Lane Velayo, CAE, executive director of the Indiana Music Education Association, knows the value of creativity and improvisation, especially in small-staff organizations.
Lane Velayo, CAE
Indiana Music Education Association
Knock out the ankle biters.
We all have minor tasks that seem to get in the way of our more important ones. Leveraging social media tools like Hootsuite or prescheduling mundane emails can free you up to do the higher-level tasks you should be doing. If your "ankle biters" aren't tech-related, think about a factory day: Gather your team for a one-day retreat focused on knocking out a small list of projects (or one sizable project) that you need to get out of the way. Factory days are great ways to develop content, ensure all eyes are on an upcoming event, or focus on whatever your biggest concern is.
As the executive director of a small association, I need to get creative to find ways to provide the same things that a larger association can easily pay for. As I listen to my colleagues in other associations or look at something a for-profit has done, I ask myself: What is the basic task they are accomplishing, and how can I do the same thing with my budget?
Be an educator.
Our volunteers have a wealth of knowledge in their professional areas, but they aren't association professionals. Take the time to educate them not only on their responsibilities as volunteer leaders but also on the best practices of association management. Remember, you don't have to be the lone voice on that: There are many resources you can reference when discussing association management topics.