Friday, September 24, 2010

How Volunteering Improves Your Chances of Promotion

By Molly Lopez, CAE, President/Owner

I attended a great Iowa State, U of I, UNI alumni networking luncheon this week. (Go Cyclones! Sorry, I had to say it.) I met some interesting people and the educational topic revolved around the importance of volunteering and mentoring.

It was good to attend this networking event as a volunteer and also as an owner of a firm that manages volunteers.

Take-Aways as an Employer: 73% of employers would employ a candidate with volunteer experience over one without (I agree!), and 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills benefited by improving their chances of being promoted (Interesting!).

Personal/Professional Take-Aways:
• Reasons to volunteer (make a difference, build professional/personal contacts, meet new people, better your community or profession, develop new job skills, do something as a family or team, put your passion to a purpose);

• Selecting volunteer opportunities (research organization, consider how you can benefit, think about your talents to contribute, know time commitment and commit);

• Mentoring (Mentor Benefits: exposure to new skills/technology/resources, a challenge, self-worth, fosters positive change, a way to give back, create a legacy, and Mentee Benefits: enhances career plans, increases networking/references, gain support, insider perspective, exposure to diverse experiences, fosters positive change).
Mentoring is ageless: everyone needs counsel, advice, role models and/or tough love.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

PDI Integrates Global Trends Research into Strategic Planning

Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) Leaders Integrate Global Trends Research into Strategic Planning

PDI’s management firm, Association Management, Ltd. (AML), introduced important research from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE and The Center)to PDI's Board of Directors. This research is regarding the 50 Key Trends and 20 Patterns of Change within the association industry.

The Designing Your Futures research provides critical perspectives on the changing future global environment, addressing:
• Socio-demographic,
• Technological,
• Economic,
• Political,
• and Environmental change.

AML President/Owner Molly Lopez, CAE, states, “This Global Trends information helps our association clients to better formulate their strategic plans and prepare for emerging threats and opportunities.”

Three objectives were recommended for consideration by AML to PDI’s leaders:
1. Introduce critical trends, ideas and developments that could have an impact on PDI and their members over the next five to ten years,
2. Identify the key challenges that these trends create for PDI’s leaders as they develop their longer-term strategies, and
3. Provide a strategic framework for making key choices and decisions about the preferred future of PDI.

According to AML Account Executive Lynn Harkin, who is assigned as PDI’s Executive Director and facilitated the process, “PDI’s leaders embraced the Global Trends research information. They were surveyed about the 50 Trends and five top Trends emerged.”

PDI’s Top Five Trends:
1. Pay-as-you-go and “freemium” services becoming more prevalent business models,
2. Internet continues transforming government, governance and business,
3. Education falling behind employers’ expectations,
4. Baby boomer retirement and un-retirement, talent shortages,
5. Evolving personal technology, “ecosystems”: intuitive, visual and smart.

PDI leaders also understand the Patterns of Change that surround their top five Trends:
• Expanding business agenda,
• Rethinking talent, education and training,
• Global Internet explosion,
• Economic power shifts,
• A society in transition.

“This information now serves as an overlay to strategic discussions about PDI’s primary purposes.” said PDI President Jason White. “PDI is an association of professional economic development personnel affiliated for the purpose of furthering the development of the economic base of the State of Iowa.”

PDI’s Primary Purposes:
*Fostering cooperation and mutual support among the members;
*Using the collective expertise of the members to provide guidance and direction to policymakers as it pertains to economic development;
*Working consistently to enhance the long-term competitive posture of the State of Iowa as it pertains to economic development;
*Providing the means for members to informally exchange ideas and development techniques; and
*Affording members the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, expertise, confidence, and professionalism through a varied program of educational activities.

PDI has been an association client of AML since 2003. AML is the only internationally accredited association management company in Iowa. Visit:

For more information about the Designing your Future publication, visit: