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A Word from the CSAE Chair and President & CEO

CSAE has continued to focus on moving our business model work forward.  The following provides an update on our progress and next steps.  Please contact us to share your thoughts and perspectives on this valuable work by e-mailing us at glegault@chamber.ca or manderson@csae.com

All the best,

Guy Legault, CAE, CSAE Chair and Michael Anderson, CAE, President & CEO

Business Model Update

A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value and CSAE has regularly updated its stakeholders on our work in this regard.  Our goal is to deliver stronger and more enduring value to members and to new segments consisting of Boards of Directors, F10s (young association staff, ages 22 to 32) and Growth-Oriented Associations. 

In May 2015, we launched a series of experiments targeted to these audiences and made a series of low-level investments in the experiments.  Most resonated well and they will continue to evolve moving forward.   During the October 2016 Annual Conference, we provided a further overview of our work on behalf of these audiences and touched on the CSAE BoardREADY Card Deck which was supported via a crowd-funding campaign last year. 

More than ninety people contributed and received their card decks in March 2016.  Phase 2 of the program was launched on July 6 via www.csaeboardready.net

We encourage you to visit the site and review the card decks and the sample copy that is available.  We know that Boards need help and encourage you to purchase a subscription level that meets the size of your Board. 

Every Board member will need their own deck and the site will guide you through the purchase, shipping and authentication processes.  Several members – our early adopters – have told us that they’ve applied this innovative tool to their own Boards and the CSAE Board is also using it.   We also recommend that you distribute the decks to your Boards in advance of their next meeting so members have time to become familiar with their content.  The site has a PowerPoint presentation and video on how to use the decks. Additional resource tools will soon be created to help your Board improve its performance.

Our business model work also focused on the need to create a comprehensive content strategy to meet the needs of our stakeholders.  A content strategy typically has seven essential components which includes a supply chain, topic monitoring and modelling, an understanding of key audiences, a marketing strategy, discovery of content, and a roadmap and analytics.  Preliminary work on the plan has begun and it will evolve over the summer with the intent of releasing new and different content across an array of media and platforms in the fall on an experimental basis.  Metrics will be established to gauge how audiences use and engage with the material. This feedback will help further define the plan.  Part of the content strategy will involve establishing content creation and curation networks. We have started to work on understanding the kinds of content required, the number of volunteer contributors needed and a process to clearly establish expectations and how to manage content.

The work we’ve accomplished to date has involved our Chapters from across the country and their senior leaders.  CSAE and its Chapters have met regularly since our work began in January 2014.

During our June 2016 meeting, we also had an open and candid discussion about CSAE’s structure.  CSAE, as the legal entity, is governed by its Board of Directors and Chapters are an integral part of the Society.  As such, all actions at the local level ultimately impact the CSAE Board’s fiduciary duty.  At the meetings, we discussed the need for all CSAE components to focus on stakeholder interests and to work collaboratively to create a new model that removes unnecessary governance duties at the Chapter level and focuses collective attention on driving stronger value to stakeholders.   

We collectively decided to create a transition team composed of senior volunteers who will develop a plan to move to a collaborative, integrated structure.  The team began their work in July and will liaise regularly with the Board of Directors, Chapter volunteers and staff.  We expect to update members on our progress during the CSAE Annual Conference in Toronto, October 26 to 28. 

The Conference promises to be another stellar educational, networking and social event. We encourage you to register today at http://www.csae.com/Education-Events/National-Conference/National-Conference-2016.