“Let’s Double Association Revenue in 5 Years”

“Let’s Double Association Revenue in 5 Years” 

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once said “Vision is what you call it when others can’t see what you see.” It’s just the opposite at the Global Cold Chain Alliance, www.gcca.org where, incoming CEO Corey Rosenbusch is building a team of believers. From the Board of Directors to members and staff, Rosenbusch is developing a compelling game plan to satisfy members and double revenues.

 Focused Global Alliance

The Global Cold Chain Alliance was originally founded by current President and CEO Bill Hudson. Building a unique, and aligned focus, Hudson has constructed a global powerhouse to serve the food storage and transportation industry. Services expanded from its origin of Research and Science to include: training, business development and Advocacy today.

Under the GCCA umbrella sits a group of three Associations and a Foundation:  International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, International Association of Refrigerated Transportation, International Association of Cold Storage Construction and the World Food Logistics Organization.

Financially solid, the $5.8 million entity with retention nearing 90% is poised for international expansion and revenue growth. When Corey Rosenbusch assumes the helm in 2014, his sights are on GCCA achieving double its current revenue in a five year window.

Mission Focus to Double Revenue

Rosenbusch brings leadership management, with a food industry and agricultural and international background to GCCA. His disciplined and determined focus however is on leveraging the focus of the Association’s mission to double revenue. Whether its opening new markets for his industry, developing new training products, or enhancing issue or regulatory capacity, Rosenbusch has a Core Focus.

Like many successful Associations, GCCA and its incoming CEO maintain a laser focus on maintaining or accelerating connections to the core. In each aspect of his plan, Rosenbusch links current, planned or future offerings to how his industry grows revenues and achieves its business objectives.

A critical part of the Association’s Core is relationships and knowing what really impacts their members’ bottom line.

Data Driven Strategies

For an Association with members doing business in 67 countries, Rosenbusch focuses his organization with data and metrics. The GCCA dashboard includes a concentrated member focus on their key interests and business priorities as well as their participation and engagement. Satisfaction is a high priority, so much so they plan to score member activity in the Association Management Database.

Benchmarking and profitability of his members and GCCA will also be part of the incoming CEO’s dataset.

Alignment to Double Revenue

For Rosenbusch, the Core Focus is in the strategic plan. In order to double revenue, his plan includes a performance management strategy connecting the strategic plan, GCCA’s values and specific objectives.

Challenges and Consolidation

Being prospective in his outlook, Rosenbusch recognizes the shifts within his industry. Once dominated by family owned companies, the once stable sector, experienced a wave of acquisitions. Private Equity Groups recognized the sectors asset strength and now own a considerable percentage of the food storage and transportation industry. As a result, GCCA divides its member service focus 2 ways to satisfy the needs of both segments of membership.

Strong relationships with the industry matter, but for the Private Equity owner ROI must remain visible. Implementing a nimble approach, products and services address needs for both segments of the membership.

The current dues structure is under review, as it’s a concern for Rosenbusch.  As companies increase food storage space, member dues decrease.  The Association derives almost 60% of its revenues from dues and an internal team is developing a solution.

Unique Opportunities

Despite challenges, Rosenbusch envisions opportunities for GCCA to grow revenues and extend its global reach.

One area of opportunity rests in the Association’s Core Focus, helping the members secure international grants from, among others, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Grants totaling $1million help the industry establish a beachhead in emerging and developing markets. Once companies are operational, GCCA is in place to provide support.  According to Rosenbusch he and his team will monetize the success of these efforts.

“Let’s Double Association Revenue in 5 Years”

Successful Associations innovate as quickly as the global business cycle changes. For the Global Cold Chain Alliance’s Corey Rosenbusch, the road ahead contains both challenges and opportunities.  Regardless, GCCA’s incoming CEO and his team are embracing the future as they reach for the stars.

double association revenue

 

Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at www.potomaccore.com,www.icimo.com,and www.verticalleapconsulting.com.

 

Change Culture, Deliver Value and Grow Associations

Change Culture, Deliver Value and Grow Associations

 Every Association needs to add more member value, and, they want to grow revenues.  However, they first need to change their culture. Why?  Culture is the predominant determining factor that sets the stage for Association growth. If the Association’s culture doesn’t buy the change in focus, it won’t happen.

Culture is the Leverage Point at an Association

 Change Culture, Deliver Value and Grow Associations

If a CEO want to shake things up and make some changes, success will be governed by the Association’s culture. In other words, culture is a shared set of beliefs, values, and assumptions that drive how people in organizations behave – because the people in the Association have come to believe that is what works.

Over the years, I have witnessed or participated in many attempts to change Association cultures. The only approach I have seen that works consistently is when the senior management team changes the underlying system of management, and then supports that action by modeling a new set of behaviors.

Implement a Management System at Associations

Management system” is a new idea, and it is not something often taught to leaders or even a term many use. A change in the management system is enabled by a conscious shift in behaviors by senior management.

An Association’s management system includes all the processes, routines and roles associated with:

  •  Setting direction
  • Defining accountability
  • Getting work done
  • Checking in on progress and results
  • Adjusting resources and actions in response to results
  • Solving problems
  • Acknowledging success

Make It An Association Growth Management System

An effective Association growth management system makes clear how things work, what is expected of people, and what actions are taken when things get off track.

Accountability and transparency are the foundations of great management, but these values come to life when surrounded with functional expectations rather than lofty ideals.

Change Culture, Deliver Value and Grow Associations

If Associations want to make significant shifts in culture, they must first change their management system. And CEO’s and Senior Managers have to model the way to an Association where delivering value and driving growth define the culture.

About the Author:  John M. Bernard. Passionate about employee engagement and the elimination of fear. Author of BUSINESS AT THE SPEED OF NOW and Contributor at Potomac Core Consulting’s Blog www.potomaccore.com.

 

4 Strategic Steps Associations Can Use to Leverage LinkedIn

4 Strategic Steps Associations Can Use to Leverage LinkedIn

 Although Job Seekers and Headhunters scour LinkedIn, it can a be a potent platform for Associations. LinkedIn expert Donna Serdula, believes that Associations can leverage this powerful resource to “grow membership and  engage members too.” Serdula is Author of the popular book, LinkedIn Makeover: Professional Secrets to a POWERFUL LinkedIn Profile; and a Contributor on the Potomac Core Consulting Blog.

1. Associations Harvesting Prospects

Twitter and Facebook surpass LinkedIn in sheer volume.  However, the business demographic makes LinkedIn a powerful destination to recruit members, says Serdula. Associations should view LinkedIn as a key element in their recruitment strategies.

 

2. Key Words Mean Everything

Serdula insists that Associations should have an “optimized” company page. Why? Associations populating their pages with key words that drive prospective member traffic to their page are game changers.

 

3. Associations Engage Members

Despite improvement in the overall economy, travel budgets are still not at pre recession levels. Associations are leveraging Social Media more often to engage members.  Recently for example, Jeffrey D. Morgan, President and CEO reported that Social Media is a key element of NIRI’s (National Investor Relations Institute) member engagement strategy. Many platforms facilitate member engagement, and LinkedIn is no exception.

 

4. Association Member Only Participation

LinkedIn makes it possible for Association members to engage in policy discussions. Policy committee leaders need not worry about non members or other outside parties listening in. Moderators can restrict participation to members only from the get go.

 

4 Strategic Steps Associations Can Use to Leverage LinkedIn

Author Alvin Toffler, in the introduction of “Future Shock,”  wrote “Change is the process by which the future invades our lives.” With its newly announced search capacity, LinkedIn is that much more effective in helping Associations grow and engage their members.

associations

 

Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at www.potomaccore.com,www.icimo.com, and www.verticalleapconsulting.com.

Association Growth Starts With Relevance

Association Growth Starts With Relevance

Could anyone in the Association universe imagine the Digital world we live in now? News and information are transmitted in real time. Tweets and instant messages flow on mobile devices. And there are new apps everyday to enhance the user interface. How do Association’s stay relevant with their members?

3 Pillar Focus

Competition for a smaller pool of corporate membership dollars requires differentiation. Following the 3 Pillar Focus, Associations will elevate their brand and fortify their value proposition.

Pillar I: Rise above the crowd, using clear and consistent themes. Be viewed as a solution provider, a forceful advocate helping members achieve their business objectives. Digital properties, mobile applications, press releases and e mail consistently drive the message.

Pillar II: Develop authoritative studies and partner with established brand firms. In a 24/7 cable and web news cycle, Radio, Television and Web Producers look for compelling content. Powerful facts and figures and a strong brand partner could secure business media interviews on digital and or traditional media.

Pillar III: Media Partnerships can magnify messaging and the Association’s brand. Work with Trade and other Publications to develop surveys which reflect the contributions of the industry or industries on the economy, export expansion and or research and development.

Look for What’s Next

Always be looking for what’s next, but keep in mind all platforms have a constituency. Never lose sight of how and where you need to drive your messaging. There is always some new technology developing, be ready to drive your message on whatever platform comes next.

Relevance Matters

Regardless of Association size there should be a Communications Strategy. It’s a safe bet and a sure bet. Associations who drive relevance perform well:

  • Annual Conference attendance doubled and Sponsor revenues by 100% at one Association.
  • Online revenues shot up several hundred thousand dollars at another organization.

Association Growth Starts With Relevance

 There is considerable traffic in multiple channels, becoming and staying in front of members is critical to member satisfaction and revenue growth. For Associations relevance is key, driving messaging with a multi channel Communications strategy is necessary and essential.

association growth

 

Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at www.potomaccore.com,www.icimo.com, and www.verticalleapconsulting.com.

Association Culture Change Is a Big Deal

Association Culture Change Is a Big Deal

 As my colleague Beth Doolittle puts it, “Culture is not what we say it is, it is what it is.”

Association Culture Change is a big deal

John M. Bernard, Culture of Innovation Author,
Chairman and Founder,
Mass Ingenuity

The Next Seven Weeks 

I intend to strip away the mystery of culture and share with you what it is, what creates it, and how to change it in order to meet organizational goals.

Culture Matters

Culture is the great invisible hand, and that hand determines much of what is possible for Associations to achieve. But because it is invisible, shaping it is one of the great challenges of leadership.

Culture is Central

Most Associations’ cultures restrain rather than accelerate change. Obviously that won’t work if your organization must move more quickly and effectively. So, as leaders we must understand what causes culture in order to create the culture we need to prosper.

Dr. Peter Drucker, often called the father of modern management, is credited with having said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” That is one of the great truths about organizations. Culture, not the leaders, determines what is accepted and what is rejected. Culture decides which people will be accepted and successful and which ones will leave. Culture determines which ideas get implemented and which get dumped. And, culture determines if corporate strategy will even be given a chance to succeed.

Association Culture Change Is a Big Deal

We live at a time when all Associations – are facing demands for change that go well beyond any time in the past. Culture is central to organizational change because it determines the direction and pace at which it will be accepted.

Association Culture is a big deal. Why?  Culture is a great lever of change and it’s mysterious. It’s mysterious because what moves it isn’t what you might think.

Next week, I will talk about the role culture plays in change.  I’ll also share the primary tool that shapes culture and, therefore, can reshape it.

 

Association Member Pain Points

member pain pointsAssociation Member Pain Points. Growth focused Associations utilize data as a foundation to deliver programs and services to members. While member survey outreach varies among Associations, what’s clear is how important this data is in helping organizations assess its uniqueness and relevance. The Technology Association of Georgia, www.tagonline.org, for example, surveys it’s members annually to reinforce their connection to member business objectives. This laser focus contributed to TAG’s strong revenue growth from $500,000 in 2004 to $3.4 million in 2012.

Decision Maker Study

Although data can reinforce the value being provided, it uncovers new pain points to deliver services and increased ROI.  According to Tino Mantella, TAG President and CEO, that annual outreach uncovered an important gap.

 

Unique and Relevant

Data provides actionable intelligence to Mantella and his team. Their expansive platform of interest groups reflect pain point concerns. The Association provides opportunities for members to engage and last year alone TAG held over 200 hundred such meetings.

 

Real engagement is about  bringing companies together and facilitating the dialogue leading to new solutions to shared “pain point” issues. Companies value and engage in those activities which they believe will positively impact a personal or company priority. TAG utilizes 32 different Societies to engage its members with significant success.Engagement Supports Pain Points

   

 In TAG’s example, the Association achieved revenue growth because of their transition to higher levels of member engagement combined with the usage of actionable data and pain point connections to satisfy Company needs.

Association Member Pain Points

Associations compete for fewer available corporate dollars. Those using data to determine actionable strategies to address and satisfy pain point issues will thrive. The Technology Association of Georgia is a solid example of using data to keep member needs front and center.

Core Pillars Drive Association Growth

Core Pillars Drive Association Growth.  For an Association to grow membership 600% in 8 years means data driven strategies, establishing core connections and member engagement are all part of the equation.  For the Technology Association of Georgia, www.tagonline.org, it starts with annual member research, a strong Board of Directors and it’s culture of always looking for something new to support its members. Arriving on the scene in 2004, CEO Tino Mantella brought his growth packed track record from the YMCA of Chicago and the National Arthritis Foundation. Leveraging vast growth experience and a potent Board of Directors, Mantella launched TAG on a consistent evolution of new programs and powerful ROI.

 

core pillars

Tino Mantella President &CEO Technology Association of Georgia Photo provided by Byte Graphics

Growth Foundation

Identifying Technology as Georgia’s growth engine became Mantella’s focal point. He pitched the state’s top Technology and Business leaders to serve on TAG’s Board. The overriding strategy was effective as the Board grew from just five executives to 65 today. The Board provides strategic direction and the staff develops and executes a plethora of activity.

 

 

 

  

Two Prong Focus to Achieve Growth

Although TAG is a not for profit Association, Mantella says “the more you can run like a business, the more you can impact the nonprofit world.” He engaged his board in a two pronged approach to involve companies and grow the Association.  Once successful, TAG would have the resources necessary to support Economic Development in the State of Georgia.

 

Alignment Delivers Growth

TAG’s Value proposition is clear. Members can influence policy, promote Georgia’s Technology Leadership, and engage in C Level roundtables. Throughout his tenure, Mantella utilizes data to track service delivery, member participation and growth. Behind the data is alignment of the Association’s Strategic plan, operating plan and employee performance objectives.

 

Core Pillars Drive Association Growth

Having grown to a staff size of 25 professionals, what’s clear is Tino Mantella and TAG are not done innovating and providing new platforms to help their members. The Association works passionately to remain relevant. In my next post, I’ll share how the Technology Association of Georgia utilizes Data to Connect to pain points and deliver consistent member value.

How does your Association keep current with member needs?

Much more on Association Revenue Growth at www.potomaccore.com/blog

Associations and Leading from Your Heart

Leading from your heart. Growing up we all learned that not everyone could lead. Everyone heard the reference  “Many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). Time and again many are reminded leadership is special, it means helping people. Organizations including Associations, Community Groups or Political Parties are all important because they had a mission focusing on making things better. Serving in Leadership capacities as a CEO, or as an Elected Official, success was only possible when Leading from your Heart.

Selfless, Service and Success

For Association Executives facing considerable challenges, Leading from your Heart could be difficult. Maybe not. In today’s world a successful leader is defined as Triple S:

  1. Selfless –       Community satisfaction matters most.
  2. Service  –       To others is a priority
  3. Success –      Staff, Board and Members working in harmony to achieve mutual objectives.

 Why?

Why should an Association Executive be Leading from your Heart? In a real time world, market conditions change like days in the week. Triple S (Selfless, Service and Success) centers focus on people, mission and community. Working in harmony means new products are identified to satisfy the community. When obstacles arise (and they will and do) everyone joins forces to overcome difficulties and achieve objectives.

Really?

A number of successful Association CEO’s use the Triple S approach. Working in a Community they achieved strong outcomes:

1. Grew membership and revenue in international markets.

3. Using Technology to make greatest weakness the greatest strength and growing revenue.

4. Aligning an underperforming organization to deliver stronger value to members and growing revenues.

In each situation CEO’s utilized the Triple S Leading from Your Heart approach. Revenues grew not because of slick sales campaigns, it was because the Associations were Communities going in one direction.

Associations and Leading from your Heart

Late one night, having suffered an enormous personal tragedy, my Dad, Dr. Daniel J. Varroney, put aside his loss to help a family injured in an auto accident. Rather than go home, I watched him run back into the Hospital to help treat their injuries. Being selfless, serving others for the sake of community was a lesson he taught me many times over.

In today’s world the Triple S Leading from your Heart could be what the Doctor recommends most. Its worked for me as it has for others.

Innovation Author Helps Associations

 

Culture of Innovation Author

John M. Bernard, Innovation Author,
Chairman and Founder,
Mass Ingenuity

Innovation Author. John M. Bernard, Chairman and  Founder, Mass Ingenuity, www.massingenuity.com will serve as a Contributor on the Potomac Core Consulting Blog. Bernard is also the Author of Business at the Speed of Now. He is also an experienced executive (CEO, SVP Operational Excellence, Founder, Chairman), consultant, speaker and outspoken advocate for the elimination of fear.

Culture Drives Revenue Growth

For the next seven weeks, Bernard will provide key insights for Associations that are looking to innovate as they better engage their staff and provide value for members. The posts will appear every Thursday and include the following critical topics:

  • What does it take to create a Culture that Actively Supports Change? 
  • What Accelerates Cultural Change?
  • What’s culture’s affect on Organizational Change?
  • Can a Culture Change Quickly?
  • Why Leaders Should Worry About Their Culture?
  • What Changes Culture?
  • The Mysterious Lever of Success

Innovation Author helps Associations

Bernard recently appeared in a post sharing 3 Steps to Culture of Innovation http://bit.ly/12SvufM.

How does your Association navigate culture and drive innovation?  Let’s share ideas.

Association Growth and Retention

Association Growth and Retention.  What’s the most effective road to consistent dues growth? Member Retention. Why? Because member retention reflects the best barometer of value received, member engagement and an Association’s relevance. The most satisfied or dissatisfied members don’t hesitate to share their ROI or their dissatisfaction when they speak with other members, prospective members or competitors. If an Association wonders where the biggest impediment to growth lies, it is Retention.

Beware of The Billboard Effect

In the real time world, both good and bad news travel fast. One bad member experience can be posted and spread like a wildfire of bad news. An Associations’ threat is real and CEO’s should  factor this reality in their member engagement strategies. Many are implementing Association wide strategies to involve all staff in member engagement and participation.

It’s not all bad news, The Billboard Effect works with satisfied members too. Satisfied members are happy to convey positive news as well.  In one Association, satisfied members scheduled meetings with prospective members (who later joined), and in another Association satisfied Board Members agreed to recruit new Directors based on their positive experience.

Growth and Retention Multiplier

Make no mistake, Retention is a growth multiplier. Some Associations re calibrated their membership strategies and rightly so. The better the retention performance then the better the cash flow and year end net growth performance.

Secret Formula, Use it Today

1. First Year Renewal for New Members, Add $20,000 to Year End Growth

Example ,$100,000 first year renewals, improve retention from 70% to 90%.

2. Member renewals, add $200,000 to Year End Growth

Example, $1 million renewals, improve retention from 70% to 90%

Best Practices

One Association achieved two consecutive $1 million plus net revenue gains, another improved cash flow by several hundred thousand dollars. CFO’s will appreciate this approach. This is a more balanced and less expensive approach to revenue growth.

Association Growth and Retention

 Link growth and retention and Associations potentially multiply year end growth while they avoid the downside of the Billboard Effect.

Much more on Association Revenue Growth at www.potomaccore.com/blog