President's Blog

CHFA is proud to be the voice of the natural health industry. As CHFA President, I am proud to be our organization’s voice. From the latest updates on issues affecting our industry, to my personal insights on professional life, my blog, "The Long Story", is a collection of thoughts and ideas that will give you a unique perspective into our industry.




Navigating Information Overload

On September 1, 2016

One of the hardest things about my role at CHFA is keeping up to date on the latest trends and best practices in leadership. There is a wealth of resources through what I like to call the “association associations.” Information is distributed through electronic newsletters, magazines, websites and conferences. There are new webinars and books seemingly every week that talk about trends in association management world.

But that’s not all — they are also full of information on the best new resources and risks. From association management software to cybersecurity and membership engagement to event venues, there is something for everyone in the association management world. And something about everything as well.

And then there’s the information that comes from the business world, that’s far broader, in vast quantities and even easier to access. Every day there is a new tweet or article or email that shares the best way to manage your team or promote collaboration or achieve greater financial success.

As an association leader, you really have to take advantage and stay aware of both the association and the business opportunities. For example, hiring trends and people management best practices cross both worlds. And surely you want to get the best solutions and ideas from both if you can. The reality is that this creates such an abundance of information that it’s difficult to navigate all of it.

So how do you stay on top of the changing landscape and the information overload? Well, it’s not easy.  And while I don’t claim to have solved the problem, here are a few things that I like to do.

  • Be selective. Pick the books and practices to try that are recommended by other leaders you know and respect. If there’s someone that you think is doing a great job, chances are if they make a recommendation, it’s worth trying. If you’re not sure, give them a call and ask them about it.
  • Save some of your reading for off times. I’ve always got a small stack of magazines I’m waiting to get through. Catching up while travelling or on the weekends when I just need a quick read helps to keep on top of this. When it comes to electronic newsletters and articles, I save them in a folder in my desktop so I can read and discard them quickly.
  • Be selective so you can commit. Every so often I see a conference program or article that really resonates with me. When that’s the case I make a real effort to attend or investigate the opportunity. Registering early or adding it to my calendar helps me to follow through and take advantage of the opportunity.
  • Network with your peers. There’s nothing I like more than reaching out to someone I know to say “have you tried…” or “do you have a…” and getting back either a great new tool or a recommendation for something that I really need. It’s so much easier to start with a foundation than to build from scratch. As the saying goes, why reinvent the wheel?

I’ve been extremely lucky in my time with CHFA to have worked with many of our industry’s leaders and influencers — those people who are innovative and creative and who set the bar in our industry; people who have mentored me and worked with me over the years. So, to all of them, thank you. And if you’ve got something new that I might need, be sure to let me know.

Yours in health and happiness,