|Creative Commons Photo: Matti Mattila|
Summary: A selection of thought-provoking websites from beyond the association management realm that offer new ideas for association executives. In this edition, explore tools for environmental scanning and trend watching, examples of game dynamics being applied by real-world companies and associations, and a handy tool for tracking and maintaining personal productivity.
Staying Aware of Societal Trends and Innovations
It is one thing to remain current with association issues as well as news from the industry or profession your association represents. It's quite another to also scan externally and get a sense of interesting innovations and trends in the world at large. Here are two invaluable resources for doing that:
- Springwise, an organization spotlighting information gleaned by a network of more than 15,000 "spotters" from around the world. It offers a daily or weekly newsletter as well as a database of ideas, trends, and innovations organized into more than 20 industry categories.
- Trendwatching "scans the globe for emerging consumer trends, insights, and innovations." It aggregates this information into a visually appealing monthly Trend Briefing that spotlights core themes that may merit your consideration. The January 2012 briefing included information about trends such as Cash-Less, Eco-Cycology, DIY Health, and Screen Culture.
Getting Your Game On
While some still see gaming as something nerds and geeks do in the dark confines of their basements, discussions of using gaming principles and "gamification" are now commonly occurring in staff meetings and boardrooms. If you're not a native gamer, you rapidly are becoming a member of the minority (see these "Game Player Data" stats from The Entertainment Software Association).
Here are a few excellent sources to help you build your awareness of how gaming and game principles might be applied in association efforts:
- TED Talks on Gaming: TED currently has 17 different talks that explore some aspect of gaming or play. Three that merit being viewed first are Jane McGonigal on "Gaming Can Make a Better World," Seth Prebatsch on "The Game Layer on Top of the World," and Tom Chatfield on "Seven Ways Games Reward the Brain."
- For a great example of gaming in action, watch this 8-minute video on how the New York Public Library engaged 500 people overnight in writing a book about its collections.
- And read about specific association examples using gaming in this Storify summary of a recent Association Chat (every Tuesday at 2 p.m. on Twitter, by the way; search for the "#assnchat" hashtag).
And if you're already feeling disconnected from your new year's resolutions, you might consider tracking your daily accomplishments with this simple web platform that author Dan Pink highly recommends: I Done This.
Just as parents daily ask their kids, "What did you learn at school today?" I Done This emails you every day to ask what you accomplished. Respond to the email and you'll soon have a running log of what you've been doing.