Executive ai playbook

The Executive’s AI Playbook: Is Your Organization Ready?

Organizations are adopting AI at a faster rate than ever before. What was once part of a myth about robots taking over the world is now more commonly seen as a tool to automate time-consuming processes to gain better insights from large amounts of data. There is eagerness across the board to implement artificial intelligence into business practices but it is important to know that there is no “one size fits all” solution. The first thing you’ll want to do is educate yourself and develop a plan that fits your needs. This interactive AI playbook built by McKinsey & Company will help you do just that.

The extensive playbook is broken down into three parts:

1. Value & Assess - Size the opportunity and determine data needs

The Value & Assess section shows the potential total annual value of AI and analytics across 19 industries. By clicking on your industry you can see the areas where AI techniques can be applied and a range of economic value for those applications.

ai playbook value and assess

Image source: www.mckinsey.com

2. Execute - Learn best practices to realize the value

The Execute section breaks down best practices for implementing AI across your organization. The high-level summary of these practices includes: aligning on the strategy - building tech, data & people capabilities - completing the last mile.  

AI playbook best practices

Image source: www.mckinsey.com

3. Beware - Know the warning signs of an AI program failure

The Beware section outlines 10 red flags to keep an eye out for once the decision is made to implement an AI program. Each red flag has a suggested response to help quickly resolve these issues and increase the chance of a successful AI initiative.

AI playbook beware

Image source: www.mckinsey.com

Are you ready to get started?

Contact rasa.io today about implementing AI t o engage your members and generate new sources of revenue.  And if you are interested in other applicable AI frameworks, read our recent blog on the AI Canvas.

the open garden association by amith nagarajan

Association Overhaul: The Open Garden Blueprint for Change in a Digital World

Announcing the launch of The Open Garden Organization, A Blueprint for Associations in the Digital Age

At rasa.io, we do a lot in the way of intelligent email content, but today, we are excited to announce the launch of a new book that is very close to our team: The Open Garden Organization, A Blueprint for Associations in the Digital Age. Open Garden is written by our rasa.io Chairman, Amith Nagarajan, and the book encourages experimentation and innovation within associations in order for them to remain relevant in our world of rapid technological advancement.

About the author, Amith Nagarajan

Amith is passionate about helping associations, non-profits, and other brands engage with their audiences on a daily basis. He founded and grew Aptify into a worldwide leader in Association Management Software, and he sold the company in 2017 to Community Brands. Now, along with our team at rasa.io, Amith works on developing cutting edge AI to drive meaningful daily engagement between brands and their audiences via personalized content curation. Outside of rasa.io, Amith is an active early stage investor in B2B SaaS companies.

Embracing The Open Garden Model and fostering a culture of experimentation

The book begins by encouraging organizations to foster a culture of experimentation. The “business as usual” mindset is easy to fall into when you are not constantly innovating new ways to drive success. Without this kind of experimental culture, you may achieve short-term success in order to satisfy immediate stakeholder needs, but such a short-term mindset will ultimately lead to stagnation. Now, more than ever, it is important to take advantage of new resources and new ideas in order to maintain relevance.

The Open Garden Organization brings contemporary ideas about technological solutions and business management into the hands of association professionals. Associations need to leverage technology and explore new frontiers in order to maintain the historic trust they have developed with their members.

A Brief Overview of the book and The Open Garden Model

The book’s Open Garden Model is an equation founded on the following principles: purpose + culture + inclusivity. These principles are expanded upon in the book’s three sections: “The Bedrock,” “The Soil,” and “The Crops”.  

The Bedrock of the Open Garden

The Bedrock focuses on finding your Core Purpose and defining your Core Values. In order to find your true purpose, you must ask yourself why your organization exists in the first place. Once you’ve established why you exist, you can begin to define the set of behaviors - or Core Values - that you need to implement in order to successfully pursue your Core Purpose. Your Core Values need to be communicated regularly to your team and persistently reinforced in order to effectively live up to your Core Purpose. At rasa.io, our Core Purpose is “To Better Inform The World,” and we behave guided by seven core values in our daily actions in order to achieve that purpose.

The Soil of the Open Garden

The second part of the book concentrates on constructing and nurturing your culture. The culture of your organization should be created internally, and intentionally. Nagarajan calls this concept “Culture by Design.” Culture By Design is driven by three things: Core Purpose, Core Values, and an Envisioned Future. When these pillars are carefully crafted and clearly communicated, it creates a purpose-driven culture throughout the organization and a stable foundation for success.

An Envisioned Future should include a BHAG, or “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.” A BHAG is a far-out, massive-scale aspiration that an organization establishes in order to motivate the internal team, and all other stakeholders, in working together toward a long-term, uniting goal. rasa.io’s BHAG is: “By 2030 we will improve the lives of one billion people around the world through better information,” and you can read more about it here.  

The Crops of the Open Garden

This final section of the book is all about finding and engaging your community. In the Digital Age, people are exposed to more content than ever before. Because of this information overload, we consume this content with less confidence in its credibility. Associations have already established that credibility but they often don’t engage their membership as frequently as they should.

At rasa.io, our mission is to bridge that engagement gap with our daily, personalized newsbriefs. Our AI-driven approach to finding the most relevant industry news makes this an email that members will look forward to opening. Higher engagement levels won’t just keep your members happy, they will also open the door to new economic benefits for your organization.  

Buy the Open Garden today

The Open Garden Organization, A Blueprint for Associations in the Digital Age is now available for purchase on Amazon. Buy your copy today in order to learn about how you can position your association for success in this new era of technological advancement.

John Spence using AI to automate and personalize email newsletters

John Spence Case Study: Making Email News... Awesomely Simple

John Spence: World-renowned business speaker, thought-leader, and consultant

While the majority of our clients are associations, today we are excited to post about the success of one of our business influencer clients: a world-renowned speaker, thought-leader, and consultant in the business world, John Spence.

Our partnership with Spence is rather unique. His rasa.io newsbrief primarily consists of the articles that he - and some of his peers in the business influencer space - Tweet out to their followers, in addition to posts from The John Spence Achieving Business Excellence blog. Our rasa.io Artificial Intelligence automatically compiles the content that Spence determines to be relevant to his community, and then our AI individualizes the articles in each email based upon subscriber interests. 

Spence explains the value of his rasa.io newsbrief

John Spence and his marketing team have been enthusiastic about the value our newsbrief provides their community of subscribers from the very beginning; Spence describes that value in his own words:

“I have already had several people tell me that they love the newsletter and that the content is fantastic, which is especially cool because the AI is custom generating content for each reader. Also, I love it because it is hands off,  I set the parameters, it knows where to pull from, and the AI only puts up articles that I know will be of value to the readers. I know that I'm not wasting my readers’ time, and that they will find value in everything I send to them.

My rasa.io newsbrief content represents my individual brand and the way I believe in doing business; the product allows me to automatically distribute these important articles, along with my self-published content - all personalized for each member of my community - on a regular basis.

The [engagement level] has exceeded my expectations: 40% of my subscribers open our rasa.io emails. Beyond that, for the group we have gathered the most Artificial Intelligence information on, our open rate is about 60%. It feels great to know that the training, education, and business research resources I am passing to my followers are being used to help them grow.”

Read the John Spence case study in full!

Deliver the value of automated AI to your community

We are passionate about using AI to filter through the noise and deliver authoritative content that is of tangible value to our customers’ communities. What’s more, is that our personalization comes at no additional time cost to our customers’ teams. Instead of spending their time hand-segmenting emails, our customers spend their time reviewing the user insights they gain from our analytics dashboard. They can use those insights to develop their own internal content plans to achieve optimal value for their readers.

Learn more about how rasa.io can help you to personalize content with AI and automatically disemminate your valuable internal content to your readers.

Our upcoming webinar

If you are interested in learning about how you can do a better job of promoting your own internal content, register for our upcoming webinar: Promote Your Content Effectively to Drive Member Engagement.

Image credit: www.johnspence.com

associations can personalize their member communications using artificial intelligence

9 Ideas for Making it Member Personal: Dale Carnegie’s Advice for Associations Part II

In the first part of our series, we examined four ways in which the wisdom of Dale Carnegie is applicable today. The second part of our series continues to explore how Carnegie’s insights are applicable to personalizing the modern member experience.

5 - "Success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s viewpoint."

To capture attention and loyalty, you must understand the different segments of your audience. Don’t assume you or your committee chair knows what you need to know. A chair who’s been in business for decades won’t have the same perspective as a new young member in their first management role.

You can grasp a membership segment’s viewpoint by understanding issues they worry about, situations that stress them out, and expenses they weren’t expecting. Learn about their aspirations and goals. Once you get a better sense of their professional lives, you can determine how your association can really help them. Let them know you understand the problems they face and tell them what steps you’re taking to help them.

6 - “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important… always make the other person feel important.”

Give people the opportunity to have a voice, comment, or make a suggestion. When they give feedback, let them know how it made a difference—what you did as a result or how it influenced the association’s thinking or action.

Show appreciation to all volunteers, not just board and committee members but any member who gives their time in an ad hoc or episodic way. Members notice when their volunteering goes unnoticed. Thank members who make a call on your behalf, review a session proposal, help at an event, or give time in any way.

7 - “You must develop a deep, driving desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people.”

Never stop learning about your members because their needs and interests constantly change. Pay attention to what they do, not just what they say. Tools like rasa.io can help you learn what members are really interested in and will track how those interests change over time.

Keep up on what’s going on in the industry or profession by reading trade media and talking with members. Improve “your ability to deal with people” by strengthening your communication and marketing skills, and, of course, your association management skills too. Read, attend virtual and in-person educational events, and cultivate a network of association peers. Professional development will transform your life and make a positive impact on your members.

8 - “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Personalizing content with someone’s name isn’t the only way to capture a person’s attention. Personalize membership by sharing content that resonates with members.

People expect personalized content, according to a Reuters Plus report:

  •       77 percent of consumers expect to see more personalized content in the future.
  •       63 percent say personally relevant content improves how they feel about the brand associated with it.
  •       58 percent of consumers see brands in a more positive light if they provide them with content that matches their interests.

Readers—members and everyone else—put a high value on any service that delivers a selection of personally relevant content they can’t easily find anywhere else in one place. Use a service like rasa.io and you become an indispensable part of your reader’s life.

9 - “Pay less attention to what [people] say. Just watch what they do.”

What people click is more telling than what they say in a survey. Online behavior reveals a person’s real interests and needs: web pages and blog posts they read, web and email links they click, and content they download. When rasa.io delivers an email newsbrief to a member, the member’s clicks drive the AI which determines the content mix in future newsbriefs. If the member’s interests (and clicks) change, the content changes along with them.

What Dale Carnegie had to say is relevant today

Much of what Dale Carnegie taught his students and readers applies to association management in the 21st century. Make a concerted effort to listen to members, observe their behavior, respond with relevant products and services, and personalize membership.

At rasa.io, we are here to help you individualize the content you send to members and gain valuable insights from what they are interested in reading about. Learn more about how we can begin to personalize your relationships with your members today.

personalizing member communications for your members using artificial intelligence

9 Ideas for Making it Member Personal: Dale Carnegie’s Advice for Associations Part I

What can Dale Carnegie teach us about member personalization?

In 1936, Dale Carnegie published one of the best-selling books of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People. More than 30 million copies have sold and more than 8 million people have graduated from Dale Carnegie training, including Warren Buffet who said:

“In my office, you will not see the degree I have from the University of Nebraska, or the master’s degree I have from Columbia University, but you’ll see the certificate I got from the Dale Carnegie course.”

Everyone wants to win friends and influence people, including associations. You want to capture the attention, interest, and loyalty of volunteers, members, customers, prospects, journalists, policy-makers, and maybe even consumers.

Carnegie gave advice for face-to-face communication, but his principles still apply to email and other digital channels. His insight into human nature remains relevant today. He taught the value of listening, observing behavior, and appealing to individual needs and desires. If he were on the association speaking circuit, Carnegie would tell you to personalize membership. Let’s take a look at some of his other advice from How to Win Friends & Influence People.

1 - “Of course you are interested in what you want… But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want.”

Associations want to be member-centric, but their perspective is often inside-out rather than outside-in. The membership value proposition is usually based on what the association says is valuable, not what members believe is valuable. Adopt an outside-in approach and find out what members really value.

Be a partner in their success. Involve members (and even non-members) in the early discussions about new products and services. Don’t assume you know what they need, instead be guided by their conversations and, most importantly, by their behavior. Behavioral data, like email clicks, teach you more about a member’s interests than an annual survey.

2 - “Talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”

Associations have a lot to say about events, education, and products. The default is to publish more promotional messages than informational ones, but it should be the opposite—that’s what members want.

Review your communication with people at the start of their membership journey. When you market membership to prospects, are you selling or educating? Build a closer relationship with prospects by teaching them what they need to know. Then, show them how your association can help them get what they want.

Connect whatever you’re promoting to a member goal. How will this event impact their career? Whom will they meet? What will they learn? Why is that important?

3 - “You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”

Associations want to get members engaged on the association’s terms. They encourage members to join a committee, participate in this, or do that. Remember, it’s not about what you want, it’s about what the member wants. Engagement has to be on their terms.

A member’s idea of engagement may not look like traditional engagement. They may not be interested in committee service or three-day events. They may prefer a more passive mode of engagement. They may want a selection of curated, personalized content delivered to their inbox, instead of spending time searching the web to find it themselves.

4 - “To be interesting, be interested.”

Demonstrate your interest in members by listening to them regularly. Give them a chance to talk about themselves. During most membership orientations, the presentation is all about the association. Flip it by asking questions instead.

Ask members about their challenges and aspirations. What do they need or want to learn? What sort of people do they want to meet? What problems do they need to solve? What goals do they have for the next few years? Ask these questions every year because people, jobs, and careers change.

What are my next steps toward member personalization?

Show your community that you are ready to personalize the member experience. You can use rasa.io to send personalized news to your members, infused with your own blogs, news, and educational content. Then you can learn from member click and interaction data to inform your own content and educational event plans. Schedule a newsbrief demo today or register for our upcoming product demo webinar.

Tune in next week for the second set of recommendations from Dale Carnegie on how your association can make it personal.

Associations can use the AI Canvas in order to make better decisions

Unstick Your Stucks: Making Better Decisions with the Help of the AI Canvas

Oftentimes associations come to us not knowing where to begin when it comes to implementing new and innovative technologies. The idea of using Artificial Intelligence to engage their members is daunting. So what do we tell them? Just start. Experiment. Take the first step toward trying something new.

In many cases, it makes sense to turn toward the data in order to make difficult business decisions. But whether or not to employ AI predictive technology so that you can take the best given course of action related to any given input - using a combination of existing data, training data, and real time inputs - is still a tough choice to make. Referring to a step-by-step framework can be a good place to start.

What does making tough decisions have to do with AI?

Every organization faces the challenge of having to make tough decisions in the face of uncertainty. If we knew the exact, potential outcome of each branch of a decision tree, the choices facing us in our daily lives would not be as nerve racking.

AI can help us make better predictions, and the AI Canvas provides a straightforward framework to decide whether or not to use AI. It provides a decision-making path to go down in order to help an organization decide whether implementing an AI prediction machine even makes sense in the first place. The concept is fully fleshed out, along with a step by step example, in the recent HBR article: “A Simple Tool to Start Making Decisions with the Help of AI”, by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, (also authors of the acclaimed book: Prediction Machines).

How does the AI Canvas work?

The first four steps in the top row of the framework, (prediction, judgement, action, outcome), describe the four most important dimensions of any given decision. The bottom row of the AI Canvas, (input, training, feedback), lays out the concluding data-centric considerations in the entire decision making process. In the article by Agrawal, et al, they lay out an interesting example relating to home security in order to demonstrate a real-life application of the AI Canvas.

The possibilities are endless. We have all heard that AI will become a more and more powerful force in business, and predictive decision making is an AI category that any organization can begin to explore.

Are you ready to get started?

rasa.io is here to help you make the decision on whether to use AI in order to engage your members on a deeper level. Learn about how.

Image source: www.predictionmachines.ai

Association staff member reading AI report

6 Artificial Intelligence Tools That Will Do The Work For You

Artificial intelligence is here to help. Far from being an abstract, futuristic, and intimidating concept, Artificial Intelligence tools exist to make your professional life easier in tangible ways, most often by saving you time on manual work. Below, we’ve curated a roundup of tools at your disposal to make life better for the entire ecosystem of your association.

Twyla AI

What is it?

A customer support chatbot. Using ‘Hybrid Brain’ and ‘Customer Intelligence’ technologies, Twyla provides the correct information in the correct tone, fast. The chatbot is trained to work with third-party data, widening its problem-solving potential.

How can it help you?

Busy people hate to hang around on hold with a call center. Twyla covers your organization’s back by providing snappy answers to the most common and easily-solved problems of members. The time your staff spends responding to queries reduces drastically, leaving them to work on the bigger picture. Find out more on the Twyla website.

Grip Event Networking App

What is it?

Like an online dating platform, but for professional matchmaking. For anyone unfamiliar with the format of contemporary online dating apps, the Grip version goes like this: you create an anonymous profile listing your interests, swipe through other profiles of those in proximity to you, and only if you ‘match’ do you get the opportunity to message each other and form a connection. No rejection, just mutual interest.

How can it help you?

Grip is designed for building community at events. It allows you to scope out who’s around you so that you can meet up in person at the event after interacting via the app. The user experience is quick and easy: event attendees can login via their existing social media profiles. This is the perfect way for your members to maximize their networking efficiency and opportunities for in-person meetings. Find out more.


What is it?

Content curation designed specifically for an association’s needs. We bring your association’s emails to the next level by using Artificial Intelligence technology that learns about individual members and customizes their content experience. Each newsbrief created is individualized with relevant industry news based on what is most interesting to that specific person.

How can it help you?

Our technology can help you personalize emails to members so they only receive content geared toward them. Members will thank you for subtly pointing them in the direction of information they need, without even knowing AI is involved in saving them the time and stress of filtering through today’s endless stream of content. No more “Mark as Spam” for your weekly newsletter! Request a demo.


What is it?

The cheapest personal assistant you’ll ever hire. Virtual assistant Clara can’t pick up your dry cleaning, but she can schedule appointments for you. By CC-ing the PA into your email arrangements, she picks up the information she needs and interacts with external parties personably and helpfully, until you’ve scheduled a meeting time and place that suits everyone.

How can it help you?

Clara can save you the pain of slow email exchanges to schedule a twenty minute call, only to have someone cancel or reschedule at the last minute. You can use the time you save to fit in more preparation and even more meetings! Find out more.

Concierge Eventbot

What is it?

A messaging service tailored for your event. Concierge is not an app - it can be used through SMS or Facebook and other existing messaging services to share information throughout an event. Your organization can personalize the bot with your own name and design. Attendees can also request real-time human assistance through the bot, so event staff can solve problems as they come up.

How can it help you?

Concierge gets information to your conference attendees fast. Need to welcome new members as they arrive? Make an announcement about a rescheduled panel? Notify volunteers about the location of a post-conference party? Concierge sends out messages to everyone who is signed up, you can tailor who receives what based on the participant, and attendees can opt in and out of notifications by setting their own preferences. Conferences are stressful enough as it is. Learn more.

Watson Natural Language Understanding

What is it?

Natural Language Understanding (NLU) uses machine reading comprehension to analyze text. Input an article, a transcription, or a series of social media posts into the tool, and it will identify keywords, emotions, overall sentiment, and categories.

How can it help you?

Think of it as market research. Are people talking about your association on social media? Do you need to gain insights from responses to a mass member survey? Or gauge public opinion on an area of advocacy work? Instead of having someone read through everything, NLU provides instant analysis. If you have enough data to create a clear picture, this can save time on performing traditional, manual market research work like cold-calling members. Find out more.

Of course, these are just a few of the Artificial Intelligence tools that are out there. Did we miss any? Is there something else that you are using currently and can’t live without? Let us know below; we’re always looking for new tools!

Three computers and background coding represent the power of artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence for Associations: Is It Worth the Hype?

Originally posted on the American Society of Association Executives website.

To prepare for the future, associations should embrace the possibilities of artificial intelligence. Here’s a primer on what AI can do for your organization.

Barely a day goes by without media coverage of how artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into almost every industry, including theories on how it’s going to change the world as we know it. Is it all sensationalized? Or science-fiction daydreaming? Or is the hype around AI something that’s truly going to affect the world?

I believe we will see profound impacts in the next decade, and these have several implications for associations. The good news is that AI can be a disruptive and positive change, helping associations do more than ever before to advance their missions.

Incremental vs. Transformative Change

When thinking about AI, I see two types of change: incremental and transformative. I like to think of incremental change as taking existing business processes and making them better. For example, AI can be used to more efficiently answer member questions or to help attendees find the best-suited sessions at a conference. These tools incrementally improve the way we do business.

In contrast, a transformative impact is a situation where the business model, or the fundamental method of engagement with association members, is disrupted and changed, for better or worse. Self-driving cars are an example of a transformative change in the auto industry, radically altering how people use cars for work and leisure.

What Is AI?

Before we get down to specifics, let me explain some of the terms you’ve probably read, heard, or seen:

The term AI refers to a computer’s ability to mimic the behavior of a human, or more than one human, to reprogram itself over time based on learned observations.

Machine learning is an application of AI that involves learning by applying statistical algorithms to data. It takes a statistical approach to gain insights into data and make informed decisions based on these insights.

One category of machine learning includes using predictive analytics to help an organization figure out what factors influence things like revenue and sales. In the association space, similar algorithms can be used to predict how factors, like location, affect conference registration, or which members are most likely to renew or not.

Deep learning is a subcategory of machine learning. The most advanced cognitive machine is the human brain, which is a network of neurons that fire together. Deep learning mimics the way a human’s neural networks function in terms of how information is transmitted.

The good news is that AI can be a disruptive and positive change, helping associations do more than ever before to advance their missions.

Do you use Siri to get information from your iPhone—or some other type of voice assistant technology?

If so, then deep learning is already making your life easier. In the past few years, these technologies have drastically improved in their ability to accurately detect speech patterns across languages, age groups, and accents. Another example of deep learning in action is facial recognition, which is used by everyday apps like Snapchat.

AI for Associations

Could your association use AI technology? As you explore the possibilities, I urge you to think of AI as a tool, just like any other piece of technology. It has major potential to automate tasks that would be arduous to undertake manually, leaving more time to focus on strategic work.

Allow me to zoom in on one potential application of AI for associations—content curation and personalization. Imagine the effort that would go into personalizing member experiences manually. It means getting to know individuals, then taking the time to provide them with content resources. This would be inefficient and infeasible, particularly for large associations.

AI can facilitate personalization by sifting through large amounts of content within the association. It can also go beyond that content and look at other quality and trusted sources that your members are already reading.

AI can identify patterns to determine what content is of greatest value to the individual and provide tailored information at just the right time. It can also share content with the audience based on known factors, like career stage, location, and job title. More so, AI can learn from user behaviors and find new patterns to group people into personas that are not as obvious to us.

A key role of an association is to help people find valuable information, which makes life easier and ultimately advances their work. AI can do that right now without a single hour of human labor involved. Content delivery is just one example. There are far greater opportunities for AI on the horizon as the technology advances.

It’s also an exciting time to explore the tools and applications that enhance the work we do. AI is here. It’s improving at an exponential rate, and it’s capable of benefiting many associations today.