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The harried business person would be a funny cliche if it weren’t so true. And with technology making everything go at a lightning pace or freeing up time for the executive to add 10 more things to her plate, well you can see life hasn’t become less harried with all the advancements. But it has become less personable.
Beth Brooks, CAE, CEO of the Texas Society of Association Executives, has come to realize this, and she now makes an effort to get out from behind her desk and visit with TSAE members twice a week. Brooks readily aknowledges the importance of technology in the workplace, especially in associations, but “association management is returning to basics. We are seeing a return to making a phone call, because you assume they’re reading emails, but they are not.” Brooks has taken to visiting with two members a week to ask them, “What’s keeping you up at night?” The visits are the highlight of her week, she said.
TSAE, which is known for its strong education offerings, has started to emphasize more peer-to-peer, learn at lunch programs, to foster in-person learning and sharing. Associations “did that years and years ago. We’ve seen a departure of that, and now we’re coming back to it. People want to connect with others in a meaningful way.”
TSAE has seen a growth in participation and overall contentment with the association since emphasizing different approaches. One way is to “talent search” members to work on issues or projects in which they’ve shown an interest. “We’re engaging members on things they are passionate about,” Brooks said. Details: www.tsae.org.