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Lunchtime Links: Don’t Be Afraid to Rethink the Basics

Sometimes, even the most obvious everyday things leave room for reinvention—even the lowly bucket. Also: Why the future of tech leadership goes beyond bits and bytes.

Sometimes, even the most ordinary things leave room for reinvention, even the lowly bucket. Also: why the future of tech leadership goes beyond bits and bytes.

It’s 2014, so you’ve probably got a few resolutions in mind.

If we could suggest a good place to start, it’d be here: Don’t be afraid to reinvent the things you take for granted. What do we mean by that? Read on in today’s Lunchtime Links:

A resolution for your bucket list: There’s always room to make things better, even the things we take for granted. That’s a point conference pro Adrian Segar makes with the help of a reimagining of the bucket. Home Depot recently hired a design firm to create an easier-to-use bucket. The Big Gripper, which features handles that make it easier to pour, doesn’t cost any more than a traditional bucket, but it works better. Segar says that’s a fundamental lesson that event planners can easily learn from. “If we want to improve these aspects of our conferences, we need to redesign them,” he writes. He notes that many new ways of doing things “are no more expensive than the old ways. They just work better.” Sounds like a good lesson to start off the new year with.

Time to drop some deadweight? Speaking of resolutions, as Event Garde’s Kristen Parker points out, one of the most common personal pledges we make at the beginning of a new year can translate to the stuff your association does. Here’s what Parker says about weight loss and wellness: “What’s bogging down your daily operations or bottom line? Take a look at your miscellaneous budget line to see which extras can be trimmed. Then, consider what ‘getting healthy’ means for your association. Wellness is important, and it could mean a happy board of directors or staff and volunteers who feel more fulfilled.” What’s on the top of your list for this year?

The future of tech leadership: Bryan Kelly’s always-fascinating Association Mavens interview series is good for a watch if you’re looking for insights from some of the smartest folks in the association space. His latest interview, with EDUCAUSE Chief Operating Officer Thad Lurie, CAE, is no exception. One of Kelly’s more interesting questions focuses on the importance of grooming future technology-focused leaders—and Lurie’s answer aligns with a major topic of conversation among thought leaders at the ASAE 2013 Technology Conference & Expo last month. “We want to groom the next generation of technology leaders, but we want them to be business leaders,” Lurie told Kelly. “We don’t want them to focus, entirely, on the zeros and ones, and on hardware, and networking. We want them to really understand their organization’s business, and how technology supports that, along with the mission.” Lurie admits that finding these potential leaders is easier said than done, but he says associations need to identify people with these skill sets tailored to their particular needs, and then “start to provide them with both training and opportunity, to see what they can do.” Sound like anyone in your organization?

What are you looking for in a leading technology executive? Offer up your take in the comments below.

The Home Depot's design-focused Big Gripper bucket. (Herbst Produkt)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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