Membership

Lunchtime Links: When Good Education Programs Go Bad

By Corey Murray / Oct 31, 2013 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Are your education programs built to succeed? Plus: the power of personal purpose.

Education is a big draw for professional associations. But how can you tell when your programs fall short of member expectations? Red flags to watch for when evaluating your education programs, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

Get smart: Your professional association prides itself on providing resources and training opportunities for its members. But are your education programs up to snuff? That is, are they configured to ensure your members receive the attention and skills they need to face down new and evolving challenges within your industry? Writing for the Association Management Blog,Virtual Inc. President Andy Freed outlines the “7 Deadly Sins of Professional Association Training Programs.” For starters, Freed asks, are your programs created by people who know and understand your audience and the challenges it faces? If not, you’re getting off on the wrong foot. Freed also suggests ensuring your programs can be accessed online, focusing on timely content, and taking a hard look at your pricing structure to determine whether your programs are competitive with other options in the marketplace. Whatever you do, “don’t make it hard for me to be your customer,” he writes. Check out his full list.

The power of purpose: We write a lot about mission here at AN, and for good reason. Associations need a strong mission and sense of purpose to drive member engagement and achieve their goals. But your organization isn’t the only thing that stands to benefit from a strong sense of purpose. Writing for Forbes, contributor and author Margie Warrell poses four questions that could help your employees and others tap “the power of purpose” to overcome challenges and obstacles in their lives. “While there’s no one pathway for discovering your life’s purpose, there are many ways you can gain deeper insight into yourself and a larger perspective on what it is that you have to offer the world,” writes Warrell. Among her questions: “What makes you come alive?”, “What are your innate strengths?”, and “Where do you add the greatest value?” How does your organization help its employees tap that personal drive?

All digital, all day: It’s no secret to anyone that more people are using digital media. Take a ride on your local subway or bus route and that’s all the proof you’ll need. But what might surprise you is just how many hours a day people are spending with their eyeballs and noses stuck in some form of digital device. The Los Angeles Times reports on a new study out of the University of Southern California, which projects that by 2015, the average American will spend 15.5 hours a day consuming digital media. Factor in seven hours for sleep, and that leaves just under two hours for other activities. That’s up from 11 hours of digital media consumption per person, per day in 2008.

So here’s the obvious question: What is your association doing to satisfy the growing demand for digital content? Tell us in the comments.

Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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