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New Year, New Approach, New Now: 5 Questions to Jumpstart Your Thinking

New Year, New Approach, New Now: 5 Questions to Jumpstart Your Thinking

“I love new years. I think they're a gift, an opportunity for a fresh start. They're an opportunity to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.”

—Sam Horn, Communications Consultant and Strategist

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Innovate with Intent: 3 Questions for Evaluating “Great” Ideas

Innovate with Intent: 3 Questions for Evaluating “Great” Ideas

All ideas are not created equal. Someone’s great idea may not, in fact, be that great when considered within the larger context of your association’s strategic goals and objectives. Even so, with the New Year well under way, most organizations want to encourage their team members to share their great, or perhaps not-so-great, ideas.

Ultimately, ideas lead to innovation, and it’s important to have a mechanism in place for employees to suggest them easily. Your method of gathering ideas might be as simple as the proverbial suggestion box in your lunch room or an online form that goes to a staff committee.

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Clear Your Vision before You Plan

Clear Your Vision before You Plan

In the excitement that comes with looking forward to the New Year, organizations sometimes jump into planning before carefully evaluating the goals, values, and objectives that need to inform that process. The desire to simply have a plan in place can overtake the discernment it takes to step back and re-evaluate what an organization is currently doing and would like to do in the future. Recently, I came across an example of an organization that seemed to be on the right track in terms of reconsidering its mission, vision and values before planning for 2016 gets underway.

Last month the board of directors of Charlotte Pride outlined the steps they have taken to continue the organization’s strategic and sustainable growth. Charlotte Pride, an organization that brings together the largest gathering of LGBTQ people in the Carolinas, recently adopted a new mission, vision and value statements.

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Resolve to Plan Better Content: 3 RePlatform Solutions for 2016

Resolve to Plan Better Content: 3 RePlatform Solutions for 2016

It’s that time of year when most of us start thinking about our personal and professional goals. What will we do better next year than we did this year? Which bad habits will we resolve to break? And how successful will we be in adopting the good ones we believe will make us better people and professionals in 2016?

Year after year, improving health and overall wellness tops the list of rePlatform Solutions that Americans make for the New Year. I would suggest that associations apply that same principle in re-evaluating how they generate content for their members and other stakeholders. Associations generate a lot of useful content, but some pieces are better presented than others.

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Tis the Season to Plan: 3 Strategies for Success

Tis the Season to Plan: 3 Strategies for Success

As we begin the last month of year (if not before), our thoughts usually turn to our goals and objectives, which sometimes take the form of rePlatform Solutions, for the New Year. Just as we identify our personal goals for the coming year, associations might turn their attention to the best approaches for addressing their strategic priorities in 2016.

For many organizations, focusing on upcoming goals typically means making an annual plan. As Forbes.com contributors Bill Fotsch and John Case observe in their recent post, those words—annual plan—can “just drain the energy from the room.” Why? In too many organizations, creating the annual plan is an exclusive activity reserved for senior staff at a retreat instead of an inclusive one that involves stakeholders at all levels. Instead of an exclusive exercise, Fotsch and Case recommend a more “open-book” approach to the planning process that hinges on three best practices:

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