I have more than twenty years’ experience helping associations and nonprofit organizations. My expertise includes facilitation and training in the following areas: strategic planning and scenario development, team building and leadership, innovation and collaborative problem solving, change management and organizational processes, and community organizing.
My experiences and qualifications include:
I have a BS in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and a Master of Public Administration from the George Washington University. On reflection, I sometimes wish I had studied something more interesting such as Icelandic literature or art history.
- Certification in the Bottom-Line Innovation process and the Osborne-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Method.
- Training in the use of the Orchestra Innovation Styles® for Groups and the Innovate with C.A.R.E. Profile®.
- Training in the principles of volunteer leadership, community organizing and accelerated learning.
- Collaboration with Bob Foxworthy, originator of Trust-Based Leadership™.
- Participation in the Innovation University Program in which a select group of change agents from non-competing companies come together each quarter to visit innovative companies and explore ways to apply these lessons in their own companies. Visits included companies such as Coca-Cola, Interface Carpet as well as several companies in Lima, Peru.
- Co-manager of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation Environmental Scan, a major initiative that researched the trends shaping the future of associations and outlined strategies for organizational change. Mr. Liff is co-author of two major publications based on that study.
I have also worked as a community organizer in low-income neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan and Des Moines, Iowa. While living in Ithaca, New York, I developed an education packet to teach migrant farm children how to avoid pesticide poisoning. As part of the project, I realized a life-long dream to create and publish my own comic book.
Leadership Training for the Fairfax Police Department, in conjunction with Bob Foxworthy of Trust-Based Leadership Technologies. Goals included improved collaborative performance, increased ability to introduce innovations into the department and enhanced community service.
A presentation entitled, Grassroots Leadership: Making a Difference Where You Work at the Department of the Navy/Office of Civilian Human Resources’ Leadership Conference.
Facilitated retreats for the Eurasia Foundation that enabled support for a new strategic plan requiring a major change in organizational philosophy and shift for staff.
Co-facilitated the 1999 Florida Society of Executives Foundation Think Tank. This 1.5-day event explored: 1) the next generation of products, services and experiences that will be offered by associations; 2) new organizational models necessary to deliver these experiences; and 3) new models of leadership and governance.
Facilitated strategic planning sessions and retreats for the Audubon Naturalist Society, World Bank Institute, the ASAE Foundation, ASAE's Membership Section, ASAE's Chapter Relations Section, the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association, the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, National Business Incubation Association, and the Council for Chemical Research.
Selected as a small-group facilitator for the 1995, 1996, and 1997 ASAE Strategic Leadership Forums -- an annual conference designed to help association executives identify and creatively respond to emerging management issues.
Team & Collaborative Skills Training
Served as team facilitator and coach for ASAE's CEO Team, the organization’s first-ever cross-divisional team. Mr. Liff assisted the team over a period of 18 months in team building, market research, and strategic planning.
Facilitated a collaborative-skills workshop for the BlueCCHIP program of the American Chiropractic Association to teach volunteer liaisons how to work with state Blue Cross/Blue Shield associations on reimbursement issues for chiropractors.
Development of Education and Training Materials
Conceived and wrote an innovative pesticide education packet, including tutorial materials and comic book, used to teach migrant farm children how to avoid pesticide poisoning. Successfully negotiated political and budget issues involving state government agencies and various NGOs.
Planned and implemented a promotion program for the American Association of Museums' Museum Assessment Program that increased participation by 50% and ensured continued government funding.
Conducted focus groups for the American Society of Association Executives, the American Institute of Architects, the American Association of Museums, the American Society for Microbiology, the Independent Insurance Agents Association of New York, and the Volunteers of America.
Planned and conducted training seminars at the American Institute of Architects for chapter executives and member volunteers on topics such as marketing, strategic planning, and focus group facilitation.
Developed and facilitated a training session using interactive role-playing techniques to help the Membership Committee of the Urban Land Institute in: (1) interpreting membership marketing research and utilizing the Allegiance profile system; and (2) brainstorming applications for a new, online member service.
Creative Leadership – Lessons from the Innovation University: The Capitol Creativity Network, April 2005.
- Grassroots Leadership: Making a Difference Where You Work, Department of the Navy – Office of Civilian Human Resources’ Leadership Conference, September 2004.
- Implementing Your Strategic Plan: ASAE Virtual Seminar, August 2004.
- Building Your Membership Marketing Message: ASAE Marketing & Membership Symposium, June 2004.
- Destination Imagination - Coaching for Creativity: Fast Company Innovation Group, September 2002.
- Lessons from Innovation University: Fast Company Innovation Group, April 2001.
- Planting Seeds for Better Staff Performance: Using Comedy Improv to Help Meeting Planners Learn Leadership Skills, GWSAE’s Springtime in the Park, June 2002.
- Business Development Culture: How to Mobilize in Hard Times, Northern Virginia Technology Council,
- February 2002
- Who Love Ya, Baby? Getting Psyched to Sell Your Association, Leadership Conference of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association, April 2000.
- Marketing Management Simulation - Collaboration & Silo Busting, ASAE Marketing Symposium, March 2000.
- Preparing for the Future, Education Institute of the Pennsylvania Society of Association Executives, April 1999.
- Scenario Planning for Association Executives: Simple Techniques for Dealing with an Uncertain Future, ASAE M&T Conference - December 1998.
- Sharing Your Vision: The Mission Statement, June 1998 Annual Meeting of the National Business Incubation Association.
- Strategic Planning: Pitfalls & Possibilities, ASAE M&T Conference –
- December 1997.
- Strategy with Spirit, National Business Incubation Association Annual Meeting
- May 1997.
- The Marketing Audit, ASAE Marketing Section Roundtable - March 1997.
- Revitalizing Strategy in Your Association, ASAE M&T Conference - December 1996.
- The American Society of Association Executives
- The ASAE Foundation
- World Bank Institute, Human Development Division
- The Eurasia Foundation
- Fairfax Police Department
- National Society of Hispanic MBAs
- The American Zoo & Aquarium Association
- The American Chiropractic Association
- The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association
- The National Society of Professional Engineers
- The National Business Incubation Association
- The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association
- The Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- The American Institute of Architects
- The American Managed Care Pharmacy Association
- The American Society for Microbiology
- The Intelligent Transportation Society of America
- Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
- Volunteers of America
- The Council for Chemical Research
- The Association Foundation Group
- The Association of College & University Housing Officers International
- The Independent Insurance Agents of America
- The Urban Land Institute