About CMCA ~ The Essential Credential

CAMICB is a 24-year-old independent board that sets the standards for community association managers worldwide. CAMICB is the first and only organization created solely to certify community association managers and enhance the professional practice of community association management.

Building A Delegation Culture

Naphtali Hoff
   October 2019

In past posts I have made the argument for why leaders need to delegate, discussed how to use situational leadership to delegate more effectively, and shared tips on what and when to delegate. In this post, I will outline how to build delegation into your business culture.

One of the most important elements of a successful business or team is its culture. A culture is the environment that surrounds you all the time. It encompasses the shared values, attitudes, standards and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature.

Cultures do not develop on their own. They result from conscious decision-making and behaviors which, when repeated over time, become expected norms for those operating within that space, whether it’s a community, a sports team, a place of worship or a place of work.

Corporate or organizational culture is rooted in the business entity’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to its work, customers, investors and the greater community. Of course, there are many different kinds of workplace cultures, including innovation, transparency and empowerment.

(This is not to say that these cultures are exclusive of one another. For example, a company can be innovative and also a fun, relaxed place to work. The prevailing culture is defined by the qualities that people within the organization identify as being most prevalent.)

This more extensive list places “strong leadership” at the top. This is valuable because it means that some cultures recognize the value of strong leadership and are prepared to take steps needed to empower existing and rising leaders to bring the company to the next level of greatness.

The above examples of culture focus on “macro,” or all-encompassing aspects of how businesses operate. “Micro” cultures (as defined here) can also exist. By “micro culture,” I mean a culture within the prevailing culture that speaks to the way specific matters are considered and addressed.

One such example is a “delegation culture.” Using the “strong leadership” example above, existing leaders may use delegation to not only clear their plates of the work that others should be doing (and allow them to do those things that they are uniquely positioned and qualified for,) but also to fill the leadership pipeline with future leaders. When leaders delegate, they train and empower others to take more ownership, strengthen their skillsets, and view organizational leadership as more horizontal than vertical.

The first way to create such a culture, of course, is to practice delegation early and often. Please click on the links at the top of this post to review what effective delegation looks like and how to implement it. Building it into your culture means that leaders need to do it and talk about how delegation is an organizational goal and something that is deliberately practiced.

To this end, give your direct reports permission to remind you when you haven’t delegated something that you should. Once they know what should and should not be delegated, they should be on the lookout for tasks that you are keeping for yourself unnecessarily and call you on it.

Make clear to others that if they see a project they want to take on, they should ask for it. Remind them of the benefits to them, you and the company when they do so, and reward them in word and deed for taking the initiative.

Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, (@impactfulcoach) is president of Impactful Coaching & Consulting. Check out his leadership book, “Becoming the New Boss.” Read his blog, and listen to his leadership podcast. Download his free new e-book, “An E.P.I.C. Solution to Understaffing.”

This 75-year Harvard study shows how to have lifetime joy

Photo by Nina Uhlíková

For over 75 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional health of two groups:
  • 456 poor people in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study)
  • 268 graduates from Harvard’s classes of 1939–1944 (the Glueck study)

After following these groups and testing them (e.g., blood samples, brain scans) for several decades, the findings have been compiled.

Here’s the conclusion:

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” — Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development

As Melanie Curtin reported on Inc., “The biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.”

Although the Harvard study lays the foundation, there is other compelling research on the importance of human relationships.

This meta analysis showed a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with stronger social relationships. Put simply, if you have healthy relationships, your chances of survival increase by 50%.

Nearly everything in life is impacted by WHO is around you, and how those people support you.

Childhood trauma, for example, is not about what happens to you. But about what happens “inside” of you, according to Dr. Gabor Maté. In other words, if you go through a terribly horrible experience and you have someone there to help you process it, you’ll likely recover quickly. If you don’t have someone to help you through it, you’ll internalize it, isolate yourself, and that trauma will turn into a lifetime of pain.

Healthy relationships, then, could help you avoid addiction. Could help you overcome life’s challenges. Could help you reach higher than you could on your own.

In an article in SCIENCE, authors House, Landis, and Umberson stated the following:

“Social relationships, or the relative lack thereof, constitute a major risk factor for health — rivaling the effect of well established health risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, obesity and physical activity”

Transformational relationships

“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” — John Wooden

The most loving and deep relationships are built on a very simple foundation: giving and gratitude.

When the focus is on what you can give, rather than what you can get, the relationship becomes a gift to both of you.

There’s no holding back.

No keeping score.

Only in such relationships can you be fully present to the moment and fully un-inhibited in the expression of your love.

Giving freely without an expectation of return is essential. As are expressions of gratitude. In fact, this study found that expressions of gratitude have a powerful effect on the other person.

Specifically, this study found regular expressions of gratitude can:
  • Increase a person’s self-worth
  • Increase a person’s self-efficacy (confidence)
  • Increase a person’s prosocial behavior (in other words, when you’re grateful to someone, they become a better person to society at large).
  • Increase ability to cope with life’s challenges

Interestingly, Brad Pitt once provided the most beautiful evidence of the science of gratitude and giving. Although he may have forgot …

Whatever happened since, check out this love letter Brad wrote to Angie several years ago:

“My wife got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and problems with children.

She had lost 30 pounds and weighed about 90 pounds in her 35 years. She got very skinny, and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman. She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs.

She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the morning and got tired very quickly during the day. Our relationship was on the verge of break up.

Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself. She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role.

I lost hope and thought that we’ll get divorced soon … But then I decided to act on it. After all I’ve got the most beautiful woman on the earth …

I began to pamper her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised her and pleased her every minute. I gave her lots of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends.

You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became even better than before. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and she loved me even more than ever.

I had no clue that she CAN love that much. And then I realized one thing: The woman is the reflection of her man. If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.”

This stuff works. However, relationships aren’t a quick-fix thing. You’ve got to stick to these incredible practices of giving and gratitude or the relationships will stop being transformational. It will die.

Living for something beyond yourself

“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” — Viktor Frankl

Great power is not what creates great responsibility. Instead, great responsibility is what creates power.

When my wife and I became foster parents of three kids a few years, our lives changed. We had something bigger depending on us. We had to rise to the occasion.

According to what psychologists call, “The pygmalion effect,” you as a person either rise or fall to the demands of your situation. If your situation doesn’t demand much, you won’t rise up.

Having other people depend on you is a beautiful thing. It’s the pressure that will turn you into a diamond. It will cause you to dig deep within yourself, and overcome the addictions and bad habits holding you back.

You have so much more to live for now.

In the digital world we now live in, it’s not about the amount of hours you work. But the amount of thought and humanity you put into your work.

The deeper and more transformative your daily experiences, the more perspective you’ll have into what the world needs. The better you’ll be at your job. The happier you’ll be as a person — despite experiencing hardships throughout life.

When you have people around you who love and help you, you become a different and better person. You become transformed. You become capable of doing amazing things. You are enabled to overcome hardships that would destroy most people.

Do you have deep and loving relationships?

Have you expressed gratitude lately?

Have you given your greatest gifts in complete love and generosity?

This article originally appeared on Medium. By Benjamin P. Hardy

Finding CE Credit Opportunities That Make Sense for You

By John Ganoe, CAE
Executive Director

CAMICB is a program dedicated to professional growth and competency and has designed the CMCA Recertification process to encourage certified managers to continually pursue professional development in the community association management field.  To facilitate these efforts, a Committee appointed by the CAMICB Board of Commissioners meets monthly to review and approve anywhere between 40 and 60 applications each month from various providers.

While there are more than 800 pre-approved continuing education courses, many of which are free or low-cost and can be found on the CAMICB.org web site, we also believe in flexibility and want to make sure you take the courses that best support your professional path.  If there’s a course or event you’re interested in that’s not included on the approved list of continuing education, managers are encouraged to submit the continuing education opportunity to CAMICB for approval.

Remember, the topics must pertain specifically and primarily to community association operations or management (e.g., operations, administration, legal requirements), are relevant to your professional development (e.g., Quickbooks, Excel, effective communications, leadership, etc.) or have a direct impact on your community. For example, if you manage a primarily Spanish-speaking community, and are interested in taking a Spanish language course, CAMICB would consider approving those credits.  

Approval can be granted in one of two ways: by either asking the course provider to complete and submit the CE Course Provider Application or by submitting the program outline or agenda, including dates, times, and speaker bios, to CAMICB yourself.  Similarly, college courses may be submitted for approval if the classwork meets the criteria described in the CMCA Handbook

A Snapshot of Available Resources & Tips for Finding CE Credits

Be sure to review Section 4 of the CMCA Handbook for a primer on earning continuing education credits, as well as the Continuing Education Page at www.camicb.org for an overview of credit and coursework specifications.

Next, consider the many already approved options available to complete your continuing education coursework from the List of Approved Continuing Education, including pre-approved courses offered by the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Take advantage of your local CAI chapter by monitoring any upcoming events or classes that have been approved for continuing education credit. To find your local chapter, go to the Find a Chapter page on the CAI website.

And don’t forget to explore free or low-cost webinars that are offered by the following providers:


Salary requirements: Expressing your minimum salary requirement

Research the going rate for your target job now so you’re prepared to answer salary requirement questions during the interview.

Q: When asked about my salary requirements, I never know what to say. If I say a low figure, they have no reason to offer more money. If I give a figure that’s too high, they may disregard me as a candidate. What’s the right response? – Deb H.

A: The first rule of salary negotiation is to avoid discussing numbers until the company has extended an offer. This is when you have the most power to negotiate. But as any job seeker will tell you, this is no simple feat. Recruiters typically try to pull this information out of you as early as the initial phone screen, if they didn’t already request your salary requirements as part of the application process.

Here are a couple phrases you can use (courtesy of Jack Chapman, author of the book How to Make $1000 a Minute ) to deflect questions about your salary requirements:

  • “I’m sure we can come to a good salary agreement if I’m the right person for the job, so let’s first agree on whether I am.”
  • “I have some idea of the market, but for a moment let’s start with your range. What do you have budgeted for the position?”

You can try to deflect the questions upfront once, maybe twice, but if the recruiter is insistent, you’ll need to be prepared with some figures.

First things first, do your research. Use Ladders’ Job Market Guide and Companies pages to discover the going rate for your targeted job with respect to your relevant years of experience and educational background, as well as the industry and geographic location of the jobs you’re targeting.

You can start by looking up how your current role compares to the market rate, and then also change some of the variables to match those of the companies you’re applying to. If the roles you are targeting are in different industries or locations, or the size of the company is very different, this could have an impact on what salary you can expect to make.

Once you’ve done the research, come up with three numbers:

  • What’s the ideal dollar amount you want (and still have the recruiter take you seriously)?
  • What dollar amount (given the going rate) is reasonable and would still make you happy?
  • What is the lowest dollar amount you’d accept?

These three numbers make up the compensation range that is in alignment with the going rate for your targeted role, and that would make you happy. If you’re forced to state your salary requirements upfront, use the researched number you found to be the fair market value (the same goes for an online application that demands a numeric response).

Again, the most important thing you can do is delay the compensation conversation as long as humanly possible so you have time to build a rapport with your interviewers; monetize what you can do, and how you can personally affect the bottom line at the company; and move them from what Chapman describes as the “budget” state of mind (How much is this person going to cost us?) to the “judge it” mindset (We need this person! She’d be such a great asset to the company – how can we get her to join us?).

By Amanda Augustine for www.theladders.com

Are You Eligible For The CMCA Retired Status Program?

The CAMICB Retired Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) program is available to community association management professionals no longer actively employed as a community association manager but interested in highlighting their continuing commitment to professionalism in the field. This program allows individuals retired from active community association management to display this new designation with no obligation to meet continuing education requirements.

Retirement Doesn’t Mean Walking Away From The Profession

For the many retired community association management professionals who obtained their CMCA and maintained it over the years, staying active in the industry is an important – and fulfilling – phase of retirement.

“I decided to apply for retired status rather than just walk away from maintaining my CMCA because it’s an honor I wasn’t ready to part with,” said Judy Rosen, CMCA (Ret.), AMS, PCAM (Ret.). “Even though I retired from full-time work as a community association manager more than five years ago, it was important for me to remain actively involved in the industry.” Rosen is currently a member of the CAMICB Exam Development Committee and a member of the CAI National Faculty.  “Displaying my CMCA (Ret.) is especially important to me, particularly when I facilitate the PCAM Case Study; the students should know I earned my CMCA credential.”

Rosen added, “The value in maintaining this new designation is the world recognition I enjoy. No matter where I go for a faculty assignment, or what CAI Chapter asks me speak at a local conference, these audiences know I’m one of them with experience and expertise in the profession.  And I believe this is particularly important to managers!”

In short, the benefits of obtaining CMCA (Ret.) status include:

  • A meaningful way to honor your commitment and years of service to the profession;
  • The ability to showcase this new designation, CMCA (Ret.), with no obligation to meeting continuing education requirements;
  • A way to stay connected to an expanding group of committed professionals; and,
  • The ability to remain active in the industry in rewarding and fulfilling areas of your choice.

Applying for CMCA (Ret.) status is simple!

  • Complete a retired status application.
  • Pay an annual fee of $25.
  • Continue to abide by the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct.

For more on obtaining CMCA (Ret.) status, go to www.camicb.org.


Can a Test Make You a Better Leader?

(MangoStar_Studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Aptitude exams are making a comeback in the workplace. That’s bad news for anybody who dreaded the SAT. But for organizations that struggle to find internal talent, it’s an opportunity.

Professional attainment has many virtues, but prominent among them is that you no longer have to endure the drudgery of standardized tests. You were done with all that when you wrapped up your SAT, GRE, or professional certification. Leaders will always have skills to work on, but by the time you’re nearing the corner office—or in it—you’re generally considered smart enough not to have to prove yourself in a timed exam.

Or not. The SAT-style assessment appears to be making a comeback in the workplace. Vista Equity Partners, a private-equity firm, administers a test to all its employees, regardless of their position on the org chart. And corporations in various industries, according to a recent article in the Atlantic, are measuring employees’ brainpower, with a focus on leadership and management skills. The article reports that one testing company, Criteria Corp., has had 2 million people take its Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, and describes its offerings as “especially useful for mid- and higher-level jobs.”

A capacity to slow down and think through a problem is essential for leaders. Why not test for it?

Can a revival of the corporate rally song be far behind? Companies tended to abandon strict testing in recent years for a host of reasons: Hierarchies and job roles became more fluid in ways those testing methods couldn’t address, tenures at companies became shorter in ways that made career-path testing less meaningful, and tests can be prone to bias when they’re not thoughtfully managed. We’ve also entered an era where leadership became, in our cultural imagination, as much a persona-driven role as a skills-driven one; leaders were listeners, coordinators, and charismatic spokespersons, not big-brained, stiff-suited management robots. Every generation still gets a new management scheme, from Six Sigma to Lean management, but slotting specific skills into specific roles in a Spock-like manner—the kind of thing corporations tested for—was a thing of the past.

The new wave of testing, though, argues that such cognitive fluidity not only can be assessed, but ought to be in the current environment. Forbes reports that all employees at any company acquired by Vista take a “personality-and-aptitude test” which “assesses technical and social skills, and attempts to gauge analytical and leadership potential.” Rather than cementing biases, Vista argues, its testing helps eradicate them, revealing leadership potential that might otherwise go unrecognized; a pizza franchise manager was promoted to sales trainer under the system, for instance, and a mailroom worker became a programmer.

Shane Frederick, a Yale business school professor who studies testing, told the Atlantic that the new wave of testing is better at sussing out “cognitive reflection,” a bit of jargon for “doing more than thinking with your gut.” A capacity to slow down and think through a problem is essential for leaders, and “he is unequivocal about the value of testing for it, especially as work seems to grow more complex in every industry.”

Well, we’ve Fitbitted and big-data’d so many other things about our workplaces and industries, so why not this? Naturally, some leaders are resistant. The Atlantic spoke to Stephen Tomlin, a VC firm partner who doubts that a test can identify a successful leader, and looks for domain-specific intelligence and emotional intelligence, two things that are hard to test for. “Raw cognitive processing power seems like a distant seventh or eighth in the kinds of things I would be screening for in a CEO,” he said.

I think it would be an error to rely too heavily on testing to figure out whether somebody is leadership timber. But many organizations are already making a broader error in not thinking much at all about succession in their organizations. Newer employees often don’t know what the path to leadership their organizations are if they have such ambitions, and senior leadership often doesn’t think about creating that path. If a test can provide a road map for both leaders and employees, it may be worth the effort. Nobody likes spending an hour taking a test. But nobody likes spending years wondering if they’re considered worthy of promotion either.

Some of the resistance to this kind of testing, I suspect, is fear-based: What if the people who thought they were destined for the C-suite learn that an algorithm has decided that middle-management is best for them? But that’s the same punchcard-era anxiety that the new testing seems to be trying to avoid. And a test isn’t the sole guide to an employee’s fate, just one point worth considering within an organization’s larger culture. Good leaders want their organizations to succeed, and they want their employees to succeed within it. Given the lack of attention succession gets at organizations, gathering extra data points can only help.

By for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives

Rethinking Six Management Mantras for Better Innovation

But what does it take to build innovation capacity, and how can nonprofit leaders set the right conditions for innovation to flourish? During a series of two-day innovation summits last fall, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities brought together more than 300 people to participate in a condensed human-centered design process we developed in partnership with Greater Good Studio, a design firm committed to working with social sector changemakers. The goal was to use human-centered design to examine longstanding challenges and new opportunities through a different lens. We aimed to build our “innovation muscles” so that we could begin to tackle old challenges in new ways.

In the process, we realized that the creative problem-solving methods we were applying were breaking some of the typical management mantras that have dominated our organizations’ cultures. We came to understand that if we’re serious about moving from lip service to action on innovation, we need to rethink six management mantras:

Management Mantra #1: Our CEO [and/or any other members of the C-suite] is the visionary and responsible for innovation.

Innovator’s Mantra: All of our staff are visionaries and responsible for innovation.

Charging only the CEO or executive team with innovation creates unrealistic pressure on one or a few individuals to continually drive the organization forward, as compared to a culture where every staff member feels a sense of responsibility and permission to solve problems and create better solutions at whatever level and in whatever role they operate. Because the culture assumes everyone has insights and expertise that can contribute to solutions, all employees become owners.

In addition, considerable evidence suggests that innovation is most likely to occur and originate with the people who are closest to the work, and closest to the consumer or end user. When organizations seek to invite people who have firsthand and direct knowledge of the systems they seek to improve, the problems they desire to fix, or the new solutions they want to offer communities, they will find the best solutions—and likely faster than if they limit this work to a select few leaders.

Organizations should create formal channels for employees at all levels to identify challenges and opportunities, and develop recommendations and ideas to observed problems, customer needs, and other challenges. They should also give staff opportunities to pick solutions, test them out, and report back results, and create incentives for employees to contribute solutions to business problems.

Management Mantra #2: We just need to get our brightest staff in the room to solve this problem.

Innovator’s Mantra: If you want the most successful solution, keep your end user (or key stakeholder) at the center of everything you do.

While most nonprofits intend to deliver the best services, programs, and results for communities, their approach is too often driven by staff beliefs, mental models, and ideas of what people need and how people behave. While it is natural to look at the world through one’s own perspective, it is problematic because organizations are likely to develop a solution that works for their staff and organization versus the end user.

One of the core principles of human-centered design is to develop empathy for the end user. In addition to typical surveys, nonprofits should get close to and observe the people for whom they are innovating to understand their hopes, their challenges, their motivations, and their actual behaviors. In short, they need to become anthropologists, and walk alongside children and families as they navigate their programs, services, and systems. Centering innovation around families and communities will make solutions more viable, valued, and sustainable.

In addition to quality and satisfaction surveys, organizations need to ask staff, community residents, and funders about their biggest challenges and, if possible, observe people as they engage with services to identify inefficiencies or potentially harmful steps.

Management Mantra #3: We need to define the problem we are trying to solve.

Innovator’s Mantra: We need to define the positive goal we seek to achieve.

Identifying problems is important, but it shouldn’t be the final step before identifying solutions. To conduct a productive idea generation process and motivate employees, it’s important to define an aspirational North Star for every innovation effort. In human-centered design, this is called a “positive goal statement,” and it articulates the person or group you seek to influence and the behavior you want to see occur.

This is important for a few reasons. First, an organization that defines the specific behavior change it wants to see doesn’t have to guess about what success will look like. And second, by defining the desired future state, it can look for examples where these behaviors are already occurring. When studying a problem, organizations can become fixated and overwhelmed by what’s not working, but when they define the desired solution, they can seek out and study the examples where things are working and seek to understand the contributing factors that make this positively deviant behavior occur.

For every “innovation” or problem-solving initiative, organizations should create a positive goal statement that clearly articulates who it seeks to impact and what behavior change it seeks to achieve.

Management Mantra #4: We need a really big idea! Go big or go home!

Innovator’s Mantra: We need a sound solution to a routine problem! Go small for big results!

People often think innovation has to be a big, new, wild, exciting idea. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. A frequent comment made by participants at the summits was, “But these ideas aren’t really big ideas. They seem like things we should just be doing.” Well, if it’s something “we should just be doing, and we haven’t,” let’s start there.

Innovation is rarely a magical “eureka” moment; rather, it’s often an iterative process of solving problems—sometimes very small ones. Instead of trying to eat the whale in one swallow, organizations should tackle smaller, incremental challenges. Practicing problem solving on a small scale is valuable because it builds the skills and confidence for the times when organizations need to tackle the bigger, more complex challenges. It teaches us to break complex challenges into manageable pieces. The other benefit of taking on small problems is that it reduces the risks of failure.

Organizations should incentivize and encourage micro-innovation. They should invite staff to take on specific, manageable problems and reward all solutions (even if they are not successful). They should help staff break down large, systemic challenges into smaller components to tackle individually.

Management Mantra #5: Let’s start innovating, but we are looking for practical solutions. Because we’re a nonprofit, we can’t afford to entertain ideas that are too “out of the box.”

Innovator’s Mantra: Let’s start exploring the weird, wild, and wrong ways to do things. There’s plenty of time to get practical.

It’s very hard to generate unique solutions when the ideation process focuses on practicality. But when organizations invite people to explore weird, wrong, or unorthodox ideas, there’s a good chance they will generate unique solutions that can, over time, be made practical.

In human-centered design, ideation is catalyzed by “how might we” questions that invite people to consider possibilities for approaching challenges in novel ways. Conventional questions (How might we apply self-care principles in the workplace?) lead to more-conventional ideas; alternatively, improbable or abnormal questions (How might we make work feel more like going to a high-end spa?) lead to more-original ideas.

Inviting people to consider what work would be like if the organization did the exact opposite of what’s expected is the fastest path to uncovering desired “out-of-the-box” ideas.

Organizations should generate a set of common rules that govern the issue it is trying to tackle (for example, staff works nine to five at their desks, Monday through Friday, and hate Mondays) and then break those rules, inviting staff to brainstorm “how might we” questions to match the rule-breaking scenarios (How might we make Monday’s as fun as Fridays?).

Management Mantra #6: We don’t have time to waste; let’s figure out the best idea and start executing.

Innovator’s Mantra: We don’t have time to waste; let’s figure out the fastest way to test our ideas and fail fast, fail cheap.

Perhaps because resources are limited in the nonprofit sector or because the stakes are very high, organizations tend to rush to identify and implement a single “right” solution. This is problematic because rushing to find a singular, practical solution causes them to short circuit a very important process—first generating many solutions. In innovation processes, there is a rule that quantity breeds quality. Generating a big funnel of ideas before narrowing down to a singular idea has multiple advantages:

  • It fosters a culture that makes it OK for everyone to contribute ideas, and reduces fear and stigma associated with sharing “bad ideas.”
  • It normalizes the act of idea generation and displaces a common tendency for staff to automatically accept the ideas of the CEO, board member, or top donor as the best. (Maybe they are the best ideas, but it’d be better to determine that by picking from a lineup of multiple ideas.)
  • It reduces the tendency to fall in love with an idea out of fear that if the idea isn’t successful, there is no fallback option to explore.

Innovators don’t rush into large scale implementation without first subjecting their ideas to multiple iterations of testing to uncover potential pitfalls. If an idea doesn’t work during testing, it isn’t at the cost of a major commitment or outlay of resources. And if the idea has legs, testing and repeated cycles of feedback will only make the idea better, stronger, and more likely to succeed.

Instead of settling on one idea, organizations should select, say, the top three and invite staff teams to test each one. They should challenge them to figure out the cheapest and fastest ways to get user feedback, and uncover the concept’s benefits or death threats, and celebrate the process of testing and learning all new information.

Innovation doesn’t have be fancy or gimmicky, but it sometimes requires that we cast off deeply held notions of how to lead people and organizations, and adopt new norms and behaviors.

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Polina Makievsky (@pmakievsky) is senior vice president of knowledge, leadership, and innovation at Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (@alliancenews).


Maintaining High Ethical Standards

CMCAs’ Commitment to Following Strict Standards of Professional Conduct

An important – yet often overlooked – component of CAMICB’s Credentialing Program
requires a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) to adhere to a high standard of ethical conduct. This means Certificants must comply with the 10 CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct, which govern their professional activities.


Standards Flow Chart

These Standards of Professional Conduct, detailed at http://www.camicb.org/standards, range from understanding laws applicable to community association management, to being knowledgeable on association policies and procedures, to carrying out fiduciary responsibilities, and participating in continuing education coursework. A violation of any of these Standards of Professional Conduct may be grounds for administrative action and possible revocation of the CMCA certification by CAMICB. Abiding by these Standards of Professional Conduct help protect consumers and associations that hire or contract with community association managers.

“When a community association manager earns the CMCA, they’re pledging to uphold a strict code of professional conduct which is critical to the profession,” said Ron Perl, Esq., a Partner at Hill Wallack LLP, who leads the firm’s community association practice group. “This is more than understanding the many facets of community association management and troubleshooting challenging situations, it brings about accountability, responsibility and trust to the individuals the profession serves.” Read more …

Revamp Your Processes

MicroStockHub/iStock/Getty Images Plus


Upgrading your association’s processes can seem like an inconvenience, but even small changes can better your organization.

No organization is perfect, but continually updating processes that push your association forward can get you closer. That said, instituting organization-wide changes can seem like more of a hassle than anything positive.

“Revamping takes energy,” says Mary Byers in a post on Association Success. “All of us are on deadline, and as soon as we finish one project, we have to dive headlong into another one. It’s easier to just pull out last year’s agenda, process, or format with a slightly altered look, instead of revamping.”

To make upgrading less time-consuming, Byers suggests starting small and focusing on how to better the member experience. You can also look to other organizations to see what has and hasn’t worked: Is there any inspiration you can draw from them, or would any of their processes benefit your association?

“It helps to think about things as a work in progress, always,” Byers says. “Revamping is an ongoing project that will never be truly finished, so enjoy the process.”

By / Nov 8, 2018 for Associations Now,  a publication of the American Society for Association Executives.

Do You Need CE Credits By October 1? New Courses Have Been Approved for CMCA Recertification Credits

CAMICB’s Continuing Education (CE) Review Committee recently approved nearly 100 new courses that qualify for CMCA recertification credits. That means webinars, classes and on-demand learning is available to CMCAs from California to Dubai. Managers who need CE credits by October 1 can find a list of close to 1,000 pre-approved programs on CAMICB’s List of Approved Continuing Education. Approved topics include pets, insurance, effective communications, board elections and more.

A Snapshot of Available Resources and Tips For Finding CECs

Be sure to review Section 4 of the CMCA Handbook for a primer on earning CECs as well as the Continuing Education Page at www.camicb.org for an overview of credit and coursework specifications.

You can also find approved CAI courses at the CAI Education for Managers page. Here you can also learn more about CAI’s Professional Management Development Program (PMDP). Through this program, CAI provides comprehensive, expert education courses for community managers, all of which are CAMICB approved CE courses.

Other Active Credentials

Any manager who meets the continuing education requirements to maintain the below credentials will satisfy the current CAMICB continuing education requirement:

  • CAI’s Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI’s Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • National Association of Housing Cooperative’s (NAHC) Registered Cooperative Manager (RCM) designation
  • Florida’s Community Association Manager license (CAM)
  • Nevada’s Community Association Manager certificate

Free or Low-Cost Options

And don’t forget to explore free or low-cost webinars that are offered by the following providers:

Recertification means you’re an accomplished professional committed to developing your skills and knowledge and is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the community association management profession. CAMICB supports and applauds your commitment to professional development and the recertification process.  Please email CAMICB with any questions – we’re here to help!