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ASAE listserv action.

ASAE members are doing precisely what technology, futurist Daniel Burrus says must occur if associations are to thrive - namely, creating a knowledge base. Here's a great example of that from ASAE's ExecSec listserv. James Groome, CAE, president, Groome Marketing Associates, Princeton, New Jersey, posed this question to listserv participants:

"What's your advice as to the best way to present to a largely unsympathetic board of directors a series of proposals requiring profound change, including new bylaws, a new strategic plan, a dues increase, and replacement of the existing executive staff? If these long overdue corrections were not made, the organization would likely go out of business. The officers of the association, who agreed with the above, requested that I, as consultant to the association, deliver the message."

Here, then, is a selection from the wealth of answers Groome received through the listserv:

* Before presentation, ask yourself dispassionately: With the information at hand, would I as a reasonable businessperson take the action I'm recommending? Most of what is being proposed should be in the strategic plan. If that's the case, then why wouldn't the board be more receptive? Has it been short-circuited? (The answer to this last question, says Groome, was yes.)

* Take time to spell out the problems that make change necessary. You have to get the board on your side by communicating the depth and dimension of the crisis before the board will begin to accept a resolution.

* Make board members stakeholders in the problem and proponents themselves of change.

* The best way is to have officers solidly on your side, perhaps with each serving as a resource, explaining to the full board different aspects of the problem.

* Be prepared for criticism. Anticipate questions for which you develop meaningful and persuasive answers. Make copies of your question-and-answer exercise for officers and influential board members who can help sell the idea.

* The trick is to first get a few influential board members behind yon who can then create a stampede in your direction.

* Change, ideally, needs to be an ongoing process. A little medicine every day is easier to take than a gallon of the stuff when the patient is near death.

* Prepare a written explanation of reasons for change - spelled out in simple terms - for board members to use to explain the situation to the local membership.

* The only thing that will help is if the board becomes convinced of the gravity of the situation. Once a board becomes convinced the organization is in jeopardy, it will be eager to follow someone who has a plan.
Top State Tourism Budgets (in millions)

Illinois $32.8
Hawaii $25.3
Texas $23.0
Pennyslvania $18.4
Virginia $17.4
Florida $17.0
Massachusetts $16.9
South Carolina $16.2
Louisiana $15.4
New York $14.5

Source: Travel Industry Association of America, Washington, D.C.
Reprinted with permission


More Sites to Visit

Periodically we list Web sites we think may be of interest of yon. The following sites can be found on ASAE's Internet Resource Map, which is designed to serve as a useful research and information tool for association executives. Go to and click on the Information Central icon. For more information, contact Deborah Smith-Cohen, (202) 626-2728. E-mail:

* Americans with Disabilities Act Home Page - This Department of Justice site offers regulatory information and a helpful set of documents addressing common questions that can be downloaded:

* Guide to Desktop Publishing on the Net - This information includes product summaries, design tips, and lists of Web sites related to desktop publishing:

* The Chronicle of Philanthropy - The online version of the newspaper of philanthropy offers article strain, aries, a list of related Internet sites, and information on grants issues and trends in nonprofit management:
COPYRIGHT 1997 American Society of Association Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:American Society of Association Executives; online information service
Publication:Association Management
Date:Aug 1, 1997
Previous Article:Coming home to association management.
Next Article:How landmark legislation evolved.

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