Leadership

Thursday Buzz: How to Keep the Visionary In Check

By / May 8, 2014 (Lightwave Media/Thinkstock)

They may be brilliant, but they can be frustrating, too. Some thoughts for communication managers for ensuring your visionaries don’t drive you crazy. Also: how a lack of response could hurt your member engagement right off the bat.

Let’s see if this one sounds familiar.

Your boss has a ton of great ideas. Just crazy amounts of creativity bursting out of every seam. Total visionary! But there’s a problem: Your fearless leader tends to get caught up in flights of fancy, and you’re along for the ride, dealing with unrealistic expectations and criticism for anyone who doesn’t share the passion.

So what’s a communications director to do? Over at Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog, Kivi Leroux Miller has a few ideas to keep the visionary in check, including building a line of communication, checking priorities, and practicing “benign neglect.” What’s that? Let’s have Leroux Miller explain:

“Benign neglect is when you purposely ignore something and, as a result, it takes care of itself, usually by falling off the to-do list altogether,” she writes. “If you suspect the visionary will quickly drop this week’s hot idea, just sit on it for awhile. Wait to see if it is mentioned again before you invest any time [in] it.”

Sounds like a good plan.

Don’t Keep ‘Em Waiting

Sometimes you can tell right away when a membership experience isn’t going to work out.

Aptify’s KiKi L’Italien had one of those experiences a few years back, when she made an effort to get involved with an organization she had just joined, only to find crickets on the other end.

“Today I am no longer a member of that association,” she writes on the Bear Analytics blog. “Shocking, I know … but without that necessary engagement, it didn’t seem valuable enough for me to stick around.”

Looking back on the experience, she suggests a few ideas to avoid a similar experience for your own members—such as automatic emails or a mentor willing to lend a helping hand—and reminds us that we’re all busy. So make it easy for people to get involved. (ht @EricMisic)

Other good Reads

In case the thing that drives you crazy about your iPad is that it doesn’t multitask quite like your desktop, you may want to check out a new tweak called OS Experience. It’s pretty great, LifeHacker says, but your device will need to be jailbroken for you to use it—in other words, power users only.

“If you are offering something of value, you should not have to trick people into buying your product or joining your association.” So says David M. Patt, who offers a few examples of such tricks on his blog.

If you’ve ever had your smartphone stolen and you’ve managed to recover it, The Los Angeles Times says you’re lucky—nearly 70 percent of theft victims never get their phones back.

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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