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.

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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Change agents, assemble! – reprise

In organizational change, we need to cultivate friends. If you were at the delightful CSAE Trillium Summer Summit last week, you’ll remember the keynoter Sunjay Nath’s talk about what he calls the 10-80-10 rule. He made the point that focusing on the least-engaged, most-resistant segment (the bottom 10%) results in everyone else feeling left out, and drains your energy. And …

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How can you drive commitment?

One thing I suggest to clients is that communication leads to commitment. What we tell others we’re going to do, we’re more likely to do. I also talk about setting aside time to do the important things – drop them into a calendar. For instance, if you have a strategic and tactical plan, your commitment to it …

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The strategically skilled association – CSAE guest post

This week I wrote a blog post for the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE), on the idea of a strategically skilled association. Strategy is more important than ever. Associations – and, more importantly, their members – face a changing environment, including significant threats to traditional association business models. Yet, associations are often disenchanted and disappointed …

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New! Association tactical planning white paper

This white paper, “Turning Strategy into Action: Tactical Planning for Associations“, is for association leaders who want to make sure their strategies become reality. It outlines a process for: Connecting high-level strategies to real-world operations through tactics. Bringing tactics together into a coherent, feasible—but still inspiring—plan. Using the plan to manage expectations—and make space for opportunities. Download …

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Tactical planning – 5 ways to make it successful

Most of us can make the argument for the importance of strategy. Most of us can also make the case that strategy has to be turned into feasible tactics to actually get anything accomplished. But tactical planning? We may go a bit blank when we think about how to do that. What’s the process for turning strategies …

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Strategic measurement – Pick your metrics wisely

I’ve talked before about the importance of setting metrics at the strategic level and using them to assess the success of your strategy. But how do you pick those metrics for strategic measurement? What are you aiming for, with different strategies? STRATEGIC MEASUREMENT SHOULD ANSWER THE QUESTION: SO WHAT? If you’ve set strategies, you need to …

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Metrics that matter

What gets measured, gets done, right? We know that setting strategies that will move the association forward is a key responsibility of the board. And certainly, board reports are often very detailed (sometimes excruciatingly so). There is no shortage of metrics. But do they answer the most important question of all: are we moving towards …

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Outcome-based volunteerism

When’s the last time you asked your volunteers if they felt they were accomplishing anything? An association I admire recently did a volunteer survey to check in, following a major structural overhaul. They wanted to know, how is Year One of the New Normal going? But amid the questions about whether committees or working groups …

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Is your strategic plan doomed to irrelevance?

What makes a strategic plan irrelevant? This isn’t usually a binary thing. It’s hard to imagine a strategic plan, especially in the association world, that’s utterly irrelevant. Much of it is probably going to be in about the right direction. But some plans waste resources because they aren’t used – and some plans waste resources …

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