Leadership / Management | Technology & Social Media | Training & CPE

Keys to success for NFPs and the Association DigitalNow

Milestones and celebrations can (and should) cause you to stop and reflect.

This week, I will be attending my 10th Association DigitalNow conference at Disney World in Orlando, and I cannot help but share some of the big takeaways and learnings from my experience. As an association executive, it is my key to navigating the fast pace of change that my association and members face.

This conference was created to inform and engage leaders of associations in an understanding of the impact and potential opportunities (and threats) of technology on the association and not-for-profit world. Yet it is more about leadership and strategy than about technology. Using a framework of value, strategy and structure, year after year, the conference organizers have overlaid ground-breaking keynotes and thought leaders with real-life panels of associations actually showing the work being done.

I have to start with the biggest benefit to me -- relationships and community. There were a core of state CPA society CEOs and staff who were here from the start. My colleagues from the MACPA. The AICPA and CPA2Biz, who joined in on the learning and gave us a common language and framework that led to several collaborative projects.

Then there were the other associations, the Fusion team, and even the keynoters who all willingly shared their insights. It really is a community that I have come to respect and constantly learn from.

Next, my interview with DigitalNow pretty well sums up some of our key benefits:

There are so many highlight from the past 10 years, too many to cover in this post. I do want to share a couple of significant moments.

As I was writing this, a tweet came from the DigitalNow conference (hashtags #dn10 and #diginow) that really encapsulated the biggest learning from my 10 years: Technology MUST serve strategy and purpose! As Jim Collins (who keynoted at DigitalNow twice) says, "Does technology fit your "hedgehog?" and, "Technology should be an accelerator of (strategy) momentum, not the originator of it."

Thanks for letting me share my reflections as I head down to the 10th conference, and congratulations Hugh Lee and Don Dea and the entire Fusion team on your 10th DigitalNow Conference!