Technology

Lunchtime Links: Deciding When To Embrace New Technologies

By / Jul 18, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

How to determine if a new tech tool might benefit your association. Also: Tips for attracting new members.

As an association leader, you probably read a lot about new technologies and how they could benefit your organization. But investments cost money and are not without risk.

How to decide whether the latest technologies are right for your association, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Meaningful technology: New technologies are appealing. But not all of them are worth investing in. Writing for online education company Tagoras, cofounder Celisa Steele says associations and other organizations should think hard about a technology’s intended outcome before making a substantial investment. “After you’ve thought through what you hope to achieve with a learning event or product, and if you’ve determined mobile seems to be a good fit, then run … an experiment,” she writes on her company’s blog. Steele uses mobile learning as an example and shares four questions you should ask before implementing the technology, including “What is the expected return on investment?” and “How does your association approach new technologies?”

Membership drive: Every association wants to boost its membership. But growing too fast can have unintended consequences, writes association expert Deirdre Reid, CAE. Writing for Avectra, Reid tells a cautionary tale from her own experience as a membership coordinator for a state homebuilding association. Though the association was able to recruit 752 new members in two days, the association’s local affiliates lacked the infrastructure and capacity to effectively support the sudden surge in membership. “Everyone was happy, especially my boss and the board. However, our locals couldn’t handle onboarding that many new members at once,” she explains. “You can guess what happened—retention rates were awful and morale sunk.” Reid goes on to share the lessons learned from her experience.

Priorities and productivity: Have you been lacking motivation? Looking for ways to jumpstart your productivity? Adam Bryant, author of The New York Times Corner Office column, offers advice from YUM Brands CEO David Novak: Differentiate between action and activity—and make a list. “One of the things I like about this rule is that it creates a spectrum, and it’s easy to quickly line up everything you have to do along it in the proper order,” writes Bryant. “It also recognizes that everybody has a mix of things they have to tackle each day—work, personal, etc.—and it’s easy to prioritize everything so you can chug through your list, knowing that you’re going to move the ball down the field on the big things that matter the most.”

What are you reading today? Tell us in the comments.

Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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