Association Makes the Local Connection

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In a great conversation today with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America CEO Mark J. Woodward, CGCS, spoke about the value of their chapters in delivering the member experience. He started out the conversation by acknowledging the key truism “all chapters are different.”

What’s neat about that is from what he shared, they celebrate the diversity. That doesn’t mean they haven’t identified commonalities across the spectrum. In fact they have identified two key areas for effectiveness: paid staff leader and strategic plan. But the effort from the national office is really focused on how they can support the chapters in getting their business done and done so effectively.

One interesting approach that is netting good feedback is to allot a half-day of their board meeting to touch the local chapters and industry execs in the meeting city. Last week, their board met with representatives of various Pennsylvania chapters and held a town hall meeting that drew in some 80 students (who picked up some 20 membership applications!). The goal? To listen to members’ thoughts and questions, and provide answers where appropriate.

This reminds me of a favorite quote: God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason … so we could listen twice as much as we speak.

And as my partner says: “it’s not what you say, but what’s heard that counts.” If you listen, you’ll hear what was heard.

By the way check out GCSAA/GCM blog for an interesting association-based blog and integrated Twitter postings.

 

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.