Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 19

influencing decisions? Try to level the playing field by insisting
everyone lend their voice to the conversation. When I facilitate
a strategic plan, one of the most important activities involves
giving everyone an equal voice when it comes to identifying
the highest priority goals. Changing the power dynamic and
creating a level playing field is a great way to avoid groupthink.

Bring in an objective facilitator.
The final way to avoid groupthink and ensure decisions are
truly based on the important priorities of everyone in the
room is to bring in an objective third-party facilitator. Whether
it be a formal professional facilitator or just someone who
hasn't been previously involved in discussions, a new voice
can see things a little different. If it is a professional facilitator,
there are tools they can use to work through these decisions
and avoid groupthink.
In the example above, the leaders of the organization were
surprised to learn what emerged as a higher priority for the
organization. While the original priority remained an important
one for the association, by avoiding groupthink they had a
new priority on which to focus resources. It brought a renewed

Like Albert Einstein said, "doing the
same things and expecting different
results is the definition of insanity."
Don't be insane. Change it up.
sense of purpose for the organization going forward. What
decisions are your organization or board making as a result of
subtle groupthink? Which of these tools can you use to avoid it
next time? z

Brandon Robinson, CAE is President of
Association Management at Eisenman
& Associates, Inc., an association
management company, and serves as
Executive Director of the Virginia Society
of Association Executives (VSAE).
He can be reached at 804.249.2234
or brandon@vsae.org.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
FOR THESE AENC EVENTS
April 21, 2017 - Spring Conference & Luncheon
Raleigh Marriott Crabtree, Raleigh, NC
July 22-24, 2017 - Annual Meeting
Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, NC
September 11, 2017 - Annual Golf Outing
River Ridge Golf Club, Raleigh, NC
November 2-3, 2017 - Fall Conference & Luncheon
Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, NC
December 14 - Annual Showcase & Exhibits
Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, NC
LEARN MORE AT AENCNET.ORG

march/april 2017

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success

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http://www.AENCNET.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Success By Association - March/April 2017

President’s Message
Event Calendar
Change, One Person at a Time
What I Learned as an Employment Attorney: Non-Legal Advice to Get You Out of Legal Hot Water
Is Your Hiring Filter in the Way?
Freedom Comes From Rules
Cost/Benefit of an Organization Retreat
Polish Up Your Confict-of-Interest Policy
Legislative Reception a Success!
Getting the Leadership Basics Right
Member Updates
Should They Stay or Should They Go? (With Apologies to the Clash)
Young Leader Profile
Advertiser Index
Buyers’ Guide
Advertiser Showcase
Executive Director’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover1
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover2
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 3
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - President’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Event Calendar
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 6
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Change, One Person at a Time
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - What I Learned as an Employment Attorney: Non-Legal Advice to Get You Out of Legal Hot Water
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 9
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Is Your Hiring Filter in the Way?
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Freedom Comes From Rules
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Cost/Benefit of an Organization Retreat
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 13
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Polish Up Your Confict-of-Interest Policy
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 15
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Legislative Reception a Success!
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 17
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 18
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 19
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Getting the Leadership Basics Right
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 21
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Member Updates
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 23
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Should They Stay or Should They Go? (With Apologies to the Clash)
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 25
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Young Leader Profile
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Advertiser Index
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Buyers’ Guide
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Advertiser Showcase
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Executive Director’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover3
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover4
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