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Ben's Tips

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Practice Patience — Immediately!

Is your “hair-on-fire” mentality driving you or your team nuts? In his most recent tip, Ben discusses the importance of practicing patience—immediately!

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Mathmachicken

Ben shares the legendary Mathmachicken in this week’s tip on the power of humor in virtual team-building!

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Bourbon and BS

How do you stay in touch while socially distant? Ben used to meet with his friends for “Bourbon and BS,” but now they’ve moved the fun to Zoom! Just goes to show how we can stay close even when we have to be apart.

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Associations Matter

Now, more than ever, we see the importance of associations. They have the power to connect and support communities even when life doesn’t go as expected.

Helping these great organizations keeps our team motivated no matter what the job brings. What inspires your team?

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Culture & Rituals

Ben shares how his team is promoting culture and maintaining rituals virtually. Learn more:

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Virtual Connection

Social distance doesn’t have to mean emotional distance. Our President, Ben, reflects on fostering togetherness while working remotely. Learn more:

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Collaboration Tools

How does your team collaborate to get work done? We recently found the right mix of tools and technology to help us communicate and boost productivity. Learn more:

Video transcript available below:

So our team has been working really hard to try to find collaboration tools and we’ve looked at a whole host of software solutions. I’d be happy to tell you the ones we looked at that didn’t work for us. But recently we found one that we’re liking called Monday.com. It’s a little confusing because we just had a meeting on Tuesday about Monday and I was confused about what was going on. Not really.

But then the thing that we found out was one of the deficiencies for Monday is it didn’t have what’s called a chat function. Sort of like we would instant message each other at home. Irene from our team actually found that Slack had a free tool for chat. So it requires us to have another application open but actually in the weeks we’ve been using it, I find it really useful to just be able to dash off a sentence to somebody and I don’t interrupt their day. They get it and they don’t have to respond to it instantly and the collaboration bit on Monday seems to be working pretty well for us. But I’m really interested if you have a really great collaboration tool or a really great chat tool or some other tool that’s helping your efficiency and your productivity. There’s just not enough hours in the day and we’re trying to do the best thing that we can. So let me know and if you like Monday, we’ll talk to you about it on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. We don’t care.

Good luck. Work on your business. Stay in touch.

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Sub-Strategies Don’t Work

You can’t develop successful small-scale initiatives like marketing campaigns without first knowing your overarching goals. You know what your association needs; we’ll help you get there.

Video transcript available below:

So you know, self-diagnosis is really hard. We recently had a meeting with a local not-for-profit and they wanted to engage us to do marketing services for them and in our discovery of that, we realized that they actually didn’t have an overall strategy. It would be impossible to craft a marketing strategy if we didn’t have an overall strategy. We agreed to facilitate a couple of days of overall corporate strategy for them. Among the things that we did were SWOT: strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And interestingly enough, marketing was not one of the top five weaknesses that they had for their company.

I think what we learned from their strategy session is that they had a lot of affinity about where they wanted to go, they just needed to put it all on paper, which they hadn’t done for some time. And I think it was helpful for them to get goal congruence about what growth looked like and what resource gaps they had. You can’t do sub-strategies like marketing strategy if you don’t have an overall strategy. If you have any questions about it, feel free to give me a call. I promise to have an opinion.

Good luck. Work on your business. Stay in touch.

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: An Auditor’s Job

An auditor’s job is your job — a financial audit isn’t designed to fix your mistakes, just to ensure you haven’t made any. Watch now:

Video transcript available below:

Good morning.  I’m thinking about audits today, financial audits, because I just had a meeting with our largest client’s independent accountant for their audit for the year that just ended.

The one thing I always think about is that I hear from people on Boards I serve on and otherwise who think that an auditor’s job is to come in and to fix the books, to make entries that you didn’t make, to correct things. We think that auditors are there to verify the books and to make sure that all the things that have been accounted for, have been accounted for correctly. That process requires that we have a detailed analysis of the balance sheet and generally to make sure that where things should go on the income statement have gone.

I don’t want to tempt the evil eye, but I’ m proud to say that for six years in a row for this client, there hasn’t been an adjusting auditor entry. And I think that’s just normal practice and everyone should shoot for that.

If you’re still having issues where your auditors come in and make adjusting entries, you may want to talk to them or certainly, you can call me. I’d be happy to chat about it.

Good luck! Work on your business. Stay in touch.

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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Creating Connection

Giveaways are a great way to provide value for your members while deepening connections and highlighting your creativity.

Watch Ben’s tip to see how one association has leveraged giveaways to create a longlasting impression.

Video transcript available below:

Good morning. We’re always trying to think of interesting ways that members can connect with other members and one of our associate members for an association we manage, a company called Atlas Die, about 10 years ago, started making customized coasters with a picture of the cities that they were visiting. Because this association meets twice a year, Atlas Die has now made 20 of these coasters that they hand out to all of the members.

Personally, I’m not sure how interested I was in having a coaster for the city of Baltimore, but every time I take one and now I have a collection of all 20. It’s a way that Atlas Die has provided value, and it’s also a way that Atlas Die has created a connection for themselves and their members. I think it was a really great idea. I wish I thought of it.

Good luck! Work on your business. Stay in touch.

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