As the leader of AMC's team on knowledge management and leadership development, Sue Farrell Stock strives to enhance data-based decision-making among board members to help their associations grow and prosper. Her goal is two-fold: to advance individual member's skills and capabilities in their profession and to position an association or a professional society as "the source" of new and relevant knowledge.
Farrell Stock is a big-picture, goal-oriented strategist who strongly believes that members' education must be timely and directly applicable to their professional role. She stresses that informed decision-making, gleaned from reliable metrics and other sources, is key to offering exceptional new programs and products. This, in turn, fuels growth in membership and taps into new markets, programming opportunities, and audiences.
"Having 20-plus years of experience in association management—primarily in education strategy, needs assessment, and new product and program development—I've learned to adapt to changing member demographics and the economics of advancing education goals," she says. "Working with staff and volunteer teams over the years, I value the contribution and wisdom of those involved and the importance of informed decision making."
In short, Farrell Stock has a passion for achieving an organization's mission and then demonstrating how it can most benefit members and their wider community or industry. This applies to both her professional and personal lives. As a founding board member and board president of a fledgling Chicago-area art center, she played a key role in bringing arts education programming to her community by helping it acquire not-for-profit status and grant funding and by lending her expertise in developing policies and procedures.
Achieving goals is at the heart of one of her favorite books, The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. "It talks about how managing one's energy, rather than one's time, enables focus for optimal performance and engagement," she says. Although a lofty goal, performing optimally may be one item on Farrell's to-do list that she can safely check off.