About the Company
We work with professional associations and other organizations and businesses on strategic questions, including strategic planning, strategy development, business model assessment, marketing strategy, conference assessment, and customized market research. Founder Meredith Low is a highly experienced management consultant, focused on helping organizations and companies understand how, when, and where to grow in the context of fast-changing environments.

Run a meeting – any meeting – better

So many meetings and discussions – from a board meeting to a quick chat in the hallway with a colleague – get sidetracked and bogged down. Sometimes that’s fine – a little chitchat to build relationships can build relationships and spark ideas. But that can’t be the norm in your meetings. Because that’s what kills …

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Strategy in an age of uncertainty

When things are uncertain, ambiguous, volatile, complex, it can be tempting to think that it makes no sense to think about association strategy. Why spend a lot of time investing in a complicated strategic plan if you know that your world is changing, and fast? Well, first of all, let’s remind ourselves that a complicated set-in-stone …

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The Strategy-Oriented Board

Making sure your board becomes and stays strategy-oriented is a topic on which many people have ideas – and challenges too. I know that because this post is crowd-sourced to a great extent from the members of the Trillium Chapter of the Canadian Society of Association Executives who were eager to talk about it. Last week …

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How to put that strategic plan into action

A recent Associations Now is showcasing the work of Nancy Barrett of COMP, the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists, in translating a strategy to action through tactical planning. I had the chance to work with COMP through this process, and was delighted to be interviewed for the article as well. You can read the whole piece here. And you can download the white …

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Is qualitative research a DIY project?

Should associations do their own qualitative research? Even in our wildly data-driven world in love with quantitative data, qualitative research remains an unparalleled method of gathering evidence on the environment and performance of an association. Since it’s really just talking to people, and because the investment can be fairly significant if done by a third party, …

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Thinking strategically in tactical planning

Associations are filled with smart people who are used to making tough tradeoffs about how to accomplish their goals. Yet, when it comes to tactical planning, which is where staff weigh in on how a strategy will come to life, it is a challenge to get that brainpower applied strategically. People are often vague or …

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Strategy is not management

Association strategy is not management, but it is so often muddled. Here’s the difference: strategy is the set of choices you make (and live by) to be successful. It’s doing this, not that. Going down this path, but not that one. Designing for these activities, not those. Management is about running the association. Which of course …

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Dave Meslin’s Engagement Framework

Recently, I wrote an article for CSAE Trillium’s Forum e-Magazine. Here’s the intro to give you a start, and the link to read more.  Smart associations today know that they aren’t entitled to engagement from members – or from anyone else. But there aren’t that many robust frameworks on how to build engagement. Right now, …

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Robust decision-making

Here’s the thing about decision-making. It’s not always about making a decision. Except when it is. Knowing when not to make a particular decision is not about doing nothing. Sometimes it’s saying, you know what, we’ll plant a few seeds and see what happens. Or experiment a bit. Or set a time to make the …

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A board is not a focus group!

“How many of your members are in management or academic roles?” I asked. “Fifteen percent.” Looking around the board table, I then asked, “How many of you are in management or academic roles?” Almost every hand went up. Boards are the stewards of the organization, and most, if not all, members of an association board are …

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