The Perilous Seduction of Young Professional Groups

Younger membersYou need younger members – bad. And they are different than many of your current members.

  • How they act.
  • What they want.
  • How they communicate.

A young professional group sounds like a natural cure for providing value for this new population in your association!

Or is it???

Several association executives and volunteer leaders got together last week to quickly analyze the pros and cons of creating young professional groups.

  • Surprisingly, the con list was longer than the pro list.
  • Many attendees had not thought through potential impact beyond being more attractive to young professionals when they try to recruit them.
  • Seeing all the answers in a mind map created new questions for many.

Given all the cons, does this mean you should NOT do a young professional group?

  • No. Not necessarily.
  • It means you need to do your own analysis customized to your association.
  • Then weigh out what works best for you.

You can use the mind map we created as a tool to help launch conversations about young professional groups and their impact on your own association.

To learn more about upcoming Strategic Fast Chats, click here.


When Boomers are NOT Enough!

retirementBoomers have started to retire.

  • Job postings are booming.
  • Some say in just two years, every time you breathe, a Boomer will retire.

What kind of impact will that have on your association?

  • Where are Boomers heavily involved in your association?
  • How can you start preparing now for possible changes?

Last week, a ton of association executives and volunteer leaders gathered virtually for a Strategic Fast Chat to explore the challenge of when Boomers are not enough.

  • If I was leading a normal strategic conversation session with your association, we would delve into a few different scenarios.
  • Given we only had 15 minutes, we focused on one possible scenario.
  • I mind mapped it live as attendees shared their responses.

The Scenario: What will happen if 50% of your Boomers drop their membership in the next five years?

  • Click here to see the mind map we created together for you to see.
  • It’s just ideas at this point – no guarantee of results or ultimate answers.
  • That said, it was a big eye-opener for many attendees.

You can use the mind map as a tool to launch conversations about Boomer retirement impact on your own association.

To learn more about upcoming Strategic Fast Chats, click here.


Find and Develop Future Leaders with Simple Succession Planning

LostMore new for this fall…

Do you struggle to find future leaders who are ready to step up to leadership and succeed?

I’ve got good news and bad news for you.

First the bad news:

Corporations have been cutting back on leadership development for years.

  • Many don’t have leaders trained for advancement in their organizations.
  • They’ve got a bit of a scramble going on with internal development.

What does this mean for you?

  • You have to train your future leaders if you want them ready to succeed at the start of their term.
  • It doesn’t happen magically without help.
  • This process needs to be managed – it’s called succession planning.

As you probably know, I’m always looking for ways to help make things easier and more effective for chapter leaders.

  • Based on research and experience, I created a three-part model for simple succession planning.
  • It breaks succession planning down into specific activities any chapter leadership team can do.

I’m creating videos to add to the Chapter Leader Lounge to teach this model to members.

  • Decided to record live webinars this fall so leaders can ask questions and get more specific information.
  • The recordings will be available after the events in The Chapter Leader Lounge for members to use.

Details about the webinars:

  • All three run 1:00 – 1:15 PM Eastern
  • Each webinar will cover a different part of my simple model for succession planning.
  • You will need to register for each date that you want to attend.

 Dates are as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 12th: Simple Succession Planning, Part 1

  • This first session is open to the public so everyone can learn the model.
  • Guests will also get to see the kind of programs members of The Chapter Leader Lounge get access to.
  • Register here. It’s free!

Tuesday, Sept. 30th, Simple Succession Planning, Part 2

Tuesday, October 7th, Simple Succession Planning, Part 3

I’ve been doing a ton of research and crunching to make succession planning as easy and doable as possible for chapter leaders.

Can’t wait to share with you!

Oh, and the good news…

Given how leadership turnover is accelerating, you can position your chapter as a partner in leadership development when you implement what you learn in the Simple Succession Planning program!

Using my Simple Succession Planning approach can be a big boost to your recruiting efforts.

(Sound interesting for your chapter leaders? This program can also be delivered as a live speech by Cynthia.)


Live Strategic Fast Chats - New for Fall 2014

new-cynthiaAre you ready to get strategic with me this fall?

Many leaders say they don’t have time to think strategically.

With my new live Strategic Fast Chats, that’s no longer true – and will be a lot more fun than doing this by yourself!

  • Strategic Fast Chats feature a single issue and are only 15 minutes long.
  • They are designed for association leaders.
  • We’ll play with the big picture concepts – not share specific how-tos.

Here’s the Fall 2014 line up:

9/10: When Boomers are NOT Enough!

9/24: The Perilous Seduction of Young Professional Groups

10/8: Retirees Rule – Or Do They? The Graying of Your Association

10/22: Future Leaders, Where Art Thou?

11/12: Your Mission: A Turn-On or Turn-Off?

11/25: Volunteers: Who Wants (and Needs) Them?

12/10: If Your Association Disappeared, Would Anyone Notice?

Click here to learn the details and register for any (or all) of the Strategic Fast Chats

The Strategic Fast Chats are my give back to the association industry.

In other words, there is no charge to attend!

Can’t wait to get strategic with you!

Register Now

Where Do You Get Your Leadership Training?

We want so much our volunteer leaders…

  • We want them to strategically lead our association into the future.
  • Create a dynamic home for members.
  • Deliver valuable engagement opportunities.

Yet, do we set them up to succeed?

I’m curious to see if people depend upon their association and chapter for leadership development – or if they get it at work and other places as well.

Please take this week’s poll:

Tell me more! Feel free to share your experience and insights in the comments below.

Are Boring Meetings Volunteer Repellants?

I’m regularly challenged by committee chairs that getting the work done is all that matters when it comes to running a committee.

  • Committee members (volunteers) need to show when there’s a meeting.
  • And do the work assigned.

Is that really true? Or does the chair also have a responsibility to the volunteer experience?

Imagine this scenario… You’ve agreed to serve on a volunteer committee.

You attended the last meeting and calling it “boring” is an understatement.

  • Committee reports drowned on forever.
  • The chair lectured nonstop about the work the team had to do – rather than asking for input.
  • You weren’t allowed to talk and it didn’t matter you were there.

Will you attend the next committee meeting?

Why did you vote the way you did? Share your comments below.


Would You Attend This Meeting?

I’ve got a question for you based on a scenario…

A new chair contacts her team members about their first meeting.

  • They do a little poll to find best time.
  • She sends an email with date, time and location for the meeting.
  • It’s three weeks before the meeting.

The day of the meeting arrives.

  • There has been no word from the chair for three weeks.
  • No agenda has been sent.
  • Nor gushy “Can’t wait to see you!” kind of note.

Would you show up for the meeting?

  • In other words, does a lack of any communication prior to a meeting influence your attendance?
  • Do you assume everything will be great?
  • Or skip it because you’re not sure it will be worth your time?

Vote on the poll below.

  • (I’ll tell what really happened to one chair’s first meeting next week.)
  • Feel free to share your comments as to why as well.

UPDATE: July 8, 2014 – The chair in the story had a 50% no-show rate for her kick-off meeting.

She did better than our voting results…

Our vote-to-date, when I add in votes that were shared on my Facebook page, comes out to 16 – Yes, they would attend without an agenda and 28 – No, they would not attend.

  • This translates to 36% Yes and 64% NO show.
  • Committee chairs please prepare your agendas and share them in advance.
  • Make sure you  also read the comments. There are some great insights there too.

Given the vote, I’m making a new video for members of The Chapter Leader Lounge on how to turn your agenda into a power tool.

Stay tuned.

Lead BIG - Or Go Home!

2014-04-CynthiaSuper excited to share my newest body of work.

  • I can do this as a keynote.
  • Half or full-day workshop.
  • Even a multiple day event.

There’s lots of room for customizing to your leaders needs.

  • The content applies to work as well as volunteering.
  • Designed to be my typical hands-on, high energy style.
  • I’ve got a variety of plans in the works on how to go deeper.

Here’s the description for
(drum roll, please!)...

Lead BIG -
or Go Home!

Do you ever…

  • Wish you could be a leader who produced big results
    instead of just a repeat of last year with a few minor variations?
  • Wonder why some leaders are able to move things forward -
    while you struggle to survive the day?

Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, author of The Lazy Leader’s Guide to Outrageous Results will share key insights she’s discovered from more than 20 years of working with thousands of leaders to help you take your leadership success to the next level.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Lead with more confidence.
  • Create a stronger leadership presence.
  • Produce bigger results with more ease!

Come ready to roll up your sleeves and learn specific how-to ideas you can use right away to lead BIG or go home!


It’s a very exciting body of work!

Got an event coming up where you want a high-energy experience for attendees giving them information they can use immediately?

This program might be a great fit!

Contact me now to check availability – and see how this program will make your members rave!


Would You Groupon Membership in Your Association?



The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan is using Groupon to sell memberships.

  • They launched in yesterday’s Groupon promotional email.
  • Two years for the price of one – save 50% for a limited time!
  • It’s an interesting concept.

Michigan may lose 50% dues revenue but…

  • They might reactivate the emotional pull in new members.
  • Have permission to sell to them for two years.
  • Make lots of money off all the stuff dedicated alumni buy.

According to Groupon advertising stats, they reach a lot of the potentially right people for the Michigan Alumni Association.

  • 61% have college degrees
  • 67% make over $50K
  • 67% are 18-45 years old

Or is it a bad idea?

  • Being associated with Michigan is prestigious – not a deal.
  • According to Harvard Business Review, academic research says companies get more customers in short term.
  • And lower favorability ratings afterwards.

So how did Michigan Alumni Association do on Groupon?

  • The first 24 hours produced only eight sales.
  • (There’s still five days left!)
  • Not quite the landslide some deals have.

Should the Michigan Alumni Association have tried Groupon?

  • Time will tell.
  • What do you think?
  • What is the most unusual way your association has tried to sell memberships – and did it work?

Share your comments below.


Thursday Tours and Grand Opening Promotions

binocularsThursday Tours
with Cynthia D’Amour

Special promotions
to celebrate the opening of the Chapter Leader Lounge.

For Local Chapters:

Get a free half-hour coaching for your chapter with Cynthia when you join as a local chapter before May 30th.

Sign up to win a free membership for your local chapter.

For Association Members:

Get a free webinar with Cynthia D’Amour for your association when you join before May 30th.

Get 100 free members in The Chapter Leader Lounge when you book Cynthia by June 30th to speak for your association in 2014 or 2015.

Be one of the lucky association members in five who get a free keynote with Cynthia when your association signs up before July 30th.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to sign up for something!