Automotive Deals BOTYSFKT Shop Women's Clothing Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Look Park Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer harmonquest_s1 harmonquest_s1 harmonquest_s1  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis STEM Water Sports


Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on October 5, 2006
This is an updated review from my original 2006 comments. Next week, I have the opportunity to do a presentation taking a look at the future of associations. I will start the talk by reviewing the past. Specifically, I am going over the findings of ASAE and The Center in 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do that Other Don't.

I think the findings of this study are as valid today as they were in 2006 when the book was published. Here is a short review of the Measures of Success.

As you may recall, this book resulted from a thorough study under the guidance of Jim Collins (Good to Great) comparing 18 matched associations. "The project's value lies in discerning the often subtle differences between two well-matched organizations - what one association did or didn't do to give it a performance or financial edge on its counterpart" (page 8).

1. A Customer Service Culture -- "Remarkable associations build their structures, processes, and interactions - their entire culture - around assessing and fulfilling members' needs and expectations" (page 24).

Customer service goes beyond customer satisfaction. In fact, we do not even ask customer satisfaction questions on surveys because we find that lapsed member report virtually the same level of satisfaction as current members.

2. Alignment of Products and Services with Mission -- "Remarkable associations speak passionately about fulfilling their mission and constantly test their ideas for products against that mission, using it as a touchstone for everything they do. . . To find the right mix of products . . . remarkable associations engage in experimentation" (page 28).

The goal for an association is to become an indispensible resource for a member. I think this comes from focusing on the three drivers of engagement, vision, reward, and relationship.

3. Data-Driven Strategies -- "If there is one phrase that sets remarkable associations apart from their counterparts, it's `data, data, data.' They gather information, analyze it, and then use it to become even better" (page 38).

As an example, just in the area of membership recruitment, testing and then analyzing data can commonly improve performance as follows:

* List tests - Can impact response by 500 percent.
* Offer tests - Can impact response by 200 percent.
* Creative tests - Can impact response by 100 percent.

4. Dialogue and Engagement -- "Many with the study group would no doubt echo the employee at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) who said, `We all discuss decisions openly with each other. We have a desire to collaborate with each other, and we do it in mission-driven ways" (page 44).

SHRM membership is reported to have grown by from 36,000 in 1992 to over 250,000 today. Need I say more?

5. CEO as a Broker of Ideas -- "While CEOs may be visionary leaders, what's more important is their ability to facilitate visionary thinking throughout the organization" (page 49).

We are in a knowledge economy. The organizations and clients that I have seen thrive have a culture of ideas. Ideas are the currency in the organization.

6. Organizational Adaptability -- "Our data confirmed that no organization - regardless of how remarkable it is - can predict change with full accuracy and therefore be on target with its response . . . Our data indicate that remarkable organizations do not panic . . . They maintain a clear understanding of their core purpose" (page 58-59).

Remarkably through this recession, we have seen a consistent trend that organizations that stayed in the market and continued to reach out to prospective members came through the past year in good shape.

7. Alliance Building -- "[Remarkable associations are] secure in who they are and what they bring to the table, these associations communicate clear expectations for each specific partnership and do not hesitate to walk away if a win-win situation does not materialize. But they're also willing to admit what they can't do on their own."

Everyone wants to partner with successful organizations. Be sure to look in the mirror before you propose an alliance.
0Comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 8, 2007
Let's start with answering the first question that you have when you look at the title. The 7 Measures of Success are:

Category 1 - Commitment to Purpose

1. A Customer Service Culture

2. Alignment of Products and Services with Mission

Category 2 - Commitment to Analysis and Feedback

3. Data-Driven Strategies

4. Dialogue and Engagement

5. CEO as a Broker of Ideas

Category 3 - Commitment to Action

6. Organizational Adaptability

7. Alliance Building

The second question is "Why do the organizations profiled here matter or relate to my organization?" To be eligible for the study, the association needed to have:

1. Been in operation for at least 20 years

2. Finished more years in the black than in the red

3. Exhibited the ability to retain members, donors, or market share during the study period

4. Had more than one CEO during the study period.

The final study group consisted of: AARP, American College of Cardiology, American Dental Association, Associated General Contractors of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, National Association of Counties, Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, Radiology Society of North America, and Society for Human Resource Management.

Further, nine strong organizations were chosen to match the above listed nine for the analysis. These 18 pairs used the following 11 variables to identify differences:

1. Vision (core values, mission, purpose, goals)

2. Markets, Competitors, and the Environment

3. Organizational Arrangements (structures, policies, systems)

4. Use of Technology

5. Business Strategy

6. Products and Services

7. Leadership (staff, elected)

8. Community and Culture

9. Financial Health

10. Physical Setting and Location

11. Public Policy

After the analysis was completed, the "remarkable" associations excelled in the previously listed 7 measures. To further discuss those 7:

1. A Customer Service Culture - "we're here to serve you" approach

2. Alignment of Products and Services with Mission - mission is central and the products align

3. Data-Driven Strategies - gather, analyze and use data to drive change

4. Dialogue and Engagement - staff and volunteers engage on association's direction and priorities

5. CEO as a Broker of Ideas - facilitates visionary thinking throughout the association

6. Organizational Adaptability - be willing to change and NOT to change

7. Alliance Building - seek complimentary partners and projects

Next the three categories each have a chapters devoted to fleshing out their concepts:

Category 1 - Commitment to Purpose

1. A Customer Service Culture - Remarkable associations build their structures, processes, and interactions - their entire culture - around assessing and fulfilling members' needs and expectations.

2. Alignment of Products and Services with Mission - To find the right mix of products and services that align with their missions, remarkable associations willingly engage in experimentation. They doggedly protect their core purpose and related activities while investigating new initiatives. What's more, they fully expect many of their efforts to fall flat.

Category 2 - Commitment to Analysis and Feedback

3. Data-Driven Strategies - They continually track member needs and issues as well as the wider environment, then collectively analyze the data to reach a shared understanding through asking, "What do we now know? What are we going to do about it?" These associations then incorporate the findings into their strategic and operational planning. But the data collection doesn't stop there. It continues through another methodical, disciplined cycle of gathering, analyzing, and making changes because of what was learned.

4. Dialogue and Engagement - This is characterized by a close-knit, consistent culture where all association staff and volunteers not only receive the same script, in the form of the same information, but also see the potential to contribute to a blockbuster production.

5. CEO as a Broker of Ideas - To CEOs of remarkable associations, what matters is not their vision for the association but rather the members' vision. The CEO role rests with gathering consensus around a member-generated vision rather than forcing buy-in into a personal vision.

Category 3 - Commitment to Action

6. Organizational Adaptability - Remarkable associations - in the face of markedly declining membership or program revenue - quickly assessed the situation and took immediate action with no excuses.

7. Alliance Building - Secure in who they are and what they bring to an alliance, remarkable associations communicate clear expectations for each specific partnership and do not hesitate to walk away if a win-win situation does not materialize - they also are the first to admit that they cannot do everything on their own.

The bottom line was addressed in the seventh chapter - fitting with the motif of 7 measures - With a list of conventional beliefs NOT supported:

1. The smaller the board, the better - not found to be true, in fact one association added members.

2. Board members should be selected via a democratic process. - transparency not democracy was key.

3. The CEO should be an association professional and come from outside the organization and its membership. - Only three of the nine remarkable associations followed this tenant.

4. Proactive change is better. - The response to the change from the membership is more important that pro or reactive.

5. Reserves should equal 50 percent of annual expenses. - Nonprofit is a tax status NOT a mental state.

Finally, these are the keys to the "Road to Remarkable":

1. Members and mission are at the heart of remarkable associations - and members value is the blood that keeps the heart pumping.

2. Remarkable associations differ.

3. All organizations must deal with setbacks, failures, and crises, but not all of them learn from these events.

The remainder of the book consists of interesting anecdotes about the remarkable companies and appendices of background information.
0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 9, 2007
This book gives great insight into what makes a great association remarkable and gives comparisons for those that are good, but not remarkable. If associations use this information correctly, they should be able to make drastic improvements in their processes. This book is an easy read and has invaluable information.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 25, 2011
I really can't add any additional insights to this book that other reviewers here have not already provided, except to be an additional affirmation that this book is excellent. It is a tremendous book that provides a lot of positive and useful information.

I have given this book as a gift several times to people I know. I think that is the highest complement possible.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 11, 2009
Great book. I do strategic planning for associations, in addition to being an Executive Director for 2 large groups. We send copies to all our new Board members. While I don't think it is a day-to-day guide for operational management, it does provide insightful, evidence-based differences between good and great organizations. The key is to use this as a tool to drive your Boards and staff to think strategically, to work together, and to gather/analyze/use data.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 29, 2010
The book is an excellent resouce that I will use in my work. The price and service were excellent.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 17, 2014
Very useful resource.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse