Gleanings from ASAE09

At ASAE Annual, there are great ideas in the sessions, but some of the greatest I picked up in the hallways, over dinner (or drinks!), on Twitter, via the annual meeting hub. Here are a few:

Control is a figment of our imagination. This theme was pounded into our brains in at least 1/2 the sessions, explored in a number of tweets and posts (like Kevin Holland’s). But the best example was in the little ways we met our lack of control. A colleague who is a working mom came into one room frantic because she had to get a signed credit card authorization to a limo company for her stranded daughter before 2pm and it was now 1pm and the document was on an email with no fax in sight. A crack team of assn exec did the ultimate in team work. One produced a flash drive which got the email attachment from email to a printer in the handout station. Another snapped a photo of the signed document and emailed the Iphone pic to a 3rd who used his internal fax to send it along.

The second hottest theme seemed to be the model of membership and volunteership of old is just that old .A question/observation that captured this was on twitter jlsdesigner good 2 alwys be reminded RT@DeirdreReid The latter. RT@PBBsRealm: DO members exist for the assn? or do assns exist for the member? #ASAE09

Risk management is a strategic conversation – one that should start at the board level to assess the organization’s risk levels – that should be part of the strategic planning process. Assess this both in terms of identify risk exposure and in the organization’s level of aversion to risk. Leslie White offered both insight and advice and has this resource section for more.

Picked this idea up on starting free instead of going free from Matt Baer: a free bagel is probably stale but that packet of free ketchup isn’t.

Just do it. Okay, that’s not a new slogan or new theme. Still so often over the course of the three days, we just did it. We just showed up at a meeting without knowing a soul. We raised our hand and offered an opinion. We admitted we didn’t “get” the technology. We got lost in a new city. We got up in front of a room of peers and presented an idea. And it all turned out just fine.

One interesting aspect of the highly-connected learning is that while I left before the closing event (hated too really!) I could still get the learning from Lisa Junker’s post on Acronym summarizing Fareed Zakaria’s closing general session speech.

One last good read is the list of things attendees asked for in 2010 – there’s still time for us to consider these for our meetings in the coming months.

For more random thoughts from ASAE, check out my earlier post.