An Executive Director's point of view
August 06, 2016: Sexual harassment
Here's a statement from one association leader whose organization has experienced this problem on multiple occasions.
Thanks to Sherry Marts for pointing to it.
June 02, 2016: It's easy to be ethical
Just ask yourself one question: Is this in the best interests of the organization?
If it's not, then don't do it.
Don't do something because it's good for you or for somebody else. Don't do something because it is considered acceptable in your industry or profession. And don't try to manipulate logic to make something sound permissible.
For example, a conflict of interest does not disappear because everybody is OK with it. It's still a conflict of interest.
So, always do what is best for your organization.
If you can't do that, then it's probably time for you to quit.
February 09, 2016: Honesty
They listen to member (customer) feedback and incorporate it into operations, are less likely to employ trickery to sell memberships, registrations, or products, and are inclined to avoid blatant misrepresentations of their groups.
Well, the mailing sent in Illinois by Sen. Ted Cruz stretched the truth so far that a comparison to association ethics just had to be made.
The words "check enclosed" appeared on the outside of the envelope. Although any thinking person would know there could not possibly be a check in there, the teaser was enough to entice people to open it.
The check inside was a facsimile of one made payable to the Senator's presidential campaign, similar to what readers of the enclosed letter were urged to write from their own checking accounts.
If an association did something like that, it would be ridiculed, criticized, and condemned by those who considered it to be practically an outright lie.
I guess those same ethics don't apply to presidential candidates.
September 12, 2015: No gifts
The same issue has been raised about bonus points and frequent flier miles.
I'm amazed at how many people think it is appropriate to accept gifts and that they even develop criteria to determine when to accept and when not to accept.
I don't think anybody should accept anything that is offered to them as a result of their association activities. If they can't turn down gifts, they should donate them to the organization and tell the giver of the gift that they've done that.
If a gift is accepted, it should accrue to the association, not to any individual.
August 18, 2014: Ad agency discounts
March 18, 2014: Bloggers on the take
January 17, 2014: Split personality
As professionals, we advocate for what's good for our members, even if those things are not good for the American public.
As members of the American public, though, we chafe, and gripe, and complain, and get really steamed about many of those same things: credit card company practices, food labeling (or lack of labeling), tax loopholes, customer service procedures, airline and hotel booking systems, public disclosure rules, even street closings for parades and athletic events.
So, why do we so often do things that are not good for the American public?
January 14, 2014: Are honesty and ethics the same thing?
September 25, 2013: Whose ethical standards?
However, he did not hesitate to enter a raffle conducted at the event. After all, he said, he was a paid participant and was entitled to a prize if he held the randomly drawn, winning ticket.
The Executive Director, on the other hand, not only completed the evaluation form but submitted it in an association envelope. He did want the producers to be overly influenced by his opinion, which he felt was representative of the views of the membership.
He did not enter the raffle, though. He did not want to give the appearance of having benefited from his leadership position.
Whose ethical standards were correct?