Walking the Walk
Posted by Ellen on April 20, 2008
If you haven’t read it yet, the collaborative effort from “Five Independent Thinkers” titled We Have Always Done it That Way: 101 Things About Associations We Must Change is well worth the time and money. I’ve dog-earred pages and pages in it so I can refer back to it or share those sections with others. This book will confirm what you know to be true — but always thought was only true in your organization, so you’ll get a good dose of reassurance that you’re not alone. And it will give you plenty of tactics for battling the front lines in your own revolution.
Amy Smith’s article, “Four Questions About Professional Development” offers up an excellent argument in support of our need to continue to educate ourselves. We spend our time focused on the professional development of our members, but that’s all the more reason to walk the walk ourselves.
Leave the content expertise up to our members, Amy writes, so we can focus on transforming that content to the best learning experiences for our members.
I’ll add that you need to salvage whatever time you can scrape together to keep yourself up to date on training and the especially fast-changing world of e-learning. Claire Schooley, in a white paper for Forrester Research, Inc., titled, “Learning Director: Are you Ready For Your New Role?” lists eight leadership functions requiring “deep understanding” in order to be effective. Among those eight functions are “innovator,” “technologist,” and “integrator.”
If you came into your role from meeting planning, membership, or marketing roles, or if you are an executive director for a smaller association and also serves as the education executive, you’re more aware than anyone else of the mountain of “things” you need to know and be able to do to keep your education programs vibrant and valuable.
And in true seredipity, Jeff Cobb just posted at Mission to Learn on “What Have I Learned at Work?” The questions he offers up give you a great method for consciously reflecting on the other two resources mentioned here (and thousands more you come across every day) so you can transform what you’ve read and seen into the deep understanding you need.