Magazine article The American Organist

From the Executive Director

Magazine article The American Organist

From the Executive Director

Article excerpt

What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't

THE SUBJECT of this column is also the subtitle of a startlingly lucid new monograph entitled 7 Measures of Success. Published in the summer of 2006 by ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership, the slender volume has received widespread acclaim within the association management community. It was inspired by the work of Jim Collins, author of the best-selling books, Good to Great and Built to Last, and represents the research findings of a study group of association executives who analyzed the differences between good associations and those that were truly remarkable. The conclusions of the study group provide a road map that the AGO and its 332 individual chapters can use to improve their responsiveness to the Guild's members, mission, and society. "What matters most," Mr. Collins writes in a foreword to the book, "is being obsessively datadriven, combined with the creativity and discipline to act on that data in ways that meet your members' needs better than any other organization. Disciplined people who engage in disciplined thought and who take disciplined action-this simple mantra captures much of what separates any great institution from the average." The following chart summarizes the seven measures of success:

Commitment to Purpose

1. A Customer Service Culture-A "we're here to serve you" approach not only permeates all individual encounters with members but also is built into organizational structure and processes. The association belongs to the members, so its vision must emanate from them, not from the CEO's corner office or a small group of leaders. Remarkable associations view members as drivers, and the question becomes, "How can we serve them, and what do they need?"

2. Alignment of Products and Services with Mission-The depth and breadth of offerings are consistent with the organization's mission, which remains central and unchanging even in the midst of changes in the external environment. …

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