Last week, I traveled to St. Louis with two other Indiana Bankers Association professionals to attend the annual convention of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Yes, even associations have an association! At the ASAE event, we were immersed in learning opportunities, both through outstanding breakout sessions and a showcase exhibit hall. We came back with a feeling of pride, knowing that the IBA is not only one of the top state bankers associations around, but that it ranks among the elite of state associations of any kind.
Lest you fear I am going to gloat, please be assured that we returned to Indiana with many ideas on how to improve, and eager to serve you better. Perhaps some of the following “take aways” could apply to your bank:
- We need to make sure that we are listening to our customers—not only to CEOs, but penetrating deeper within the bank. We provide multiple services, particularly in the professional development area, to all levels of bankers; we must listen to their needs.
- We need to do a better job of eliminating “dead” programs and services. The time it takes to continue to sell and support a program or service with a limited market could be better spent in developing and providing needed products and services.
- We will look at hiring a consultant to perform a communications audit. Our contact with you needs to be consistent and professional. We also could use guidance in determining the best utilization of social media.
- We will need to hire a consultant, perhaps annually, to review our processes and direction in order to determine software and hardware needs. We simply do not have the depth of staff to keep up with the exploding world of technology. We must apply technology strategically to be ever more professional, more efficient and better able to lead our members.
I already knew the pointers above, but once in a while a reminder is appropriate. ASAE gave us the nudge we needed to keep on track in our service to you. Perhaps my sharing this information with you can serve as a gentle reminder to you, too, in fulfilling your mission.