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Breaking news was the theme of the day at the TRENDS LIVE Breakfast last week on the 2012 TRENDS Operational & Financial Excellence Survey. The survey, sponsored by West, Lane & Schlager and Clifton Larson Allen, will be published in the May issue, and covers a range of internal issues including associations' internal plans and focus, non-dues revenue projects, expense and vendor management, finance, and staff and facilities.
More than 40 CEOs, CFOs and COOs attended the event, which featured a sneak peak at the report as well as a chance to talk with David Kushner, president of Kushner Companies LLC, and Steve Lane, president of Vertical Leap Consulting LLP. Rounding out the panel were Moira Fathy Baker, winner of the 2009 CFO Lifetime Achievement Award, and Barbara Reno, CEO of Chief Executives Organization.
Kushner said the results showed that “larger groups are recovering in the current economy while smaller or state groups were still hurting.” Of particular interest, the survey broke down what new initiatives associations have been doing to raise nondues revenue. Particularly popular among breakfast participants was entering into partnerships with other organizations that had no previous or competing relationships.
After being told where associations are focusing their internal efforts, audience members shared their experiences and insight based upon the initial survey results. They debated on one of the survey findings that staff performance metrics were falling in importance to a company. An important point was raised that companies are less willing to invest in employees due to the high turnover rates and job attitudes, particularly among Generation Y.
Much of the conversation can be summed up by Reno’s statement that “good [economic] times breed bad habits and bad times breed good ones.” The information in the report aims to help associations ensure that they can weed out all their bad habits from the good ones and remain the leading force in their industries. Data is broken down by factors, such as organizational size, local vs. national, and total revenue. Information can be tailored to the individual association for maximum effectiveness.
For more on the TRENDS Finance & Operations Survey, contact Nick Lovesee, email@example.com.