#ASAE11 Unsession on Humanize: Reader Input

It’s time to get geared up for the ASAE Annual Meeting in St. Louis. I’m on the agenda this year, though it’s not a typical session for me. I am facilitating a “town hall” meeting for the Young Association Executives Committee (Monday afternoon). So if you’re a YAE (or curious to see what YAE’s think), then come on by.

In addition to that, however, Maddie and I are going to do an “unsession” about our upcoming book, Humanize. Back in December, when we had to put in our proposals for sessions, Maddie and I realized that the book would not be done in time for ASAE, so we didn’t put in to do a session on it (but I am on the agenda for Tech in December!). So instead it will be an unsession in a room that ASAE has set aside for just such a purpose (but we won’t know the time slot until we get on site).

So my question to you, dear readers, is what piece of the book should we talk about in this sneak preview? The book is fundamentally a challenge to make our organizations more human. For decades we all have been tolerating less-than-ideal organizations that have been modeled after machines. This book presents an alternative, inspired (ironically) by the technology breakthroughs in social media. Social media’s growth was driven by the fact it was organic, natural and to a large extent uncontrolled–quite the opposite of the way we run our organizations and at the same time quite resonant with what it means to be human.

So Maddie and I came up with four human elements that can be infused into our organizational cultures, processes and behaviors. The four elements are:

  • Open (decentralized, systems thinking, ownership…)
  • Trustworthy (transparency, truth, authenticity…)
  • Generative (inclusion, collaboration, relationship building…)
  • Courageous (learning, experimentation, personal development…)

So here’s how you can help: of those four, which one do you want to hear more about in our sneak preview unsession? Let us know in the comments.


  1. 22.07.2011 at 3:17 pm

    I’d say open. Silo-busting, diminishing traditional hierarchies, departments working together instead of needing to own stuff, etc.

  2. 22.07.2011 at 3:39 pm

    I’m curious about the “Trustworthy” element. Transparency’s a common goal currently – but I’m experiencing that it takes a great deal more effort to accomplish than most people think. I’d be interested in your thoughts….

  3. Natasha Rankin
    26.07.2011 at 4:01 pm

    I’m with Trustworthy, as I’ve found that in order to move onto those courageous (and necessary) conversations, we need to be authentic, trust each other, and be transparent (direct).

  4. 28.07.2011 at 8:22 pm

    Trustworthy is the basis of quality relationships

  5. 29.07.2011 at 8:23 pm

    Jamie –

    I’m torn between “Open” and “Courageous.” Quite frankly, you have an excellent list there all the way around my friend….



  6. Diane Scheuring
    30.07.2011 at 10:43 am

    Trustworthy (transparency, truth, authenticity…)
    members know when their organization is being authentic and not. Also the difference between saying you are transparent vs. Really being transparent.

    Can not wait for your book!

  7. 01.08.2011 at 4:13 pm

    My vote is for OPEN! Eliminate the fear! Let’s embrace our customers, members, supporters, advocates… and become clear and accessible. See you there.