"Make Your Data Work For You" Session on November 14th

"Make Your Data Work For You" a Trillium Chapter PDX Workshop will take place on November 14th, led by Jack Shand, CAE & Geoff Thacker, Partners with The Portage Group. Did you ever think you would live in a time when data was “sexy”? Welcome to 2017 where data powers some of the most highly successful & powerful organizations in the world. In this session, learn how to make better use of the data in your association

In this PDX session, learn about the ins and outs of how to make better use of the data in your association, specifically:

1.  What data you should be collecting (or already have!) that can help your organization be more effective
2.  Some tools and techniques you can use to collect good data
3.  What types of data can provide which kinds of insights
4.  How to use data to drive innovation and decision-making
5.  Using data to evaluate progress and measure success
6.  How to use data to segment your members


During this interactive session, led by Jack Shand, CAE and Geoff Thacker, Partners with The Portage Group, you will balance sharing better practices with group activities and case studies to learn and engage with peers from associations across the province. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and be prepared to leave with some tangible ideas you can take back to the office!

Details here - http://ow.ly/UdJe50enC4l

Posted on November 2, 2017 .

Congratulations Geoff Thacker, CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau Business Member of the Year!

Sean Kelly, CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau President and Geoff Thacker, Executive Partner - Research and Strategy with The Portage Group

Sean Kelly, CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau President and Geoff Thacker, Executive Partner - Research and Strategy with The Portage Group

TPG Executive Partner - Research and Strategy, Geoff Thacker was honoured this week by his colleagues at the Canadian Society of Association Executives Ottawa-Gatineau with the Business Member of the Year Award.

Geoff has been a long-time supporter and volunteer for the Chapter.  "I am very honoured to have been chosen to recieve this award from my colleagues," he shared. "I have found volunteering with CSAE to be an extremely rewarding experience. I’ve connected with and strengthened relationships with colleagues and clients and made some great friends in the process. Most importantly, I've learned firsthand that good volunteers really spell the difference between good and great in terms of the value organizations like CSAE provides to its stakeholders."

Congratulations Geoff on this well-deserved honour!

Replacing the Engine While Flying the Plane: The Association Executive’s Guide to 21st Century Change

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Leading Your Association Over Uncharted Territory

Association executives and directors have been hearing for years now that change is coming. Membership apathy and decline. Decreasing revenues. Industry consolidation. Competition for education, other programs and services.  Governance paralysis.  All of these are symptoms of the much larger issue of relevance, value, and member service, that are pushing many associations closer to the brink. For a growing number, the time to change is now…or perhaps never.

One association executive we’ve spoken to described this process as “replacing the engine while flying the plane.”  Whether it is a new membership, governance, revenue or wholesale organizational model that is needed, the change at hand represents largely uncharted territory in the association space.

Research, Strategy, Engagement and Communication: 4 Pillars of Successful Association Change

During the CSAE Trillium Winter Summit a few weeks ago, TPG Partner Jack Shand acknowledged that while association leaders understand that change is needed, it can be very hard to know how to first identify what change is needed, and second, make the change a reality:

Keep One Eye on the Flight Instruments and the other on the Horizon  

As CSO, your role is to execute the strategic direction set by the board of directors and to manage the day-to-day operations of the association…but it is also to think strategically and be future-focused. Keep one eye on operations and one eye on the changes and trends that will be factors in your organization now – and in the future.

Explain Why You are Changing Course

I was on a plane once that had to turn back to the airport just as the flight attendants were about to come by with the snack cart. When the captain announced the reason – smoke coming out of one of the panels in the cockpit (!) - you’d better believe everyone was on board with the new plan. The case for change must be made. What is the sector, membership, or board most concerned about? People will ask – even if they do not say it out loud – ‘what’s in it for me?’ Make sure you have the answer(s) ready.

Use Evidence to Drive Decision-Making

Have you ever seen inside the cockpit of an Airbus A380? Countless pieces of data and information measuring altitude, speed, fuel levels, navigation equipment, as well as monitoring the various elements of the plane itself (cabin temperature and pressure, electrical system etc.).  Information and research must drive what you do. You need evidence, not assumptions. Research should be internal (consultation with members, staff, directors and other constituents) and external (sector better practices and research, case studies and literature). Use qualitative research to uncover issues and add context, and quantitative research to validate potential directions and options.

Understand and Assess Your Options

Avoid the temptation to rush a decision and apply a ‘quick fix.’ Develop and assess alternatives and options based on your research and end goals.  Particularly if your board of directors or other stakeholder body is involved, this approach allows constituents to make their mark in shaping change. Giving constituents some ownership makes it far more likely that the change will be implemented successfully than if it is seen to be thrust upon them from a small group of executive decision-makers.

Chart the Course

Like any other kind of planning, you need an actionable strategy to achieve success tied to your desired outcome(s) for change. Lay out what needs to change and how. Understand what are the critical success factors needed for the plan to be successful, such as informed and engaged members, the right data, and resources.  Be clear about who is accountable for different elements of the plan. Make it measurable by making your plan SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound).

Recruit Change Ambassadors

Grassroots stakeholders are much more likely to get on board with change if people at different levels of the organization have bought in and are visibly engaged - like this flight attendant, for example.  You can help draw attention to the need for change but it needs champions and leadership from the board and, if possible, other influential members. Mobilizing members as change champions and/or using a “train-the-trainer” approach to consistently facilitate and communicate change across the organization can be extremely effective at generating wide-spread support.

Be Open to Mid-Course Correction   

Once underway, people may tend to be excessively optimistic in self-assessing their own decisions, even when there are storm clouds on the horizon. Continually seeking feedback – and acting on it if necessary – is critical.   Make sure when asking for feedback that you are seen to be acting on it through frequent stakeholder communications that clearly make this link.  Implementing change gradually rather than trying to change everything at once is one way to reduce turbulence enroute, even if you need to change direction.

Keep People Informed

Keep members and stakeholders in the loop throughout the process with regular updates on progress toward stated goals and changes to your plan if it evolves. Be honest and transparent and continually tie what you are doing back to the value it is providing to your end-user. Importantly, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn when your change begins to take root and has positive results. It is important to celebrate success!

If you are interested in learning about and continuing the dialogue on association change, we hope you'll consider joining the TPG team at these upcoming events in Toronto and Vancouver!

  • Big Association Trends – From Identification to Innovation. A CSAE Trillium Chapter PDX Event. Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:00 am – Noon in Toronto. REGISTER
  • Associations 2025: High Performing Associations of Tomorrow. A CSAE National Event. April 03, 2017. 8:30-4:30 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. REGISTER
  • Associations Trend Talk. CSAEBC Lunch 'n Learn Session. May 4, 2017. Sheraton Wall Centre. REGISTER

 

2017 Association Trends Survey: Participate and Get a Free Copy of the Results

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If you are in an association leadership position in 2017, chances are you feel like you are playing an eternal game of whack-a-mole. Recruiting and engaging young professionals. Growing and diversifying revenue. Stopping the membership bleed... Where to begin? And even more importantly: What to do?

Please take a few minutes to participate in The Portage Group’s 2017 Association Trends Survey. This survey looks at the current and anticipated trends and issues affecting associations in 2017....and what actions they are taking to address them. Please click on the link below to start the survey:

  Begin Survey

All of your input will be kept confidential.

As a thank you for your participation, you will receive a complimentary PDF copy of the Highlight Summary in early April. 

If you are interested in more information and insights on Association trends, please check out and register these upcoming events in Toronto and Vancouver:

  • Big Association Trends – From Identification to Innovation. A CSAE Trillium Chapter PDX Event. Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:00 am – Noon in Toronto. REGISTER
  • Associations 2025: High Performing Associations of Tomorrow. A CSAE National Event. April 03, 2017. 8:30-4:30 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. REGISTER
  • Associations Trend Talk. CSAEBC Lunch 'n Learn Session. May 4, 2017. Sheraton Wall Centre. REGISTER


     

 

Revenues, Expenses, and Assets...Oh My! Canada's Premier Association Financial Benchmarking Resource is Here!

Do you ever wonder how your association stacks up when it comes to your finances? Could your expenses and liabilities be lower? Your operations leaner? Your education, programs and events more revenue-positive?

The CSAE 2017 Canadian Association Financial Operations Report has arrived and is available through the Canadian Society of Association Executives. This report is your number one resource for Canadian financial benchmarking data to understand how your association stacks up across a multitude of detailed metrics related to revenues, expenses, liabilities, assets...and a whole lot more. This resource also allows you to break down the information by geography, organization type and size so that you can look at performance across the organizations most similar to yours.

Interested in learning more?

Click here for a more detailed overview and to order your copy

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Make 2017 a Home Run for Your Association: TPG's Not-to-Miss Association Learning Opportunities

Join our team for one or both of these innovative and interactive sessions in the coming weeks. Whether you are in Ontario or BC, these are not-to-miss opportunities to gain practical knowledge and tools about organizational transformation based on real-world examples of association change.

A Practical Guide: How to Lead Your Association in the 21st Century

January 19-20th at the CSAE Trillium Winter Summit in Hamilton.  Hamilton. Facilitator: Jack Shand 

Whether it is our operating model, governance model, membership model or value proposition, ‘experts’ have been telling associations for years they must evolve – or risk extinction. But how on earth do we get from where we are today to where we need to be? This interactive session will challenge participants to address a case study derived from true association examples of transformational change. It will explore the change process, as well as better practices and pitfalls to avoid in driving effective decision-making and stakeholder engagement. Participants will receive a process framework that can be used to map out change in their own associations. 

Associations 2025: High Performance Associations of Tomorrow

Monday April 3 in Vancouver. In partnership with the Canadian Society of Association Executives. 

It's the central question in today's strategy sessions: What must your associations do to thrive -- not just survive -- in the next decade and beyond? Past approaches to achieving success will no longer assure your organization's relevance in the future. Building upon the inaugural event on the future of associations in Toronto, Association 2025 is now coming to Vancouver on April 3, 2017. Brought to you by CSAE in cooperation with The Portage Group, this fascinating full-day summit explores the changes associations can expect to see in the next decade and how to manage them.

Make 2017 a Home Run for your association and register today! See you there!

CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Study: Participate by November 30 For Free Highlights, Deep Report Discounts!

How Does Your Association Stack Up? The CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Benchmarking Study is open for your participation until November 30. Participants recieve a free highlight report as well as access to deep discounts on the full study report. 

Associations 2025 Coming to Vancouver! Save the Date, April 3 2017

The Portage Group is extremely proud to once again partner with the Canadian Society of Association Executives in leading the discussions during this great event on April 3, 2017 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. 

This day-long event will be packed with invaluable resources, information and the opportunity to collaborate with fellow association executives that will help you navigate your organization successfully through the current and anticipated mega-shifts in the association environment.

Case studies, trend-talks and real-world examples of change from association leaders make this a not-to-be missed event to add to your calendars!

Save the date and stay tuned here or to the CSAE events page for details as they become available!

Golf Season is Upon Us: Great Day at Kanata Golf and Country Club with CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau

Well, it's June and we all know what that means...golf season is upon us!

TPG was pleased to attend the CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau annual golf tournament at the Kanata Golf and Country Club on June 6th and was honoured to be able to host players from the designated event charity, the Learning Disabilities Association - Ottawa - Carleton.

Above, you will see Geoff Thacker, TPG Executive Partner - Research and Strategy is having a rough day on the links but still managed a good game. All in all, a good time had by all!

CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau Photo:

  • Sophia Oldford,CAE, Executive Director - Learning Disabilities Association - Ottawa-Carleton (the new charity of choice for the chapter)
  • Michael Bates, Board Member - Learning Disabilities Association - Ottawa-Carleton (the new charity of choice for the chapter)
  • Julien Dagenais-Côté - HOTEL BONAVENTURE MONTREAL
  • Geoff Thacker, Executive Partner, Research & Strategy - The Portage Group