Association Brain Food Weekly: 12.13.19

Free professional development resources and events for CAEs, association staff and others in the association community

The weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community…

Free professional development resources and events for CAEs, association staff and others in the association community

I just bought a wreath at the farmers market and I’m listening to the Christmas Cocktail Jazz playlist on Spotify. I’m getting in the Christmas spirit. It looks like MemberSuite is already feeling the spirit because this week they sent Santa their holiday wish list for associations.

In a 2019 survey of high-tech companies, more than 40% of the respondents said they hire Customer Success Managers, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. I know of at least one AMS company that assigns a Customer Success Manager to each of their clients. It’s such a smart practice to help clients get the maximum value from their software, I’m surprised there aren’t more companies in our space doing this.

WBT Systems shared some depressing statistics about the percentage of leadership positions held by women. We still have a long way to go. Read their ideas for how associations can help support and train women on the path to leadership.

Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter at Human Workplaces released a new white paper on a maturity model for workplace culture. Culture is a true business function, like IT or marketing, and requires processes, systems and internal positions to support it. Their maturity model lays out the path for that journey, and shows you how to manage culture through three different stages: culture as a concept, culture as a practice, and culture as a system.

When you see a headline about fraud at a nonprofit, do you think, “That wouldn’t happen here.” Yeah, that’s what they said too. Billhighway provides advice on what to do if one of your chapters is a victim of fraud and, more importantly, how to prevent fraud from happening in the first place.

Millennials are spending more time at home than previous generations, per research uncovered by Sarah Todd at Quartz. I wonder if this lifestyle becomes a permanent thing with them, and how it will affect attendance at association and chapter events. On the plus side, homebodies are a good audience for online learning programs.

Quick hits before we get to next week’s free webinars:

  • Growing up, my brothers and I were huge Monty Python fans so naturally this article caught my eye: what ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ teaches us about project management. (Brad Egeland, Association for Project Management)
  • A psychologist claims that learning untranslatable words from other cultures may be the key to happiness. (Sigal Samuel, Vox)
  • In case you need a translation when people talk about their ‘lewk.’ (Merriam-Webster)

Good eats:

  • When I saw the photo for creamy pasta with crispy mushrooms on Bon Appetit, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I found a reason to make it. Go ahead, click. See what I mean? On the way home last weekend, I pulled up the recipe and told Jim, “We need to stop at the store.” Satisfying comfort food. I miss it already.
  • I’ve been relying on some easy side dishes to get me through a hectic life lately. I’ll share them here in case they’re not in your repertoire. Toss broccoli florets with olive oil on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and roast at 400 until they start to brown. Then mix in some garlic slices. When the florets are nicely caramelized in spots and at the tenderness you like, take them out and toss them with lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
  • Another roasted favorite: trim and then halve or quarter Brussels sprouts, mix them with big slices of red onion and red bell (or sweet) pepper on a sheet pan, toss with olive oil (if you have bacon fat in the frig, add some of that too), sprinkle with salt and roast at 400 until they’re nearly the tenderness you like. Mix in some garlic slices and finish roasting. The caramelized leaves are so good.
  • Croissants from Union Special Bread in Raleigh, oh yes. I had one while writing this, magnificent. I also recently discovered the croissants from BJ’s, not in the same league but pretty darn good too.

Here are the educational events scheduled for next week. If you have any free webinars or events coming up, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not product-centric.

Mon 12/16 at 11 a.m.* – Audit and Improve Peer Review Efficiency at the Journals You Manage

Hear about peer review efficiency audit best practices from a technical and editorial perspective. Find out how to spot digital optimization opportunities in peer review and employ Agile project management principles to make iterative improvements. Learn how to assess and improve editorial team alignment, peer review policies, and instructions for authors. More info/register.

Host: Scholastica


  • Brian Cody, Co-Founder and CEO, Scholastica
  • Lindsey Struckmeyer, Editorial Client Manager, J&J Editorial
  • Danielle Padula (moderator), Community Development Manager, Scholastica

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Mon 12/16 at 1 p.m. – Chatting with Agnes & Cecilia

Check out this 15-minute web series covering hot topics and issues related to 501c organization management. A new episode is posted every Monday by 1 p.m. More info.

Host: Rogue Tulips LLC


  • Agnes Amos-Coleman, MBA, CMP, education, conference, event, certification consultant, Amos-Coleman
  • Cecilia Sepp, CAE, CNAP, principal and founder, Rogue Tulips LLC

Mon 12/16 at 3 p.m. – Design Your Perfect 2020: How to Create Powerful Goals and Actually Stick to Them

Additional dates: Mon 12/16 at 9 p.m., Wed 12/18 at 11 a.m. and Fri 12/20 at 11 a.m.

Learn goal-setting methods to ensure you set inspiring goals and actually achieve them in 2020. Find out the #1 reason why people with numerous ambitions end up accomplishing so little, 3 zones of goal-setting and why only one of them can make you successful, how to avoid the top reason most people fail with their goals, a simple action that will make you 42% more likely to achieve your goals, and Hyatt’s proven 7-part formula for fail-proof goal-setting. More info/register.

Host/Presenter: Michael Hyatt

Tue 12/17 at 12 p.m. – 2020 Event Trends

Every year we publish 10 Event Trends, our annual research on trends, downloaded by 2,000 event professionals in one day. This webinar is your only chance to filter through the noise of trends and focus on what really matters. Tune in to get a year of research, summarized in easy to digest slides. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Event MB

Presenter: Julius Solaris, founder and editor of EventMB

Tue 12/17 at 12:30 p.m. – Member Engagement Party

An engaging membership experience needs constant attention and interaction, just like any good party. When you recruit members, you’re inviting them to your organization’s “party.” When they accept your invitation how are you greeting them at the door, helping them assimilate, introducing them to the resources and amenities of your “home?” Find out how to shift your mindset and improve member engagement throughout the membership cycle. 0.5 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: The Next Steps LLC

Tue 12/17 at 1 p.m. – The 2020 State Legislative Sessions Are Coming: Are You Ready?

Hear leading association state government relations and advocacy practitioners talk about the latest state advocacy developments and share how they are preparing their associations for the 46 state legislative sessions kicking off starting in January. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Government Relations and Advocacy Professionals Advisory Council


  • Diana Noel, Senior Legislative Representative, AARP
  • Brandon Robinson, Director of Policy, Virginia Association of Health Plans
  • Aaron Costello, Consultant, MG Strategy + Design
  • Molly Murray (Moderator), Field Representative, American Medical Association

Tue 12/17 at 2 p.m. – Association Chat on Twitter (#assnchat)

The original #assnchat Twitter chat is back. Join an online tweet chat with fellow association professionals by following the #assnchat hashtag on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. More info.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Tue 12/17 at 2 p.m. – Opening Your Eyes to the Microaggressions Around You

Microaggressions can be subtle or unintentional actions or comments that convey prejudice or disdain. Explore microaggressions experienced every day, why they occur, and equality solutions to prevent problem behaviors. Learn how to build and implement an equality mindset for your organization that champions world-class results and a new status quo. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Brian J. Sullivan, founder, ACTIVE Equality

Tue 12/17 at 2 p.m. – Get the Office Out of the Office

Hear about best practices for hosting off-site meetings, including lifting the barriers that stifle creativity and enabling businesses to focus on the content of the meeting, not the setup. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings

Presenter: Rachele Vincent, Regional Director of Sales, TopGolf

Tue 12/17 at 2 p.m. – 3 Ways Starting a Podcast Can Help Your Nonprofit Grow

Learn how starting a podcast is a surprising way to create deep content, how to use podcasting to connect with dedicated supporters and meet new audiences, and how you can get your podcast started and what resources you will need. More info/register.

Host: TechSoup

Presenter: Adam Walker, co-founder of the digital agency Sideways8 and nonprofit co-founder of 48in48

Wed 12/18 at 1 p.m. – The Hidden Value of Open Source – Secrets of Successful Corporate Learning Solutions

Until recently, open-source learning solutions primarily served academic institutions. Not anymore. Now, other organizations are leveraging the unique strengths of open source to deliver world-class learning at an affordable price. Find out if the advantages of open source make sense for your organization. Learn about the business and educational benefits of open source, differences between open source and a commercial LMS, tips for getting started, and more. More info/register.

Host: Talented Learning


  • John Leh, Lead Analyst and CEO, Talented Learning
  • Randy Jones, VP of Business Development and Strategy, eThink Education
  • Laura Kiley, Channel Partner Manager, GO1
  • Ollie Browning, UK Sales Director, GO1

Thu 12/19 at 11:30 a.m. – Vision 2020: Envisioning the Emerging Role and Impact of Associations

Join us for a strategically stimulating panel discussion addressing some of the emerging challenges, changes, and innovations that can provide opportunities for associations to have an even greater impact in member engagement and outreach, marketing strategies, community relations and engagement, and technology and staffing. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Organizer/Moderator: Talisa Thomas Hall, ACS, ALB, VCP, The Association Whisperer

Thu 12/19 at 1 p.m. – Learning Business Trends // Our 2020 Vision

As the year draws to a close, join us for an expeditious look at key trends that impacted lifelong learning, professional development, and continuing education in 2019 and that will continue to shape learning businesses in 2020. More info/register.

Host: Tagoras

Presenters: Celisa Steele and Jeff Cobb, co-founders of Tagoras and Leading Learning

Thu 12/19 at 2 p.m. – The Power of Strategic Planning: Reimagining What’s Possible

Learn how the right strategic plan can help your organization reimagine what’s possible and achieve it. Leave this webinar with a clear understanding of how your association can benefit from strategic planning and the steps you will need to take to get an effective, game-changing plan in place. More info/register.

Host: Virtual Inc.


  • Andy Freed, Chief Executive Officer, Virtual, Inc.
  • Greg Kohn, Chief Growth Officer, Virtual, Inc.

That’s it for now. If you can’t attend a live webinar, go ahead and register if the topic interests you. Most webinar hosts send registrants a link to the recording.

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers free professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter before Thursday afternoon.

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Creative Commons image by Marek Mucha via Unsplash

Author: deirdrereid

Deirdre is a freelance writer for companies serving the association market, who after more than 20 years in the association and restaurant industries, is enjoying the good life as a ghostblogger and content marketing writer. Away from her laptop, you can find her walking in the woods, doing yoga, going to shows, journaling, cooking, or relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and a glass of something tasty in hand.

2 thoughts on “Association Brain Food Weekly: 12.13.19”

  1. Thanks for mentioning the Christmas cocktail jazz. It’s been great to listen to this morning!

    Happy holidays!


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