from clinging to the status quo. You must have a structure that allows controversial ideas to bubble up along with the fortitude to send sacred cows that don’t produce any milk out to pasture.   

Innovation can’t happen if the punks and pinstripes aren’t in alignment.

“It’s not just about rigorous portfolio-wide optimization.” Greg notes. “There must be a process for dissent. The CEO and board chair must have the courage to listen to what people are afraid to tell them—even ideas that threaten long-established patterns.”

By creating a safe space for teams to say brave things to their supervisors, you can move from innovation to integration and on to transformation. “You have to invest in that dialogue,” Greg emphasizes. “You may need someone from the outside to facilitate these conversations, but they have to happen.” The best innovators are more likely to call your association home if everyone in the organization accepts and takes responsibility for change.

Eight Live Webinars

Our webinars feature the creative solutions leaders are developing to succeed in a changing environment.

Recently, presenters Dan Stevens, President, WorkerBee.TV and Dawn Soukup, Director of Business Development, the Planstone Group, advised on changing member preferences, microlearning, and strategies for fueling and funding digital education.

Watch for a January 27 conversation with Arianna Rehak, CEO, Matchbox Virtual Media, Garth Jordan, CEO, American Animal Hospital Association, and Allen Lloyd, Executive Director, Montana Society of CPAs.

We all could benefit from learning to identify and maximize our most valuable assets. This panel will explain how to find the problem-solvers in your association and unleash their power.

The episodes are short enough to complete during a workout yet packed with practical advice and useful information.

All told, .orgCommunity produced a total of 25 new educational videos this year!

Connecting the Dots

Two Special Events

Ninety percent of success is making the right connections. We love introducing our colleagues to new people and ideas.  

We love introducing our colleagues to new people and ideas.

Two annual events bookend the .orgCommunity year. The February Innovation Summit was virtual. Solutions Day, which took place in November, was our first hybrid conference. We were eager to try this new format and share our experiences with attendees.

Solutions Day presenter, Dean West, called the pandemic a black swan. The term describes a unique, unpredictable, and catastrophic event that results in severe and widespread consequences. Our common experience with the pandemic colored both conferences in ways that I’m still absorbing.

The Solutions Day theme was Go Beyond the Challenge. Speakers encouraged us to break free from old thought patterns and use the difficult, but important, lessons learned during a black swan year to reinvent our organizations. I suspect that recommendation will be enduring good advice.

15 Think Tanks

Dialogue characterizes .orgCommunity. Periodically, we invite members to participate in ongoing facilitated discussions on important topics. In 2021 our Think Tanks explored:

The lively discussions were especially welcome during a time when there was considerable uncertainty around each of these issues. To share the conversation across the community, we published two articles summarizing the sessions.

16 Peer-to-Peer Circles

Leadership is exhilarating, but without trusted counselors, it can be laced with uncertainty and fear. .orgCommunity Circles are small groups of 8-12 VIPs who meet regularly to learn and grow together. Participants have a personal advisory board they can use to:

  • Have candid conversations
  • Seek advice on challenging situations
  • Explore innovative thinking
  • Process issues in a confidential setting 

Circles are a solution for any executive who:

  • Wants inspiration and strategies for achieving business goals
  • Struggles to juggle organizational priorities and the issues facing associations today
  • Needs a network of confidants outside the organization

Addressing Unique Challenges

Two Solutions in Action Programs

The Solutions in Action webinars feature the association industry’s most resourceful experts. The presenters are providers of the products and services we all need to stay ahead in the digital marketplace.

On the September 14th show, we introduced viewers to a panel of professionals who maximize content across a variety of platforms. From strategy to video, websites, and events, our panel had pitch-perfect recommendations for delivering impact in the current environment.

Stay tuned for advice on technology, MarCom techniques, eLearning, and more in 2022.

50+ Blogs Published

I’ve enjoyed writing on a variety of topics throughout the year. I hope that 2022 brings me many more opportunities to explore issues that are important for our community. I would love to know what readers are thinking. If there is an issue that’s on your mind, please drop me a note.

Wishing You a Happy New Year!

If you didn’t have an opportunity to participate in .orgCommunity’s 2021 professional development initiatives, we’ll look forward to getting to know you in 2022.  

I wish each of you a happy and successful year. Thank you for making our community stronger. We will continue to offer innovative thinking, advice from experts, and learning opportunities to keep you on the positive side of disruption.