Jeff De Cagna is chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, and the association community's leading voice for innovation.
Jeff De Cagna is chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC (P.I.), and the association community’s leading voice for innovation. He is an author, speaker and strategic advisor for associations and non-profit organizations across North America and around the world. A respected contrarian thinker, Jeff has been challenging association orthodoxy and inviting boards, CEOs and other senior decision-makers to pursue the generative work of transformation for more than 20 years.
Jeff is a Fellow of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, served on the ASAE Board of Directors from 2007-2010 and is the chair of ASAE’s Key Consultants Committee. Jeff also served on the RedRover Board of Directors from 2011-2013, serving as both board chair and vice chair during that time.
A graduate of the Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities, Jeff has pursued executive education at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Oxford University and Harvard Business School. Jeff holds the BoardSource Leadership Certificate for Nonprofit Board Chairs, and he has completed Foresight Practitioner training at the Institute for the Future (IFTF).
Concentration in Learning and Teaching
Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation (executive education)
Oxford Scenarios Programme (executive education)
Governing for Non-Profit Excellence (executive education)
Leadership Certificate for Non-Profit Board Chairs
Foresight Practitioner Training
I realize you can't go to the Board. If you approach him about shortcomings he is defensive and argumentative. The Board is not going to terminate (he is one of them). Is the only course of action for staff to leave?
Thanks for participating in this AMA session. Earlier this year I was involved in an email exchange with a long-standing association Executive Director that was considering an association branded ECN but decided to punt the decision to a later time. She cited the current economic climate and indicated: "We are simply not in a position to expand offerings that add cost. Associations continue to fight for their lives."
We have subsequently entered into royalty agreements with associations so that they don't incur any out-of-pocket expenses to launch an ECN under their banner and that seems to be going well. However, I was curious about the statement that "Associations continue to fight for their lives." Is that the general sentiment of EDs in the association industry? With so many innovative offerings and third party providers available to partner with associations, it seems that it could also be the best of times. Thanks for your thoughts.
What was your path to starting work with Associations? How long have you been advising association boards?