New Year – New Board!

The CAMICB Board of Commissioners will be having their first meeting of 2015 next week.  The new year brings new Commissioners to the Board.  Our Commissioners come from diverse geographic locations and backgrounds representing industry and consumer interests.  CAMICB is governed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners.

Officer elections took place in December 2014 and CAMICB would like to welcome Judy Rosen, CMCA, AMS, PCAM into the role of Board Chair.  Drew Mulhare, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM will step into the role of Vice Chair, while Ronald Duprey, CMCA, AMS, PCAM will retain his position as Secretary-Treasurer.

Board of Commissioners

  1. Judy Rosen, CMCA, AMS, PCAM (Chair)
  2. Dennis Abbott, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
  3. Marilyn Brainard
  4. Jeevan J. D’Mello, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM
  5. Ronald Duprey, CMCA, AMS, PCAM (Secretary-Treasurer)
  6. Kelly Moran, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
  7. Drew Mulhare, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM (Vice-Chair)
  8. Ronald Perl, Esquire
  9. Wendy Taylor, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM

CAMICB would like to thank Beverly Scenna and past Chair Robert Felix for the outstanding service to the organization and industry.

CAMICB would also like to congratulate Ms. Rosen on her recent award.  The Heartland Chapter of CAI presented a “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Judy Rosen for her more than 35 years of service to the industry.   Award presented by Patrick McClenahan, Chapter President, and Cathy Roth-Johnson, Chapter Executive Director.
judy

The Ideal Work Schedule…

rhythm…As Determined by Circadian Rhythms

By Christopher Barnes

Humans have a well-defined internal clock that shapes our energy levels throughout the day: our circadian process, which is often referred to as a circadian rhythm because it tends to be very regular. If you’ve ever had jetlag, then you know how persistent circadian rhythms can be. This natural — and hardwired — ebb and flow in our ability to feel alert or sleepy has important implications for you and your employees.

Although managers expect their employees to be at their best at all hours of the workday, it’s an unrealistic expectation. Employees may want to be their best at all hours, but their natural circadian rhythms will not always align with this desire. On average, after the workday begins, employees take a few hours to reach their peak levels of alertness and energy — and that peak does not last long. Not long after lunch, those levels begin to decline, hitting a low at around 3pm. We often blame this on lunch, but in reality this is just a natural part of the circadian process. After the 3pm dip, alertness tends to increase again until hitting a second peak at approximately 6pm. Following this, alertness tends to then decline for the rest of the evening and throughout the early morning hours until hitting the very lowest point at approximately 3:30am. After hitting that all-time low, alertness tends to increase for the rest of the morning until hitting the first peak shortly after noon the next day. A very large body of research highlights this pattern, although of course there is individual variability around that pattern, which I’ll discuss shortly.

Managers who want to maximize their employees’ performance should consider this circadian rhythm when setting assignments, deadlines, and expectations. This requires taking a realistic view of human energy regulation, and appreciating the fact that the same employee will be more effective at some times of the day than others. Similarly, employees should take their own circadian rhythms into account when planning their own day. The most important tasks should be conducted when people are at or near their peaks in alertness (within an hour or so of noon and 6pm). The least important tasks should be scheduled for times in which alertness is lower (very early in the morning, around 3pm, and late at night).

Naps can be a good way to regulate energy as well, providing some short-term recovery that can increase alertness. A large body of evidence links naps to increases in task performance. However, even tired and sleep-deprived employees may find it difficult to nap if they work against their circadian rhythms. Fortunately, there is a nice complementary fit; naps are best scheduled for the low point of alertness in the circadian rhythm. Thus, smart managers and employees will schedule naps around 3pm, when they are less useful for important tasks anyway, such that they will be even more alert later on during the natural high points in their circadian rhythm.

Unfortunately, we often get this wrong. Many employees are flooded with writing and responding to emails throughout their entire morning, which takes them up through lunch. They return from lunch having already used up most of their first peak in alertness, and then begin important tasks requiring deep cognitive processing just as they start to move toward the 3pm dip in alertness and energy. We often put employees in a position where they must meet an end-of-workday deadline, so they persist in this important task throughout the 3pm dip. Then, as they are starting to approach the second peak of alertness, the typical workday ends. For workaholics, they may simply take a dinner break, which occupies some of their peak alertness time, and then work throughout the evening and night as their alertness and cognitive performance decline for the entire duration. And in the worst-case scenario, the employee burns the midnight oil and persists well into the worst circadian dip of the entire cycle, with bleary eyes straining just to stay awake while working on an important task at 3:30am. All of these examples represent common mismatches between an optimal strategy and what people actually do.

As I briefly noted above, there are of course individual differences in circadian rhythms. The typical pattern is indeed very common, and the general shape of the curve describes almost everyone. However, some people have a circadian rhythm that is shifted in one direction or the other. People referred to as “larks” (or morning people) tend to have peaks and troughs in alertness that are earlier than the average person, and “owls” (or night owls) are shifted in the opposite direction. Most people tend to experience such shifts across their lifetimes, such that they are larks as very young children, owls as adolescents, and then larks again as they become senior citizens. But beyond this pattern, people of any age can be larks or owls.

These differences in circadian rhythms (referred to as chronotypes) present some challenges and some benefits. The biggest challenge is matching patterns of activity to individual circadian rhythms. A lark working a late schedule or an owl working an early schedule is a chronotype mismatch that is difficult to deal with. Such employees suffer low alertness and energy, struggling to stay awake even if they really care about the task. Some of my own research indicates that circadian mismatches increase the prevalence of unethical behavior, simply because victims lack the energy to resist temptations. This is bad enough for an employee who is working alone. In the context of groups, finding a good time for a team composed of some larks and some owls to be at optimal effectiveness may be difficult. However, it does also provide opportunities. For organizations or tasks that require around-the-clock work, if managers can optimally match employees with different chronotypes to work different shifts, the work can be handed off among employees who are all working at or near their circadian peaks. This requires knowing the chronotype of each employee and using that information when developing work schedules.

Flextime provides an opportunity for employees to match their work schedules to their own circadian rhythms. However, managers often destroy this opportunity to capture value by punishing employees for using schedules that match an owl’s rhythm. In my own research, I found that supervisors tend to assume that employees who start and finish work late (versus early) are less conscientious and lower in performance, even if their behavior and performance is exactly the same as someone working an early riser’s schedule. Managers must see past their own biases if they want to optimize schedules in order to match the most important activities to the natural energy cycles of employees. Managers who do this will have energized, thriving employees rather than sleepy, droopy employees struggling to stay awake. Your most important tasks deserve employees who are working when they’re at their best.

Christopher M. Barnes is an assistant professor of management at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. He worked in the Fatigue Countermeasures branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory before pursuing his PhD in Organizational Behavior at Michigan State University.

CMCA Recertification

CAMICB sent second reminder notices this week to individuals who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by April 1, 2015. Here are a few helpful links:

A few things to note:

  1. It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please log into their website (caionline.org) to print out a certificate of completion.
  2. Only courses completed between April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2015 present will count as continuing education.
  3. If you have held an active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM for at least a year, this will satisfy your CMCA continuing education requirement.
  4. Credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria: It pertains to community association operations or management and/or it contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.
  5. The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. Recently, CAI increased the rate of the individual manager membership from $130.00 to $134.00. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Roland Richardson, Certification Assistant, is happy to assist you with the recertification process. Contact Roland at rrichardson@camicb.org with any questions.

4 Magic Words to Improve Conversations

By Alex McClafferty

Choose your words wisely and you can save time, improve relationships and spark creativity.

Words are powerful, but often misused.

In this post, I’ll share four words to help you rapidly improve your conversations.

“Specifically”

The word specifically is kryptonite to jargon, buzzwords, and loose language.

You’re time-poor. Instead of dreading the next meeting that has no agenda, ask the organizer what specifically will be achieved from the discussion.

You can also use specifically to give feedback, challenge ambiguous statements, and drill down into the cause of a disagreement.

“No”

We’re wired to please people and default to yes instead of no.

Let’s say someone offers you an exciting opportunity, but you know in your heart that it’s not an ideal fit or the timing is wrong. Trust your instinct and be upfront by saying no, and then give a brief explanation of why it doesn’t work now and express your gratitude for the opportunity.

If you want to introduce no to your quiver and uncover the psychology of the word, read this introductory post by James Altucher–he wrote an entire book on the subject.

“What if…”

Kim Nicol, an attorney turned meditation and mindfulness coach, introduced me to this simple framework.

For example:

  • What if… I could find an investor for my startup?
  • What if… I could offer the best service in the world?
  • What if… I could believe in myself and take this idea all the way?

This phrase is great when you’re working through the “figuring it out” stage that we all find ourselves in.

90 Day Goals > 365 Day Goals

Most people who set New Year’s resolutions don’t follow through on them.

Annual business goals often fall by the wayside as well. Consequently, late December brings a crush of articles on why we fail, and how we might reform the process to boost success. Among the best suggestions I’ve heard lately? Forget year-long resolutions and focus on 90-day goals. Several small business owners who tried this over the past year as part of an accountability group they participated in explained to me why this tweak helped their businesses, and lives.

1. 90 days isn’t too long

Life changes a lot in a year, especially if you work at a startup. Goals set annually may not feel relevant in 12 months. Or 12 months seems so far away that you figure you can always start tomorrow. Ninety days, on the other hand, is about “holding me accountable to my long range goals, but in smaller chunks, so I actually see an end in sight,” says Marni Beninger, who owns Mountain Waters Spa and Wellness in British Columbia. She set a 90-day goal to raise revenue by $5,000/month, saw what it took to meet it, and then set another 90-day goal to raise revenue by another $10,000/month. That involved hiring a sales person, but now that she knows that, she might aim for another $15,000/month over the next 90 days. That would put her $30,000/month over where she started, all in doable chunks.

2. 90 days isn’t too short, either

Of course, the day-to-day nature of startup life means it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds. When Beninger first tried to set quarterly goals, she realized that this was a challenge she faced. “The first time it was just basically a to-do list,” she said, with 50 items on it. “It’s really hard to come out of that mindset of working in your business.” But she soon figured out what made a good mid-range goal: one that involved looking just far enough into the future to challenge herself, but be achievable.

3. You can reset quickly

When we give up on New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to let ourselves wait until next January to try again. Ninety day goals offer a quicker option. Victoria Lynden, who founded Kohana Coffee in Austin, Texas, says that “In 90 days, if I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail fast.” One example: she wanted to enter the Canadian market, but after setting that as a 90-day goal, figured out that getting the proper organic certifications could be a two-year process. The take-away? Do more research, and figure out other international markets that are easier to enter. “I have succeeded through my failures,” she says.

4. You don’t spread yourself thin

You may have lots of goals, and that’s a good thing. Giving yourself 90 days means you can focus on a few at a time, knowing that there’s another 90-day period coming up soon. Maybe during the first quarter you focus on launching a new product. Then in the second quarter you focus on finding a new and bigger space. At the end of six months, you’ll have the new product and the bigger space, whereas if you aimed to do both at once, you might get overwhelmed and figure out neither. “As an entrepreneur, you always go in a lot of different directions,” says Lynden. “This, to me, is like having a map that charts my course.”

5. You can make personal goals part of the mix

The good thing about setting two to three goals four times per year is that this gives you space to think about all spheres of life. Rachel Hofstetter owns Guesterly, a startup that specializes in directories for events. Like many entrepreneurs, she finds it hard to take a vacation, and so she made taking a week-long December holiday one of her 90-day goals. When I sent her an email on a December Friday asking to chat the next week, she insisted on getting on the phone right then, since she was on the plane for Mexico the next morning and planned to unplug. “Without that part of my plan, it wouldn’t be my utmost focus,” she says. But as one of her big goals for the quarter, she was determined to make it happen.

Stay current with Smartbrief!

Have you signed up for Community Association Management SmartBrief yet? CAMICB provides a free, weekly e-mail newsbrief specifically designed for community association managers. Sign up here.

This complimentary resource is aimed at bringing you a quick, two-minute read that will help you keep up-to-date with the latest news and trends in our profession. SmartBrief will provide short summaries of the news articles that will be of interest to you as a community association manager. We know it will save you time, keep you informed and add to your success. I hope you will subscribe.

Here’s what you missed this week:smartbrief

Colorado construction-defects law may be reformed in 2015 A Colorado law that allows HOA boards to decide whether to sue over construction defects and reject fixes by homebuilders could be reformed in 2015. The law is necessary to protect condo owners, said Nancy Stockton, president of the homeowners association at the Vallagio at Inverness in Arapahoe County. “I think (reforming the law) would be a license for builders to cut corners and be even more lax in their construction,” says Stockton. “The dispute process is already onerous.” The Denver Post (1/4)

Mixed-use neighborhoods attract ex-suburbanites Mixed-use neighborhoods where hotels, condos, offices and shops all thrive in concert with one another are becoming more popular as the American dream slowly shifts away from the popular suburbs of yesteryear. Millennials and Baby Boomers alike are flocking to these new projects that are being built in many major and minor cities. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (1/4)

Association manager can’t preside over meetings Association managers are not permitted to conduct HOA board members’ responsibilities and can leave the board in a risky situation if allowed to run the organization. “[I]ndemnification may be negated, depending on the terms of insurance, business conducted during all those meetings may be void and, in the event of a lawsuit, the association would be at a disadvantage, if not handicapped, in proving the board members acted in good faith and in the best interests of the association and its titleholders,” write attorneys Donie Vanitzian and Zachary Levine. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/4)

CMCA Recertification

CAMICB sent reminder notices this week to individuals who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by April 1, 2015. Here are a few helpful links:

A few things to note:

1. It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please log into their website (caionline.org) to print out a certificate of completion.

2. Only courses completed between April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2015 present will count as continuing education.

3. If you have held an active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM for at least a year, this will satisfy your CMCA continuing education requirement.

4. Credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria: It pertains to community association operations or management and/or it contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

5. The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. Recently, CAI increased the rate of the individual manager membership from $130.00 to $134.00. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Roland Richardson, Certification Assistant, is happy to assist you with the recertification process. Contact Roland at rrichardson@camicb.org with any questions.

Directory of Credentialed Professionals

CAMICB is proud to announce the new and improved Directory of Credential Professionals at: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca.  CMCAs are automatically listed in the Directory of Credentialed Professionals when they achieve certification.

The new Directory lists your CMCA recertification and billing dates as well as your contact information.  You can use the Directory to see if your CMCA certification is current or up for renewal.  Homeowners and management companies will also use the Directory to find CMCAs in their area.

The Directory is searchable by many fields: last name, first name, organization and location.  Results can then be sorted by column and further filtered by the state selection on the right.

CAMICB has also included your CAI designations in the search for your convenience.

If you’d like to be removed from the Directory of Credentialed Professionals or your information needs updating, please email us at info@camicb.org.