If you look up “innovation” on Dictionary.com, you’ll find it’s, “something new or different introduced.”
More elaborately, according to Amanda Kaiser of Kaiser Insights LLC, writing for the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) “2016 Association Innovation Benchmark Study,” “the most common definition of innovation is a 3 element definition.” Kaiser thus gives the following definition, targeted to association executives, “We create and launch a member benefit or product or process that is new that provides value to members.”
We at Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design, while respecting the broad, encyclopedic nature of Dictionary.com, are more likely to applaud Kaiser’s definition, one that received a great deal of exposure at the recent Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives (MASAE) 2016 Conference in Atlantic City, whose theme was, “Association Innovation.”
Our concurrence with Kaiser and NBAA stems from two factors; the emphasis and focus on innovation that ran throughout the MASAE Conference, and the fact that, in our opinion, Kaiser has clearly stated the most important aspect of innovation.
True, anyone can introduce, “something new or different” into their organization, but, what good does that do if innovation doesn’t produce something of value? Innovation for innovation’s sake may at first seem exciting (or daunting), but, innovation should lead to some practical result, no matter in what venue you’re operating.
So, we were impressed with MASAE’s focus on helping educate its members as to meaningful innovation, through both the keynote speakers and breakout sessions. Specifically, we would be remiss by not mentioning the contributions of Kaiser and NBAA’s Jo D’Amato (a pilot with both feet on the ground), keynoters/presenters Jennifer Blenkle (Frameworks, Inc.), and Arlene Pietranton of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Construction Management Financial Management Association’s Brian Summers and Ariel Sanchirico (kudos for their extensive use of self-paced online courses, an innovation that higher education has yet to fully embrace). Indeed, so infused with innovation was MASAE 2016 that several attendees were overheard commenting at the Member Gala Reception that they thought the Boy George music video was cutting edge.
Innovation is cutting edge at Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design, notably in the form of our “Service to Members” program that augments an association’s marketing and communications (Marcomm) efforts, while at the same time providing Marcomm services to the association’s individual organizations and/or members. Operating under a single monthly contract with Kleiner PR, association managers can access for themselves additional professional help in everything from public relations to copywriting, editing and content creation to web design to blogging to branding to publication management, while at the same time providing, “a member benefit or product or process that is new that provides value to members.”
That’s innovation for associations, too.