Lunchtime Links: Build Your Own Great Culture

How you can take a few cues from the culture behind the 3-D printing movement. Also: Don't flunk the relevancy test with your next executive hire.

Sure, 3-D printers are awesome and could help you create things you could previously only imagine. But the people and the excitement around 3-D printing? They’re worth taking a few cues from, too.

That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

You have communities of members who are passionate about different issues or causes. Find them and listen to them.

What you should learn about the maker culture: Your association probably doesn’t need a 3-D printer. But it could steal a few tips from the maker culture, explains Deirdre Reid, who was inspired by a session at last week’s Digital Now conference that the American Library Association put together with students from the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Institute for Simulation and Training METIL Lab. Maker culture and associations have more in common than might seem immediately obvious, she says. Reid found the session insightful for more reasons than one: “One of the UCF students mentioned how fun it is to get a maker community going. The community was already there. UCF only needed to give it resources and get out of the way,” she writes. “You have communities of members who are passionate about different issues or causes. Find them and listen to them. What types of projects would give them a sense of satisfaction while also staying aligned with the association’s mission?”

Don’t stick with an outdated hiring model: When hiring an association executive, are you looking at what makes sense now, or what used to make sense? SCD Group’s Steve Drake, riffing off a recent Michael Wolff column on Columbia University’s new president, suggests that there are many problems with hiring leaders so similar to the people already in charge. “Associations, like the news media, are facing rapid challenges to doing things the same old way,” he writes. “Yet, like the Columbia j-school, we often flunk the relevancy test because we have boards just like us who hire people just like us.”

Rewards are important: Are you trying to reinforce a new kind of behavior from your members or donors? A good reward goes a long way, says Katya Andresen of Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog. “Benefit exchanges are useful for all kinds of situations. Like getting someone at work to agree to your proposal, encouraging people to change their habits, or inspiring someone to donate to a cause,” she writes. “But we often get the benefit exchange wrong. We don’t offer a strong enough reward—or a sufficiently clear call to action.” In the post, she offers suggestions on how to create a compelling reward for members. How do you create rewards that people want?

What’s on your mind and your Twitter feed today? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

(Keith Kissel/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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