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Supporting Professional Excellence and Advancement in Association Leadership



As part of the IAL’s commitment to supporting members’ professional development, and to elevating association leadership as a recognised and valued profession, we are launching a multifaceted executive education program intended to promote the highest standards of professional competence amongst current and future association leaders.

A core component of that program will be our Learning Labs, an annual complement of 1-day and ½-day seminars and webinars, designed to enhance members’ knowledge of the salient issues impacting our sector, hone their skills in association leadership, and increase their understanding of emerging national and international trends in association leadership, management, and governance.




Delivered by an ensemble of global association specialists, our programme is offered across the five core learning streams of Systems, Self, Strategy, Governance, and Culture. We'll be adding new sessions to the 'Lab' throughout the year, so be sure to check our latest schedule regularly.


Successful leadership is grounded in self-awareness; but how do emotionally intelligent leaders manage their well-being, handle adversity, and lead their teams effectively? Sessions in this learning stream will explore the discipline of personal mastery, help delegates to discard those unhelpful habits, and provide skills and guidance on creating unique leadership styles that benefit individuals and their associations alike.


A team should never operate in isolation but rather it should function as an integral element of several systems, which together constitute a complex organisational structure. Systems thinking is therefore elementary to an association’s success but how do we understand systems thinking and employ it to good effect? How does an association maintain a coherent identity whilst leaving room for creativity amongst its teams? Sessions in this learning stream will explore and explain why systems thinking matters and ways in which it can be incorporated throughout association leadership.


People are inspired by a leader who embodies an association’s value, engages discussion and debate at all levels, embraces ethical action, empowers people to make decision, and creates leadership at all levels of the organisation. The sessions in this learning stream are intended to equip delegates with the knowledge and skills to nurture a balance and blend of learning, performance, and intentional cultures which, when combined create positive and powerful environments for association success.


As an association executive, you know that poor board leadership is detrimental to the performance, reputation, and success of the organisation and its members. It is critical that an association's senior executives fully understand and appreciate governance roles, responsibilities, and relationships and sessions in this learning stream will help delegates to recognise, value, and capitalise on the benefits that an informed and inclusive governing body, and a that a governance as leadership culture brings to an association.


Visionary leaders inspire people to action and achievement; they embrace change and constantly adapt; they understand and can embrace risk; they  link the present to the future; and they use imagination, innovation, and ingenuity to lead. Sessions in this learning stream are designed to develop, realise, and support delegates’ strategic leadership style, enhancing their ability to see beyond business-as-usual to prepare their team and their association what comes next.

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