Ave M President and CEO, Sheri Jacobs, leads session teaching associations how to grow during bad times.

August 10, 2020 – Avenue M’s president and CEO, Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE led a morning session at ASAE’s first entirely virtual Annual Meeting and Exhibition. The 45-minute session, “Grow and Innovate In Good and Bad Times (And Keep the HiPPO from Influencing Every Decision)” helped attendees think differently about embracing innovation and taking risk to achieve association goals. Below is the abstract of the session and key takeaways from Sheri’s highly-praised session.


Every day we make thousands of decisions and many of our decisions can be made the usual way – through gut intuition. Should I grab an apple or a candy bar for a snack? Should I attend this session or a different one? (Easy answer: Attend this one) However, some decisions require more information. During a disruptive time, these decisions can have a more serious impact. Should I launch a new member recruitment campaign in light of the pandemic or wait a few months? Should we change our dues structure to allow adjacent audience segments to join or leave it alone? In many cases, your colleagues will weigh in on the decision sharing their intuition until the HiPPO speaks. And at many organizations, the HiPPO’s opinion wins. A HiPPO is the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. While intuition may be the key to brainstorming, you need data to filter the good ideas from the bad.

Takeaway 1: How to build a process that embraces both intuition and testing within your organization

Takeaway 2: How to iterate and learn at a rapid pace using the feedback from your members and customers

Takeaway 3: How to plan for and incorporate mistakes and missteps.

Takeaway 4: How to evaluate the risk and consequences of any action, including not taking any action.

If you have any questions about the presentation or you’d like copies of the slides, please use the Contact Us form on the Avenue M website or send an email to Sheri Jacobs (jacobs@avenuemgroup.com) directly. If you attended ASAE’s Virtual Meeting & Exposition the session is available on-demand until August 31, 2020.


[Image: Adobe Stock]