“Outside In” Association Boards?

association boards

“Outside In” Association Boards?

The overall impact of very highly strategic boards with a high understanding who strategize about the needs of the average member is reflected in Association business model performances. New data from a Strategic Member Engagement Survey shows organizations who are “Outside In” are far more likely to deliver strong performance in retention, annual revenue, primary meeting registrations and timely membership renewals. This and other survey data was shared through the collaboration of icimo, Vertical Leap Consulting, and Potomac Core – Association Consulting.

Why “Outside In” Boards Matter

As Associations and Professional Societies work to remain relevant, a strategic board can provide important linkages to member “up at night” issues and the business and professional outcomes that members want to achieve.

Alignment With Member Outcomes

outside inIn an important example, keeping an Association reflective of member business outcomes (“outside-in) is a deliberate focus for Julia Hamm, President & CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association www.solarelectricpower.org.  By design, the organization’s board reflects all sectors of its core membership ranging from large regulated investor owned electric companies to small municipally owned electric utilities.

Hamm and her senior team consistently utilize their strategically focused board to understand their “up at night” issues. They utilize direct market feedback  to develop products and services which help effectively address  and engage members in solutions to their “up at night” issues. “What’s driving us is what they need, not what we need” emphasizes Julia Hamm. This member outcome focused approach helps the organization achieve consistent 94-95% core member retention.

“Outside In” Association Boards?

Strategic boards who provide high level perspectives on member and professional outcomes help motivate and drive Strategic Member Engagement. They also help an Association remain highly relevant on a consistent basis.

 

outside inFor a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com

 

Knowing Member “Up at Night” Issues Accelerates Association Growth & Positioning

up at nightKnowing Member “Up at Night” Issues Accelerates Association Growth & Positioning. Trade Associations and Professional Societies with upward trending 3-year operating results are far more likely to better understand member “up at night” issues and to engage members in acting upon those needs. This and other relevant actionable data was released in a joint survey of 307 Association Executives conducted through the collaborative effort of Vertical Leap Consulting, icimo, and Potomac Core Consulting.

Up at Night Issues: What Members Care About Most

Strategic Member Engagement is mostly about understanding member “up at night” issues and the outcomes that Association Members seek instead of focusing on member satisfaction with an association’s current “outputs” (products or services).

3 Year Operating Results

Associations who identify member “up at night” issues and then engage their members in solutions are far more likely to report strong performance in Member Retention, Annual Operating Revenue, Registrations to Primary Annual Meetings, Annual Revenue from Fee for Service Offerings, and Timely Membership Renewals. Trade Associations and Professional Societies reflecting upward trends also more frequently have these capabilities:

  1. Very highly engaged boards who are strategic in focus
  2. Regularly conduct member impact surveys (not merely “satisfaction” surveys)
  3. Ability to gather and segment member data; especially if able to integrate data from multiple sources/platforms
  4. Very high degree of board understanding and strategizing about the needs of the average member
  5. Have identified member segments who most want to contribute knowledge and collaborate with other members
  6. Have identified specific behaviors that foreshadow future increases in knowledge and contribution and collaboration

Knowing Member “Up at Night” Issues Accelerates Association Growth & Positioning

Having a firm grip on Member “Up at Night” Issues has game change potential for Associations.  Ultimately it helps align organizations with the things that their members really care about.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

up at night

Strategic Member Engagement: Accelerant to Association Membership Growth And Retention

Strategic Member Engagement

Strategic Member Engagement: Accelerant to Association Membership Growth & Retention

A groundbreaking survey on Strategic Member Engagement shows that Trade Associations and Professional Societies reporting upward 3-year operating results are far more likely to have better data about  member issues, have a very high level of board understanding and strategizing about the outcomes members seek and, importantly, actively engage members in creating new solutions. A great deal of actionable data about how these associations are positioning for long-term success is uncovered in a joint survey conducted through the collaborative effort of Vertical Leap Consulting, Icimo, and Potomac Core – Association Consulting.

The Survey, polling 307 executives of national/international trade associations and professional societies, was conducted in October and November 2013.

Strategic Member Engagement Seen As Driver

In reporting the survey outcomes, Bryce Gartner of Icimo, LLC,  Dan Varroney of Potomac Core – Association Consulting, and Steve Lane of Vertical Leap Consulting emphasized “strategic member engagement is not about touchy feely member interface, short term sales strategies, or administering tracking reports. Instead, it is a game changing accelerator of Professional Society and Trade Association growth and positioning strategies. Our research surfaces just how much of a driver strategic member engagement is for an association’s business model and  the long-term, differentiating value provided to its profession or industry.”

Strategic Member Engagement: Accelerant to Association Membership Growth And Retention

Organizations with upward trending 3-year operating results reported the strongest capabilities are far more likely to better understand member up-at-night issues and to engage members in acting upon those needs. These Association Executives were far more likely to report strong performance in Member Retention, Annual Operating Revenue, Registrations to Primary Annual Meetings, Annual Revenue from Fee for Service Offerings, and Timely Membership Renewals.

losing large association membersA free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, is available at Potomac Core – Association Consulting, Vertical Leap Consulting, and Icimo

 

3 Reasons Why Association CEO’s Must See These Results

association3 Reasons Why Association CEO’s Must See These Results.Vertical Leap Consulting, icimo, and Potomac Core Consulting are poised to release results from a groundbreaking Strategic Member Engagement Survey on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. The Survey was conducted between October and November,  2013, with numerous national/international trade associations and professional societies participating. This survey focused on Strategic Member Engagement as an accelerant to growth and positioning strategies.

Call to Action: 3 Reasons Why Association CEO’s Must See These Survey Results

Executives from trade associations and professional societies will be interested in how their peers are experimenting with new approaches and demonstrating how these are driving their long term impact and organizational health.

According to the survey’s collaborators, there are 3 factors why these results are a must read:

  • Bryce Gartner, CEO of icimo. “Successful associations are leveraging their data to make better decisions for membership, growth, revenue and ultimately to better engage their members. “
  • Dan Varroney, President & CEO, Potomac Core Consulting. “We’ll be sharing key linkages between member engagement practices and an association’s business model.”
  • Steve Lane, Vertical Leap President. “Leading associations pay attention to member outcomes in addition to association outputs.”

Define Future Member Engagement Levels

Survey results will be shared by Potomac Core Consulting, Vertical Leap Consulting, and icimo  at the following locations:

3 Reasons Why Association CEO’s Must See These Survey Results

“The number of Trade Association CEO’s who participated in the survey is impressive. We look forward to a robust conversation on strategic member engagement with the association community,” says Bryce Gartner of icimo, Steve Lane of Vertical Leap Consulting, and Dan Varroney of Potomac Core Consulting.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

association

3 Strategies Help Association Overcome Shrinking Market

Market consolidation is a reality for many Associations, however, can this powerful global market trend be overcome? NPES, an Association representing over 400 global suppliers of printing, publishing, & converting technologies equipment thinks so.

Listen, Visit & Engage

shrinking market

 

Through relentless ROI focus & human connections, Ralph Nappi, President & CEO, along with his team build member relationships, identify needs, & deliver real time business solutions. Spending 100+ days in face to face meetings, Nappi actively reinforces NPES’s connection with  board members & members.

 

3 Strategies Help Association Overcome Shrinking Market

NPES operating profit performance is driven through 3 key strategies:

  1. Low barrier of entry. Affordable dues encouraging maximum participation from a larger cross section of companies.
  2. Visible ROI. Assist members grow markets; Industry statistics, issue advocacy & trade shows connecting members with client opportunities.
  3. Global market mover.BRIC country”  presence; offices in Brazil, Russia, India, & China helping members expand markets.

Added Resources Reinforce Organization’s Strategies  

Through its 4 other organizations, NPES adds market support, industry brand visibility, & advocacy of an important industry standard:

3 Strategies That Help NPES Overcome Shrinking Market

shrinking marketRunning counter to global market forces demands close member interaction & flexible  strategies in order to achieve positive results. In NPES’s case, they report 94% member retention, & from 2009 through 2011 over $1.5 million in net operating performance.

 

 

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

shrinking market

2 Strategies Help One Association Deliver 367% Revenue Growth

2 Strategies Help One Association Deliver 367% Revenue Growth. What is clear is that the United Motorcoach Association www.uma.org defines its success to the degree by which they provide products & services which help members enhance their market competitiveness. Over the last sixteen years, UMA’s reputation for helping the industry it represents reflects in its impressive financial performance. Record revenue growth and 92% retention reinforces the organization’s role supporting members who are predominantly U.S. based small business owners.

revenue growthMove Industry Forward

Victor Parra, the organization’s President & CEO, emphasizes that “Our job is to move this entire industry forward.” He utilizes a detailed environmental scan to define the global and domestic issues impacting his members and then engages UMA’s members in an industry assessment survey. This information helps to create a focused strategic plan to advance the industry to higher levels of competitiveness & profitability.

Active Member Engagement

UMA’s board and association members actively participate in the planning process from the environmental scan all the way to an industry assessment survey.

 2 Strategies Matter Most

 Two distinct strategies drive both member value & financial performance:

  1.  Intensive research to align association resources. The website, advocacy agenda, online training programs, committee focus & the annual expo are billboards helping members compete effectively. Members readily connect their participation with their own company ROI. UMA’s results reinforce the connection.
  2.  Planning, execution & metrics. Considerable weight is given to execution. Reviewing its internal processes ahead of time and then measuring member feedback & financial performance assess organizational effectiveness.

2 Strategies Help One Association Deliver 367% Revenue Growth

The UMA’s way forward is consistently defined through market research & member feedback. For Parra & the association though, it is “the journey that is the lesson.”

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

revenue growth

Can 1 Core Strategy Reverse One Society’s Fortunes?

Can 1 Core Strategy Reverse One Society’s Fortunes? For SPI, the Society for the Plastics Industry, the 2009 recession presented an open window of opportunity. Data driven strategies, and competitive assessments started the organization’s transformative and difficult process.

Embrace the Future

SPI’s leadership team seized upon their opportunity to develop what authors Chris Zook and Jim Allen call business boundary definitions & marketplace differentiation (in their book “Profit From the Core, Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence”, copyright 2010 Bain and Company).

core strategySeeing the organization as “all things to all people” William R. Carteaux, SPI’s President & CEO, worked with the Board to narrow SPI’s vision, and build a business model that could drive the Plastics sector’s growth throughout the United States.

Industry Collaboration

SPI’s new boundary definition now includes brand owners. For example, Coca Cola, Pepsi & General Mills now participate in the Brand Owner Council. They would join with groups reflecting material suppliers, processors, and equipment manufacturers to reflect the entire plastics sector’s legislative and regulatory agenda.

1 Core Strategy

The 1 Core Strategy combines a flexible business model and constant member engagement to deliver value and motivate participation:

SPI funds legislative, regulatory, education and training tools to help members achieve business objectives. As priorities change so does budget investment to support members in either advocacy or industry training programs.

Carteaux spends 80% of his schedule meeting & listening to member concerns. Through Social Media and staff engagement, staff is a listening post. A new AMS platform & Website, planned for 2014 will enhance organizational tracking &     their call to action capacity.

Can 1 Core Strategy Reverse One Society’s Fortunes?

core strategyA refocused SPI sees dues and revenue losses in a rear view mirror. Core Strategies transformed the organization. New members enroll almost every day, conference attendance is growing and member dues retention since 2012 is 100%.

 

 

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

core strategy

1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement

association member engagement1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement.  Implementing a board mandate, Security Industry Association (http://www.securityindustry.org), CEO Don Erickson encourages industry collaboration throughout the Association’s landscape.

The strategy is reflected in programs and services and visibly connects the Association’s business model to member business objectives.  Financial performance metrics reinforce this approach: retention, new members and event participation are all net positive.

What is the 1 New Strategy? 

Breaking past traditional political & legacy issues, SIA’s utilization of industry collaboration is opening new windows of opportunities. It’s also identifying new ways to support their member business growth objectives.  Some examples of the Association’s outreach includes:

            • Membership Diversification
            • Alliance Building with Other Industry Associations
            • Community Building

Member Objectives and SIA Business Model

Another key element of SIA’s transformation is the increasing their levels of company support. Building past primary membership contacts within an individual company, SIA is achieving member depth through reinvigorated strategies implemented by the membership team to reach General Counsels and C Suite officers and engage them in their areas of interest. The end result is higher levels of participation and strong member retention.

Collaborate & Grow

Under the umbrella of Alliance Building, CEO Erickson & his team methodically work to deliver programs that move the needle for their members. Increasing investment in online and in person training are just one example for what’s on tap for SIA members in 2014.

1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement

As membership climbs, SIA’s almost 500 members who comprise the value chain of the electronic and physical security industry view the Association as a necessary strategic business partner. Key metrics confirm growing industry support too, retention consistently over 90% and average growth of almost 10% per year.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

association member engagement

 

Association CEO Nails Critical Member Engagement Question

member engagement questionAssociation CEO Nails Critical Member Engagement Question. As the economy grows at what some economists call a “snail’s pace,” an Association CEO who knows the right question to ask is worth their weight in gold. Just ask Julia Hamm, the energetic and passionate President & CEO of a dynamic enterprise, the Solar Electric Power Association www.solarelectricpower.org. In the three year window,  between 2009-2011, SEPA membership grew 50%.The industry Trade Show (SEPA partners with the Solar Industry Association) blossomed from 1,100 attendees in 2004 to 25,000 in 2010.

One Critical Member Engagement Question

“From a member perspective, does your Association bring together constituencies creating new solutions; driving member value that shapes both industries and professions?” Serving a combined national membership of Solar Industry Companies (manufacturers, project developers and finance firms) and Electric Utilities, SEPA leverages its strategic plan to deliver products and services shaping Solar Industry acceptance and business success.

Listen, Learn & Lead

Annual member surveys and “going deep” inside member companies to best understand how the organization can deliver value aligns SEPA closely with its dues payers. Programs including: Solar Power International, The Solar Industry Member Advisory Council (SIMAC), The Utility Solar Conference forum for utilities, One Hour Monthly webinars & Fact Finding Missions attract strong participation and reinforce the Association’s solid value proposition.

Association CEO Nails Critical Member Engagement Question

With her strong staff team, board of directors and 900 members , SEPA Chief Executive Julia Hamm knows the one critical question. More importantly, the strong performance confirms she also knows the answer.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

Member Engagement question

3 Critical Member Engagement Questions

Member Engagement questions3 Critical Member Engagement Questions. While CEOs and senior managers define member engagement differently, they all agree it’s an important component of their future strategy. With ongoing Washington, DC gridlock and a low growth economy, Associations and Societies see member engagement as an opportunity to best connect members to their organizations.

Have You asked the 3 Critical Questions?

Peter Drucker notes “My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” When it comes to Member Engagement, knowing the right questions to ask is mission critical to accelerating participation and growing revenue:

  1. Has your Association surfaced linkages between its member engagement practices and its business model?
  2. Does your organization track contribution and collaboration behaviors that are predictive of even stronger levels of future engagement?
  3. From a member perspective, does your Association bring together constituencies creating new solutions; driving member value that shapes both industries and professions?

Answers to these three questions could provide key data that could better link organizations with their market place. However, knowing what the broader Association community is applying effectively would also be useful.

3 Critical Member Engagement Questions

member engagement questionsThe recent Federal Government shutdown is a reminder on how complex the Association marketplace is nowadays. Asking the right questions and having survey data will provide clarity as senior managers prepare and finalize their 2014 budget proposals.

 

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.