Jay Donohue, president and CEO of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), has only been with the organization a short time but he has made some major changes to improve the consistency and quality of their educational programming.
In this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, Jeff talks with Jay about his vision for IAAP as well as some of the opportunities and challenges that they face as a global organization. Jay shares details about some of the innovative ways they have revamped their certification program and also weighs in on how association leadership may need to be thinking differently in order to survive in an evolving market.
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Read the Show Notes
[00:18] – A reminder to check out the upcoming Leading Learning event, Learning • Technology • Design (LTD) to be held May 18-19, 2016 in Arlington, VA. The event is designed specifically to help professionals in the business of continuing education and professional development find new and better ways to engage learners and create lasting impact through the effective use of technology. A special thanks to YM Learning (formerly Digital Ignite), one of the sponsors of the event.
[01:20] – A preview of what will be covered in this episode where Jeff Cobb interviews Jay Donohue president and CEO of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).
[02:58] – Introduction to Jay and some background information about himself and the organization.
[05:30] – What’s your vision for how IAAP can most effectively support learning and has that vision evolved since you’ve been there? Jay says that his vision has evolved and he explains that when he joined the organization they were losing members due to the quality of their educational programming. He shares how he worked with others to create a strategic plan/roadmap focused on education/certification.
[09:39] – A further discussion what IAAP is doing to grow their membership/revenue by providing educational products and preparing members for more sophisticated positions. He shares an example of the value in preparing their members to assist C-suite level professionals on topics such as budgeting, marketing, strategic planning, etc.
[12:03] – It sounds like you have a lot of opportunities but what are your biggest challenges/pain points? Jay says that initially it involved having quality/consistency educational programming but now that has shifted to lack of awareness. He says he can’t pinpoint it to one specific thing but that there are a significant amount of non-members who still don’t know about them. He says that if they can grow in awareness, that is going to be a key point to their future success. He talks about his excitement around the recent revamping of their entire certification program and shares details about it. He also shares that their body of knowledge around certification is now being used in the community college environment.
[15:21] – How actively are you cultivating academic channels and how is that coming together? Jay says that they have a person on staff who is responsible for certification and who focuses on developing relationships with academia. He talks about how this relationship will pay off in the future when it comes to hiring and certification awareness.
[17:43] – You mention that you have done a lot around online education. Where do you see that going in the future? Jay shares that he would like to have the financial resources to capture programming at their live conferences. He also says that he thinks they will create tiers in their certification programs and will look at certificates in specific fields of study. He also says that they are about to migrate to a new LMS which they are excited about.
[20:00] – A discussion about how IAAP is becoming the hub of lifelong learning for their members but how one of their biggest challenges (like other organizations) is learning how to connect with the new generations in the workforce.
[21:19] – How do you draw the connection between what you are doing with certification/broad learning efforts in general and the overall impact that you are having on the profession? Do you think you can concretely say that you have raised the bar in this profession because of what you are doing with your learning efforts? Jay says on a personal level he would say yes but that they likely haven’t been recognized as doing so. He does, however say that based on the feedback they have received that their programming is superior to what they see out in the marketplace. He says their ability to connect is why members continue to come back and that is an asset that is difficult to qualify.
[23:46] – When you look out at associations broadly, do you see ways that associations/leaders need to be acting differently? He says that the business model for associations in the future needs to be much less reliant on membership income and much more on customer revenues. He talks about the effects this has on competition and pricing.
[26:47] – What are some your own lifelong learning habits? Jay reveals that he reads a lot, interacts with his colleagues regularly to share challenges/best practices, and keeps up his own certification to “walk the talk”.
[29:51] – Wrap-Up
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[31:39] – Sign off