Lunchtime Links: Turning Problems Into Opportunities

Taking the long view on challenges within your organization. Also: Reframing online content for the visual age.

Good leaders solve problems. Great leaders see challenges as an opportunity to drive value within the organization. That, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

Opportunity knocks: Problem-solving ability is a quality nonprofits and other organizations covet in their leaders—and for good reason. But as leadership instructor Raman Chadha writes for Inc.com, “The ability to not just solve a problem but to turn that problem into an opportunity is the mark of true leadership.” So, what’s the secret? For starters, make a list of all of the things in your organization that diminish its value. Then, consider your alternatives. Chadha gives the example of grocery store chains encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. Plastic bags were an added expense for stores; the change was also an opportunity for retailers to show their philosophical commitment to greening the planet. Chadha suggests using social media and other tools to turn your harshest critics into supporters or ambassadors and including problem solving up front as part of your strategic planning process. How do you approach problems within your organization?

New-look news: If your association publishes content for its members, it might do well to check out the redesigned Society for News Design page. SND recently overhauled its entire website, placing an emphasis on usability and visual and interactive content. The organization serves a very specific segment of news producers: visual journalists. But the new site, which veteran news artist Charles Apple profiles on his blog, could provide a number of clues for other associations looking for new, and better, ways to create and display content for their members. The redesign, led by SND Digital Director Kyle Ellis, a designer for CNN, features more consistent posts, including stories by intern news producers, created specifically to catch the attention of more youthful audiences—plus, a concentration on visual news. “Long before the design process began, my first priority was to understand both the current needs of our membership and the aspirational goals of our organization,” explains Ellis of the redesign. What goals does your association have for its content?

What’s the Storify? Big changes could be in the offing for one of the internet’s most popular tools for social content curation. Earlier this week, Livefyre, an online platform for commenting on news stories, announced it had acquired Storify, the application that lets users create stories from relevant tweets, images, posts, and other social content posted to the web. Many associations use the free version of Storify to highlight relevant social media traffic during annual conferences and other events. Though the company says it will continue to offer Storify for free as a standalone product, a report on the deal by Anthony Ha of TechCrunch says an infusion of capital could lead to the development of more premium-style content. The report also indicates that Storify, which was originally launched as a tool for journalists to keep track of social traffic, would likely continue to invest in tools that make it more relevant for other customers, including businesses and ad agencies.

Does your association use Storify? Tell us about your curation efforts in the comments.


Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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