Friday, May 29, 2009

When you really need it, it’s too late

I had the pleasure of participating the past few days in the Georgia Society of Association Executives’ Annual Meeting in beautiful Asheville, NC. One of the most thought provoking part of the conference was a session led by Cynthia Mills, CAE.

Working from a series of scenarios drawn from her professional experiences, I joined other participants in discussing the ethical, legal, and leadership issues encompassed in the situations. It was an engaging learning opportunity. One takeaway was that it is not uncommon to find yourself or your organization scrambling to react to a sticky ethical issue for which there is a lack of previous preparation or training. Cynthia wrapped up the session by noting that association professionals can serve as the core of an ethical renaissance, influencing not only our own organizations, but also the industries and professions that we serve.

A good place to start would be to ensure that your organization has clearly stated its ethical values, expectations and practices. These should be centrally integrated into your organization’s policies, procedures, and culture, and be front and center in the way you orient staff and volunteers. Fortunately, advice abounds to help you, including some quick tips from SCORE, trainingethics.com, and the Ethics Resource Center.

I encourage you to consider how you can create, strengthen or revitalize your organization’s approach to ensuring the ethical behavior you want to see – before the behavior you don’t want occurs!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The World is aTwitter

There has been a great deal of discussion around Twitter lately. The statistics reflect wildfire growth, including surpassing unique visitors to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times websites in April 2009. But other statistics including research showing that up to 60% of those who sign up for a Twitter account leave the service within a month has left others asking whether Twitter’s record-setting growth means it is staying alive for years to come, or headed for the same shelf as Stayin’ Alive records.

I don’t whether Twitter is serious or not. James Karl Buck probably thinks so. So to, I suspect, does Kwanza Hall. And Dell probably thinks so too if it did in fact bring in an additional $1M in 2008 holiday sales due to its use of Twitter. But I suspect that Sockington the Cat might pussyfoot around the issue, in spite of his half a million followers. I also don’t know whether Twitter is the next Federal Express or People’s Express. As others have pointed out, the popular services of today can easily be gone tomorrow. (I particularly like the fact that the 2006 article is prescient in pointing to the coming importance of cell phones in social networking, but also rather dismissive of Friendster, which has subsequently repositioned and grown by tapping into the Asian marketplace.)

Explore why people think Twitter may be successful as well as why others have concerns for its future. Sign up and experience what it’s all about. Consider advice from others about using Twitter – either for your business , nonprofit or your own creativity, to improve your finances or whatever best suits your interests. Get your bearings established so that you’ll be ready to really use Twitter if the upward trends continue – or able to speak with a personal perspective about the historic social phenomenon if it turns out to just be a fad or step along the way to the next great thing.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Welcome to Capacity to Change!

Welcome to my blog where I will record some of my thoughts, and hopefully also hear thoughts from you. I’ve chosen the title “Capacity to Change” not only because I am interested in a wide variety of topics related to individual and organizational change, but also because I hope that this blog can help both you and me look at things in new ways, consider different perspectives, and be exposed to new and interesting information, which is often an essential element to change. So, welcome and please make yourself comfortable as either a reader or participant by posting a comment. I look forward to seeing where this conversation goes.