Are Priorities an Issue for Your Board?

If you are experiencing low board engagement, even in a small subset of board members, it’s more often that board commitment is not a high enough priority for success.

There are a variety of steps you, as the executive director, can take to address the matter of making board member commitment the right priority for success.  Of course, what specific steps to take depends on a number of cultural factors.  This post does not attempt to address culture and the myriad contextual factors that may exist in a specific organization or situation.  But there are some general approaches that have proven useful to me.

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COVID-19 Infection Rates in SF Bay Area Counties

Updated September 13  2020 – As of September 9th the total number of positive tests for COVID-19 in the 6 Bay Area counties reached 77,493. The 6-County daily rate of change was 0.62% (It’s been between 3.29% and .31% since July 14 – there was a bit of a spike in mid-August, but it has flattened some since then.  Hopefully, the trend in reducing the number of positive cases over the past few weeks will continue – if we continue good practices.  See the line chart (third chart). 

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AMC-Client Relationship is Not a Partnership

I recently attended the annual meeting of the AMC Institute in Long Beach, CA.  For a west coast venue, there was good turn out and Long Beach Convention and Visitors’ Bureau rolled out the red carpet.

There was a program this year that resurrected an old topic:  “Trusted Development as a Client Partnership Strategy” presented by Michael Reed of Bloch and Reed (Association Advisors).  Bloch and Reed is not an AMC, so in defining their role with clients as a “trusted partner”, I have no issue.  I continue to have an issue defining the AMC-Client relationship as a “partnership” for the same reasons I did back in April 2009 when I first posted on this topic.  (“AMCs More Like Agents Than Partners”)

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The Case for Board Member Term Limits

I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I’ve been on the wrong side of an important association board practice for many years.

Because I had the good fortune to work with two exceptional board leaders and clients – Harry Mason with the SCSI Trade Association (STA), and Marlis Humphrey with the former Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) Forum – I saw that each organization would be denied Harry’s and Marlis’s talents as board leaders if term limits had been in effect.

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The Value of Selecting an Outsider as Chief Staff Executive

L&M concludes a highly successful six-year engagement providing executive management to the California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers (CalFlowers).  It’s been an honor and privilege to serve the CalFlowers board of directors and membership.  We are grateful for the new friends we made and to have learned about the fascinating cut flower industry.

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AMC Managed Organizations Are More Stable Than Standalone Organizations

This paper reports the results of a study examining the rates of change in the length of chief staff executive tenure and of turnover in office locations of membership-based organizations for the period 2009 to 2015. The study sample was 396 randomly selected associations from 9 of the most populous states and the District of Columbia.

The results of each case were surprising. They revealed much higher frequency of turnover in standalone organizations compared to organizations managed by Association Management Companies (AMCs). As the chart above shows, standalone organizations changed their chief staff executives more than 10-times more often than AMC-managed organizations. This study may finally reveal evidence explaining why AMC-managed organizations outperform standalone organizations in key performance indicators.     Download full report.

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L&M Achieves AMC Institute Accreditation for 15th Year

SAN FRANCISCOFeb. 20, 2019PRLog — LoBue and Majdalany Association Management (L&M) has been awarded its fifth accreditation by the AMC Institute, the global trade association representing the Association Management industry.

Only 81 of more than 500 Association Management Companies (AMCs) worldwide have achieved AMC Institute Accreditation, demonstrating the commitment and ability to deliver the highest level of professional management services to associations and not-for-profit organization (NPO) clients. These AMCs are the recognized choice of associations and NPOs.

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Future Proofing Your Board

A timeline is a common tool used to orient boards of directors to their unique responsibilities.

When we conduct board orientations, we characterize the organization’s next 12 months as belonging to the chief staff officer, also known as the executive director.  Once the board has approved a plan, priorities, and a budget, it is up to the chief staff officer and his or her staff to execute it.

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AMC Management Model Has Advantages over Non-AMC Models

The results are in: The AMC management model generated more consistent operating surpluses and grew reserves to a greater extent between 2006 and 2015 than did the non-AMC model (i.e., directly employed staff and full financial responsibility for occupancy and capital costs).
Read the full report here.

For those familiar with the AMC model, this is not a big surprise. What is newsworthy about the results is that we have credible evidence that demonstrates the advantages of the AMC model for associations. These results add to previous studies conducted in the past decade showing that the AMC model is both the less expensive alternative to hiring staff directly and shouldering all operational costs, including capital purchases, and also the more productive association management model.

In short, the non-AMC model is overpriced and under-performing.

These latest results lead to an interesting set of questions: Why does the AMC model outperform the non-AMC-model? What’s the AMC model’s ‘secret-sauce”?

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