Lunchtime Links: Breaking Down Business Barriers

Build a community with your customers or risk losing their allegiance. Also: why multiple forms of communication are key for event planners.

On your climb to success, try not to leave your customers hanging. In today’s Lunchtime Links, see why alienating them can put your organization in peril:

Come out, come out, wherever you are: Catering to customers goes beyond providing services. Maintaining relationships with those who support your business (or other organization) is essential to fostering creativity, upholding a respectable reputation, and building clientele. Rather than setting your business apart from its community, contributor Erik Sherman implores leaders to regard their customers as stakeholders in the organization’s success. “The more you keep outsiders out and insiders in, you miss opportunities to recruit fresh blood that might invigorate your organization and lead to important advances,” he writes. “That also leaves such people potentially available to competitors.”

One more time: If your association has a poor record when it comes to communicating with its members, don’t let history repeat itself before your next event. SCD Group President Steve Drake shares how a slip-up made by his alma mater caused him to recognize “one common theme among association professionals: frustration about communication with members and prospects.” In this day and age, counting on one e-newsletter or postcard to get your message across simply is not enough. He suggests making personal contacts as well as using snail mail, e-mail, and newsletters to connect with members in their medium of choice.

15 minutes of fairness: While many people consider themselves open-minded free thinkers, biases are more ingrained in thoughts and deeds than they know. The term for that is cognitive bias. When searching for a cure for such unconsciously clouded judgment, Mission to Learn blogger Jeff Cobb came across organizational behavior expert Andrew Hafenbrack’s experiments with 15-minute mindfulness meditation. Rather than reflecting on past experiences, Hafenbrack hypothesizes that focusing on the present aids in avoiding biases. “Certainly 15 minutes of mindfulness is something any of us could engage in before making important decisions or launching into learning experiences that might benefit from as open a mind as possible,” Cobb says.

Have cognitive biases affected your organization? Share in the comments below.


Alexis Williams

By Alexis Williams

Alexis Williams is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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