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Association Chat Podcast

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Nov 20, 2017

Why aren’t associations more innovative when it comes to tech maturity? What’s holding us back?

For this show, I jumped off the stage at AMS Fest in Washington, DC, and ran to my computer to talk with experts about tech innovation (or the lack thereof) in the association industry. [Sorry for any of the "crowd noise" behind me in the audio]

This topic, studied by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation, sheds light on information technology (IT) maturity levels at associations.

In its survey, only 9% of associations were found to be truly innovative.

So I wanted to know: What are the major causes holding associations back? How do more innovative associations overcome this challenge? Could the key lie in a stronger relationship between the CIO and CEO be the solution, or is there a deeper issue at hand? 

Some questions we discussed on this show:

  • What did the ASAE study find about tech maturity at associations? 

  • Why do you think more associations aren't on the upper echelon of tech maturity? 

  • How valuable is the CEO/CIO (or equivalent) role in reaching the innovative end of tech maturity?

  • When the CIO becomes the CEO or Executive Director -- how do you implement this change? What's your relationship with your CIO now?


  • Tim Hopkins, Director, Digital Center, International Association of Fire Chiefs

  • Bill Bruce, MBA, CAE, Executive Director, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

  • Ray van Hilst, Director of Client Results, Yoko Co 

About Association Chat

Association Chat is weekly show that takes place live on Tuesdays at 2 pm EST  at

You can connect with the association community throughout the week on Twitter using the hashtag #assnchat or through the private Facebook Group community.

Find out more about Association Chat at 

(*"Cheekily" hashtagged from the beginning! #assnchat – yes, we know what it looks like and no, we aren't changing it.*)

KiKi L'Italien interviews special guests weekly and holds quarterly live events along with creative collaborations with industry thought leaders.

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Resources mentioned

ASAE Tech Readiness Assessment: