CEO to CEO: Innovation Facilitation

Association CEOs share how they help members with innovation.

What does your association do to encourage innovation in your industry?

The Canadian Bar Association encourages innovation by being the thought leader on what is happening in the legal profession, which is going through massive change globally. The CBA is undertaking a thorough and comprehensive project looking at where the legal profession will be in 15 years. The bottom line for any association, especially one where members may be resistant to change, is not only to show when innovation is required, but to provide members with toolkits to help them through the process.

—John D.V. Hoyles, CEO, Canadian Bar Association, Ottawa

To encourage innovation within our industry, we use a variety of tactics. The most effective is that we host panel discussions and seminars on our campus. We find that, despite the efficiencies and speed of electronic communication, there is something about onsite and in-person interaction that makes a difference when ideas are being considered. Entrepreneurship and creativity for industry topics seem to blossom in the environment of personal engagement.

—Don Klein, CEO, Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, Nashville

The Healthcare Businesswomen's Association innovates in order to serve the healthcare industry. Women working in healthcare have great needs for leadership training but little time to attend in-person programs. We created Leadership in Practice, a program that offers asynchronous leadership training, advice from senior leaders via a podcast series, and a self-guided virtual program. This fall we had women from 20 countries participate.

—Laurie Cooke, CEO, Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, Fairfield, New Jersey

First, we support scholarly communication at the frontiers of our field via two peer-reviewed journals, as well as hosting national and regional meetings where researchers and practitioners can directly interact and inform each other's efforts. Second, we convene leaders from across our multiple stakeholder communities to address topics of national or international relevance. The results of these conferences and workshops are documented in archival reports.

—Norman Fortenberry, executive director, American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, DC