Advocacy Drives Business Outcomes

advocacy drives business outcomes

For leading Associations, their mantra is clear Advocacy Drives Business Outcomes. These organizations collaborate with their boards to make sure that the Association’s Advocacy Strategies reflect the growth challenges and opportunities that their members care most about. Even though the U.S. economy grew at a brisk 3.5% in the third quarter of 2016 growth forecasts for 2017 remain mixed. What also remains to be seen is just how much disruptive technologies and policies of the new Administration will impact the business landscape in the new year.

What is becoming increasingly more clear is how Associations can accelerate their business impact for their members in 2017. There is already evidence that CEO’s are leveraging organizational resources to engage their members in ambitious policy and regulatory agendas. In doing so these Associations are key allies in helping their members overcome challenges, reduce costs, and in several cases enter new markets.

Policy Priorities Mirror Industry Outcomes

Associations including the Global Cold Chain Alliance, GCCA,  and the American Bakers Association, ABA, utilize their Advocacy Strategies to link member dues investments to the cost reduction and top line growth outcomes that their members seek.  GCCA’s strategic plan incorporates advocacy and business outcomes and ABA emphasizes the impact of its advocacy strategies in an annual video. The Fertilizer Institute’s, TFIAdvocacy Strategy is laser focused on helping its members manage its costs through a slow growth cycle. Each of these organizations demonstrate how advocacy drives business outcomes.

The Board leaders and the Association are collaborators and make sure policy priorities reflect the challenges and opportunities facing the industry per Heidi Biggs Brock, President and CEO, at the Aluminum Association.

Engaging the Board on External Issues

As the global marketplace grows more increasingly complex some Associations have found it difficult to increase board attendance and active participation at their meetings. Organizations who structure their board meetings as more of a “knowledge sharing” and strategic focus for attendees are finding higher levels of interest and engagement.

Measuring Advocacy and Policy Outcomes

Advocacy Drives Business OutcomesShowing how advocacy delivers a return on member engagement is a critical element of what organizations like the Aluminum Association provide for their members. Being able to demonstrate how your organization measures and tracks these outcomes is especially impactful in the minds of the dues paying member.

Expanding Advocacy Impact

Building and recruiting allies inside and outside your industry is a staple for Associations who seek to magnify the impact that they can deliver for their members. Identifying who else needs to be at the table to help your organization build an even greater base of support is essential.

 Advocacy Drives Business Outcomes

In an uncertain world board leaders and members insist upon direct return from their investment of time and financial resources. The Aluminum Association, the American Bakers Association, the Fertilizer Institute, the Global Cold Chain Alliance, and several others have already transformed their organizations. Through tightly focused Advocacy Strategies Today’s Associations are upping their game and helping industries reshape the external business environment for their members. They are doing so by communicating how Advocacy drives business outcomes.

Advocacy Drives Business Outcomes

 

 

Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available upon request for all Association Executives at Potomac Core – Association Consulting

 

Driving Member Business Outcomes

Driving Member Business Outcomes

Driving Member Business Outcomes

Can an Association transform itself and become a strategic business partner to the very members they serve? The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) did as much through an intensive strategic planning process.  Seeking to understand their impact on their member business outcomes, the Association initiated the process with Board Interviews and a Member Impact Survey.

Forward Looking Data

The Member Impact Survey is forward looking by design and focuses on desired future outcomes that members seek to address their “up at night” issues.  The results also generate focused conversations among senior managers and Board Task Force Members.
driving member business outcomes

The decision to move past the traditional member satisfaction survey format reflected a strategic and important departure says Corey Rosenbusch, President and CEO of the Global Cold Chain Alliance, of which IARW is a key partner.

 

Changing Board Perspectives

At IARW, the results shifted perceptions and thinking about the Association and how it could be utilized to actively promote the industry in key markets. (“Survey uncovers members’ “up-at-night” issues”) It also generated significant dialogue about the future of the industry while it drive culture shifts at the staff and board level.

Industry Pulse

Although the survey results played a critical role in the update of IARW’s Strategic Plan, Rosenbusch utilizes the impact survey results in member meetings and also in conversations with industry partners. The data helps him paint a picture of the industries’ key opportunities and concerns.

Driving Member Business Outcomes

The journey starting from an “inside out” focus to an “outside in” focus is nearing completion. According to Rosenbusch, “IARW is entering a new arena” and it’s one in which the Association, his staff team, and board are building a more and compelling future for their industry.

Driving Member Business Outcomes

 

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

 

Advocacy or Business Outcomes?

Association executives inside and outside of Washington, DC sometimes struggle to secure key executive participation in advocacy meetings with Congressional representatives or regulatory agencies. Do members perceive these meetings as another Association “output” or as an opportunity to drive their business outcomes? If it’s the former, executives are hesitant to leave their office or rearrange their schedule for something not linked to a business outcome.

Strategic Member Engagement

advocacyMembers care about “outcomes” for themselves, their companies, their constituencies, and their customers.  Despite an improving economy, today’s executives face more pressure than ever to innovate, improve operating margins and grow top line revenue. If advocacy programs are viewed as “outputs” (events, journal, newsletters, etc.) chances of participation are low.

In order to change the conversation and accelerate participation and member engagement, all discussions should be focused on member business outcomes instead of your Association’s outputs.

Member Business Challenges

Associations must have sufficient insights into external and operational challenges and opportunities of your members. Most of these challenges apply to both trade association and professional society members.  However, they could have a different perspective based upon whether the member you are talking with is wearing their “company hat” or their “individual hat.” If you are not surfacing many of these issues, you may not be asking the right questions or have not built relationships with the right contacts at your member companies.

Advocacy or Business Outcomes?  

What are the key steps to driving accelerated participation in your advocacy programs? Focus on business outcomes to change the conversation, discuss members’ external & operational challenges, and facilitate board level strategic discussions about member business objectives. As competition for member dues and participation increases, moving away from Association “outputs” to member business outcomes can help your organization achieve the competitive positioning it seeks.

advocacyFree eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at www.potomaccore.com.

Association Outcomes Trump Outputs

Association Outcomes Trump Outputs. Emerging from the great recession and experiencing an almost 50% drop in conference attendance, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing moved to realign its focus on member business outcomes.  Like many Associations today, members are under pressure to produce results for their companies and their focus is about “outcomes” for themselves, their organizations, their constituencies, and customers. An association’s “outputs” (conferences, journals, etc.) are just mechanisms and tactics; members demand “outcomes.”

Members Demand Outcomes

When members don’t feel that they can impact something that they care about, they form their own coalitions, fo­rums and on line communities outside of the association. Too often an association’s inter­nal discussions are about tweaking “outputs,” not creatively driving the “outcomes” that members really care about. In a number of cases Associations shift their focus in order to satisfy member’s new expectations.

Zell Murphy, Senior Vice President, Finance & Administration at CTAM: Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing http://www.ctam.com says he and his colleagues needed to shift their focus in order to align with their members business objectives.



Actionable Data

It’s essential to understand how an association is currently impacting member objectives. This requires securing actionable data about member perceptions of their environmental and operational challenges. Murphy agrees and emphasizes that CTAM utilizes survey data and ongoing member contact to define the level of impact they require to achieve their business outcomes. He notes that his members defined the level of strategic collaboration they expected.



Association Outcomes Trump Outputs

With a shared focus on outcomes, many members want to contribute and be connected if they believe that business objectives will be achieved. CTAM reports improvements in renewals and new member discussions much different from: “what do I get for my dues?” conversations before the changes. Although there is only modest operating growth, it reverses what might have been a downward spiral had they not shifted from an output to an outcome focus.

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

Is Your Association Focused on Member Outcomes?

member outcomesIs Your Association Focused on Member Outcomes? Members look to their Associations to deliver outcomes that address business and professional challenges. Organizations who are outcome driven effectively transition their focus away from selling and testing products and services to engaging members in things they care most about. The process begins with a highly engaged and strategically focused board. Their capability to understand and strategize about the needs of the average member can change the member engagement and operating performance dynamics of an Association.

External Focus Rules

Identify data that defines member external and operational challenges. Associations can utilize a host of platforms to secure this information including: member impact surveys, focus groups, social media, in person interviews, or other online community dialogue.

Member Impact

With many different alternatives available such as coalitions, new Associations, and online communities, it’s more important than ever to align strategies and execution to support member outcomes. If members determine their Association is not providing sufficient enough impact, they will go somewhere else.

Drive Member Value

Begin with a deliberate focus on member “outcomes” and then:

  • Leverage the board, focus on member success
  • Have strategic board discussions about helping members achieve objectives
  • Come to grips with the Association’s capacity to drive member “outcomes”
  • Engage members, help them contribute & collaborate in developing new solutions to achieve their objectives

Is Your Association Focused on Member Outcomes?

Is this in effective approach? The Strategic Member Engagement Survey results (http://bit.ly/1g8g1J2) reports a highly engaged and strategic board makes a difference. Associations who report a “Very High” degree of board understanding and strategizing about average member needs report “upward” 3 year business trends in: Member Retention, Annual Operating Revenue, Paid Registrations at Primary Annual Meeting, and Timely Membership Renewals.

member outcomes

Business Outcome Profile

Business Outcome Profile

Getting the final membership commitment is difficult for many Associations. Companies remain uncertain about the economic environment and as a result they remain hesitant when it comes to joining another Association. Despite market resistance, new member growth and positive financial reports are expected at board meetings. CEOs continue to face interesting challenges on the membership growth front.

Plato reminds us that “necessity is the mother of invention” and thankfully so. Utilizing member data, Associations can construct a more innovative game plan to grow new members. CEOs and Senior Managers will be pleased to learn, notwithstanding impediments, that new member growth is well within their reach.

Business Outcome Strength Profile

Developing an Association Member Business Outcome Profile reflecting the most active and participative companies is a powerful resource for CEOs seeking a path to new member growth:

  1. How connected are we to Member Business Outcomes?
  2. What types of companies/ sectors actively participate in the Association today?
  3. Which products, services and policy committees draw consistent participation from these sectors?
  4. What are the pain point reasons motivating current members to participate as actively as they are?
  5. Which prospect companies reside in the same companies/sectors as your most active members?

Associations can develop an effective list of prospects in the same companies/sectors  as the most active members. Why? If the Member Business Outcome Profile shows strong support for the Association among existing members, it becomes more likely that prospects will be open to membership consideration.

Move Quickly

Having the benefit of data revealing strong support in key companies/sectors, new member recruitment should become an Association wide effort. Greater participation is a bellwether and Association CEOs should motivate all stakeholders to help achieve new member growth:

  • Board Members. Share the Member Business Outcome Profile and strategy with the Board. They’ll want to know their business outcomes are being met. Ask them to be on the team and open doors for staff to meet with prospects. Express appreciation and acknowledge their help at Board meetings.
  • Staff. Encourage staff throughout the Association to join the effort to grow membership. Keep them motivated through communication, share regular progress reports. 

Business Outcome Profile 

One Association achieved its first profitable year in almost five years utilizing a Business Outcome Profile. The following year they achieved the best growth performance in six years. Several other Associations doubled membership, achieved record sponsor performance and drove consistent  90% + retention performance.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” said Albert Einstein. The global economy, and economic uncertainty make it difficult for Associations to achieve their new member objectives.  However, a  Business Outcome Profile identifies strategies to to link the Association with memebr business outcomes and create more opportunity to achieve and even surpass new member growth objectives.

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

the outcome profile

Marc Cadin

Case Study – Finseca

Situation

Finseca is the result of a 2020 merger of two leading organizations, The Association for Advanced Life Underwriting and GAMA international. The new Association represents the men and women of the financial security profession who deliver financial security to their clients.

Prior to the merger AALU led a robust federal and state government affairs effort on behalf of the Profession. GAMA played a significant role in leadership and professional development.

Outcome

The Board, a core team, and group of key staff utilized extensive research to develop an “outside in” focused strategic plan. Over a five month timeframe the key stakeholders worked together to build a strategic and fully integrated resource to help their members overcome their challenges and achieve their business outcomes.
In October 2020, the Board approved the following plan to advance the Profession and help achieve Financial Security for All over the next three years:
Finseca Strategic Industry Objective: Finseca will create an environment where financial security professionals, carriers, policymakers, and consumers work together to build secure financial futures for individuals, families, and business owners.

  • Strategic Initiative 1. Elevate the Reputation of the Profession.
  • Strategic Initiative 2. Accelerate the Professional’s Ability to Serve Consumers.
  • Strategic Initiative 3. Advocate for Public Policy that Promotes Financial Security for All.
  • Strategic Initiative 4. Promote Financial Literacy for All and Attract the Next Generation of Talent to the Profession.

Members Hire Strategic Solutions

 

Breaking news. Executives and Professionals seek strategic solutions from their Associations. Facing increasing pressure to produce results, they only engage in activities that help them overcome business challenges and achieve results. Associations are meeting their new mandate, by energizing their Boards to do big things, and help their members thrive in an era of uncertainty.

Uncertainty is palpable and it makes sustainable growth difficult. Factors including  Coronavirus Diseasesupply chain disruptionspolitical polarization, innovative technologies, cyber threats, trade policy, shifting consumer attitudes, & workforce shortages all complicate markets. Looking to preserve cash, Executives and Professionals focus on strategic solutions to secure the bottom line.

Associations are meeting the needs of a changing marketplace through “outside in” strategic planning. Using immersive research, they invest in understanding evolving challenges and opportunities. Research sets the stage for market focused discussions. It also helps transform Associations into Strategic Partnerships and helps position Industries and Professions for growth.

Through a flexible planning process, Associations energize their Boards to do big things:

  • Focus and unite on data.
  • Have conversations about value creation and market or professional growth.
  • Build nimble and cost-effective strategic solutions to address challenges and position members for growth.

Once the process is complete, Associations regularly:

  • Report to members on alignment with the metrics and KPIs that help them overcome uncertainty and succeed.
  • Communicate Industry and Profession ROI. They show how actions create solutions and growth opportunities.
  • Foster and communicate solutions.
Jon Kulok

Jon Kulok

According to Jon Kulok, PrincipalEdge Research, based in Arlington, Virginia, having this type of immersive research level “sets the strategic planning discussion around stakeholders and enables conversations around how members can leverage their Association to get to places not imagined today.” Kulok emphasizes that the process is about seeing the world through the “members’ eyes and uses research to build tangible and strategic solutions.” As Associations deliver business and professional solutions, members perceive them as relevant and necessary. In a zero based budget environment, more Associations use “outside in” research to energize their Boards to do big things.

Julia Hamm

Julia Hamm

Since 2004, Julia Hamm, President & CEO of Washington, DC based Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), positioned the organization as the strategic partner to help the electric utility industry transition to a clean energy future. The organization includes all clean and distributed energy resources in the conversation and develops, shares, and builds practical solutions for the entire Industry. The membership includes utilities, regulators and policy makers, as well as for-profit and non-profit corporations.

Operating as a 501 c3 not for profit organization, the Alliance conducts Industry focused Board meetings where executives share knowledge, address challenges, and devise strategic solutions. In addition, they supply unbiased and actionable research and advisory services to utilities to help them address the challenges of a clean energy landscape. The Alliance keeps its neutrality, does not advocate or take positions on issues, or pick favorites.

At SEPA, energizing the Board to do big things happened through an “outside in” Industry insights and visioning exercise. It served as a “durable and flexible process that helps us build and maintain the right focus well into the future” notes Hamm:

  • Industry insights – Confirming the state of play in the Industry and understanding how SEPA could be a Strategic Alliance over the long term.
  • Visioning – 10 years into the future, build a nonprofit that supplies maximum value and impact for the industry. Defining what 10x impact looks like for the organization and the electric power Industry.
Hamm's The Right Focus Diagram

While Hamm and her team energized the Board, they successfully engaged their stakeholders to design strategic solutions by:

  • Investing in understanding their challenges and opportunities.
  • Conducting strategic conversations about value creation and how the organization could build the catalyst for clean energy in a five to ten year window time frame.
  • Understanding their perspective on the skills and attributes organization leaders and staff need to make that vision a reality.
  • Building nimble and cost-effective strategies to address challenges and position the Industry for a clean energy future.
  • Winning champions commit to act first.
  • Asking other leaders to make the same commitment.
  • Regularly and transparently communicate Industry solutions and growth opportunities.
  • Utilizing research to report to members on alignment with the metrics and KPIs that help them overcome uncertainty and succeed.

The Strategic Initiatives tackle the complex issues that the Industry does not yet have answers to. What is significant is how each Initiative creates an interactive platform for stakeholders to engage and develop solutions for over time:

  • The 51st State – Created ongoing opportunities for experts and Industry leaders to share, test, and supply feedback on direction and innovation to support an evolving utility sector. Through this Initiative, all stakeholders took part in designing “Sustainable market structures from the ground-up, rather than attempting to make wholesale or partial changes to something that have been in place for decades” notes Hamm.
  • Renovate Initiative – With an intended desire to meet customer needs with clean, affordable, safe, and reliable electric service, this Initiative helps evolve regulatory process and practices at the state level.

SEPA uses strategy to run as a market focused nonprofit organization and they are on a robust growth trajectory:

  • Merged with the Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid (ADS) in 2015 and SGIP (formerly the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel) in 2017.
  • Grew annual revenue from $300,000 to $12 million. Grew membership dues revenue from $100,000 to over $2 million.
  • Negotiated efforts to form a for-profit trade show subsidiary with $19 million in revenue jointly owned by SEPA and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
  • Increased staff of 1 to 50 and support capabilities to deliver subject matter experts in an era of disruption and transformation.
Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

 Jeff Morgan, President & CEO, Club Management Association of America (CMAA), leads an organization who helps club professionals and clubs become more successful in a time of uncertainty and generational change. Arriving in 2014 following seven years as President & CEO, National Investor Relations Institute, Morgan saw a new opportunity to Energize the Board, Membership, and Staff by changing the culture. Using a crowd sourced strategic planning process, Morgan and his team focused on: 

  • Creating the climate for change.
  • Engaging and enabling the organization.
  • Implementing and sustaining for change.

Strategic Solutions
Strategic Solutions
Through its iterative process, CMAA immersed their stakeholders in “outside in” critical discussions around member challenges and opportunities:

  • What will be strikingly different in clubs in 5-10 years?
  • In 10 years, what will the biggest challenge for our members?
  • If you re-created CMAA today, what would you do differently?
  • What is the most important action CMAA took over the past 5 years to help you and your club?

Through questions and qualitative research to engage stakeholders, CMAA brainstormed, and delivered strategic solutions addressing the generational shift in the Profession:

  • Millennial’s as future club members.
  • Millennial’s as key to club workforce.
  • Millennial’s as CMAA’s future base.
  • Create programs to solve problems.
  • Broaden CMAA’s focus for club success.
  • Supply club data for better member decision making.

The Strategic Planning process effectively shifted the culture and mindset:

  • Board: Fiduciary, Strategic, & Generative thinking.
  • Members: Embracing change & wanting more deliverables that help advance the Profession.
  • CMAA: Developing programs to better equip members for solutions & success.
  • Staff: Alignment with member challenges and nimble enough to support the Profession throughout an era of uncertainty.

To better position the organization in the Profession, it changed its name from Club Managers Association of America to Club Management Association of America. And despite uncertainty challenges, CMAA is on a notable growth trajectory and reports:

  • 5 to 10% Association revenue growth rates.
  • 5+% profit margins & 5 years of profits.

Morgan emphasizes that it’s important to “be nimble but be patient. It may take 5 plus years for some seeds to grow.”

The Smart Electric Power Alliance and the Club Management Association of America reflects a growing number of “outside in” organizations that deliver strategic solutions:

  • Robb MacKie, President & CEO, American Bakers Association (ABA), Washington, DC, “Uncertainty forever changed the calculus for us, we think and respond in ways that address Baking Industry challenges and quantify the outcomes that we deliver. We are in the business of building a pathway for a more profitable Baking Industry. It’s that simple”.
  • Brian Wynne, President & CEO, Association for Unmanned Vehicles (AUVSI), Arlington, Virginia, “Our new strategies are aligned with Industry challenges and our member’s desired business outcomes”.
  • Corey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) (formerly President & CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance), Washington, DC. “We recognized early on that our only pathway to relevance are strategic solutions helping our members achieve success”.
  • Thayer Long, President of Reston, Virginia based, Association for Print Technologies (APTech) notes “We don’t have the latitude to wait and see, the global economy forces changes, we use research and continually challenge our assumptions the keep the Printing Industry ahead of the curve”.
Jim Zaniello

Jim Zaniello

As Executives and Professionals look to preserve cash, their expectations for strategic solutions and securing the bottom line determines whether they join Associations. If they do, they want to collaborate with staff leaders who understand their challenges and produce tangible returns. Jim Zaniello, President & Founder of Vetted Solutions in Washington, DC notes “Boards want to collaborate with leaders that mirror the same exact traits that make them successful in the commercial world. CEOs that use data based insights, strategic collaboration, and focus on delivering results will attract and energize Boards.”

Bill Hudson

Bill Hudson

Bill Hudson, Partner, Associations Sector, at Heidrick & Struggles concurs, “the Association world is changing rapidly, knowing how to manage an organization is important. What really attracts busy executives is a savvy CEO who sees the big picture and moves the needle for the Industry or a Profession.”

Members Hire Strategic Solutions

Executives and Professionals seek out Associations who deliver strategic solutions. Facing increasing pressure to produce results, they will only use time and money to help their companies and professions deliver sustainable growth.

Associations are transforming to help members thrive in an era of uncertainty with these critical factors:

  • Since Association Boards want to do big things, organization CEOs energize them with transparent, collaborative, and data driven strategies that produce tangible results for members.
  • Organizations use immersive “outside in” research and strategic planning to align with member challenges. The Smart Electric Power Alliance and the Club Management Association of America energize their Boards and do big things. They deliver strategic solutions, tangible returns on investment, and revenues are growing at impressive rates.
  • Association CEOs in other Industry segments reinforce the trend. They use immersive “outside in” research and strategic planning to deliver strategic solutions. Members at Association for Unmanned Vehicles, American Bakers Association, Global Cold Chain Alliance, and Association for Print Technologies are perceived as Strategic Partners essential to Industry success.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks Founder, helped to create a third place between work and home for his customers. In doing so, people have a place for conversation, knowledge sharing, and a community to help one another. Uncertainty creates opportunities for Associations to serve as the third place between work and home. Supplying a neutral platform to conduct immersive research and brainstorm the future motivates board and member engagement. It also creates a Strategic Partnership for boards and members to overcome their challenges and thrive in a world of uncertainty.

Please contact Potomac Core to learn more about immersive research and strategic planning or to get information about our CEO Growth Strategies & Member Engagement Forum.

Members Hire Constant Transformation

Members Hire Constant Transformation

Late Breaking News. Members Hire Constant Transformation. As Artificial Intelligence, the cloud, and virtual reality take hold, Industries will invest resources in Associations that are equally transformation focused. Despite profitability, Industries are using new technologies to prepare for whatever comes next. As a result, Associations must continually transform themselves if they want to keep pace with members. Part of that shift will be an improved focus on consistently helping Industries solve their biggest problems. A Forbes Insights survey notes that “Enterprises successfully making the transformational shift have plenty of impactful benefits awaiting them.” If Associations make the transformational shift and create commercial synergies that regularly help Industries solve their biggest problems, they too will have ample benefits awaiting them.

In building these new synergies, several Associations are finding themselves stepping far outside of traditional lanes. Existing member benefit and services models are being replaced with a savvy focus  helping Industries solve their biggest problems and win in the marketplace. This approach is emerging as the next wave of Association evolution. Executives leading this transformational effort employ an adaptive model with far reaching world views because they:

  • See their Associations as market movers – Challenging their own thinking and rapidly embracing opportunities to help members consistently solve their problems.
  • Are Data focused – Sharing any new or emerging research insights that might give company owners, executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and investors a window into new and emerging market opportunities.
  • Have Fearless implementation in their DNA – Fast moving culture with energized staff in a time of innovation and rapid change.
  • Practice Transparent ROI – Frequently seek insights and communicate progress on investments made to grow the Industry with Board members.

Embracing a new value imperative recognizing that Members Hire Constant Transformation is a large part of what future focused Associations do. And while relevance is necessary for organizational survival, it’s not enough in this disruptive and uncertain era.  Some leaders already acknowledge that relevance by itself can’t be a winning strategy in a dynamic business environment. They emphasize a need to evolve past relevance, and in doing so they’re fueled with entrepreneurial spirit, constant transformation, and an organizational thirst for commercial success. They are:

The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) – This is an Industry helping feed the planet in the midst of a wave of e-Commerce, automation, and increasing food consumption. Imagine a fast paced organization with a fluid portfolio that sees its role as an Industry partner committed to transparent returns on time and money invested as it:

  • Positions the Industry with its customers.
  • Provides real time workforce solutions.
  • Reduces Industry costs.

Through its core partner Trade Associations, the International Association for Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), the International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA), the World Food Logistics Organization (WLFO), and the Controlled Environment Building Association (CEBA), GCCA consistently  steps outside of traditional lanes to help “Grow the Industry and lead the Cold Chain”.

Grow the Industry – Creation of a  Cold Chain Index to facilitate Industry growth and mitigate concerns of commoditization. The Index’s return to the Industry is helping to justify price changes with its customers.

Customer Research – GCCA delivered survey insights helping the Industry understand what customers seek. Findings include feedback from 200 food companies in 14 countries. It identified Industry perceptions, including the common reasons work is ceased by food manufacturers and processors.

Talent Recruitment and Development – The Association supports efforts to Recruit Refrigeration Engineers, Partner with Supply Chain programs to Recruit Students at Universities and Colleges and reduce worker turnover by sharing best practices in support of worker on boarding programs. The organization also provides assets helping the Industry attract new workers, including an Industry promotional video “We Are The Cold Chain”, branded by each of the companies for local market worker recruitment.

Disruptive Advocacy – Devising a direct engagement approach with Federal Regulators, individual companies have seen a decrease in the number of violations at OSHA through fines per inspection.  Similarly positive results for the Industry were achieved with other key Federal Agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Corey Rosenbusch

Replacing the traditional member benefit and services model – Forming a commercial partnership GCCA is helping the Industry grow, providing resources to attract and keep talent, and Advocacy that reduces costs and increases Industry profitability. These factors acknowledge GCCA’s role as market movers. The organization is also aligned with companies and never hesitates to step outside of traditional lanes to facilitate Industry success. Also, the staff team engages and continually brainstorms new opportunities with its Board. In this environment, Association revenues have grown despite Industry consolidation. Corey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, is working with the Board, and conducting market research to uncover new opportunities to transform again and support Cold Chain growth.

Members Hire Constant TransformationAssociation for Unmanned Vehicles International (AUVSI)Incorporating a unique brand of fast moving entrepreneurial transformation, an impressive myriad of Advocacy, insightful research, thought leadership, and engagement, this organization is defining and promoting the future quality of life for current and future generations through Unmanned Systems. With an adaptive market focus, the Association directs resources to advance deployment of Air, Ground, Maritime, and Enabling Technology Systems:

  • Advocate to Gain Acceptance – Whether at the federal, state, or local level, the Association utilizes insightful research for stakeholders through its Unmanned Systems & Robotics Database (USRD). This and other research, including the Industry’s economic footprint, helps build acceptance in the regulator and legislator communities. The Board of Directors, Members, & Chapters are part of an engagement juggernaut to advance acceptance of Unmanned Systems. Targeted Advocacy to advance Industry Acceptance in the marketplace is top of Mind. For example:
    • Helped the Industry achieve passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act to facilitate extended air operations.
    • Works with the Coalition for America’s Future to Advocate for deployment of driverless cars and trucks.
    • Serves as the primary Industry representative of the American Bureau of Shipping’s Autonomous Vessel Consortium to advance utilization of Unmanned Maritime vehicles.
  • Grow the Industry – Consistently engaging Industry Leaders and the value chain through innovative programming to build and design Unmanned Systems future. The center point of AUVSI’s community building and knowledge sharing is it’s Industry gold standard Trade Show, XPONENTIAL. Annually manufacturers, suppliers, Industry thought leaders, & government officials gather to share progress and surface new opportunities to grow Unmanned Systems.

      Brian Wynne

Replacing the traditional member benefit and services model – Despite persistent headwinds, AUVSI helps a disruptive Industry navigate its pathway to market acceptance. Stepping outside traditional lanes through fearless implementation with an Industry growth focus the Association is helping to deliver business outcomes to a nascent Industry. The organization’s four year revenue and membership growth reinforce its role as market movers. Association President & CEO, Brian Wynne is also collaborating with the Board in a Strategic Industry Planning process. Whatever comes next could help the Industry in its quest to achieve full acceptance of Unmanned Systems in everyday life. By doing so, AUVSI will continue its work in helping Unmanned Systems achieve commercial success.

News Media Alliance (NMA) – In an Industry that prided itself on longstanding profitability, it’s facing enormous challenges from digital transformation. The original business model leveraged its strategic advantages through ownership of the content distribution channel. Digital consumption changed the game and along with it ownership of distribution. While Print remains profitable its declining in the face of a growing digital audience. The way forward is complicated, and this Industry is coming to grips with what happens once print revenues go away. Since new technologies and consumer shifts are constant and there is no accepted strategy for success in the Publishing Industry. Understanding the challenges faced by the Industry and its members, the News Media Alliance transformed itself to help them solve their biggest problems.

The organization’s transformation is based on moving away from a limited, government advocacy model and strategically reshaping its role as market mover in a highly disrupted Industry:

  • Advocate to Improve the Industry’s Competitive Position – Since content distribution is controlled by Facebook and Google, the Alliance helping Publishers level the playing field, allowing news publishers to collectively negotiate and withhold content as leverage for better terms and conditions through the “Journalism and Competition Preservation Act of 2018.”
  • Growing the Industry –
    • Implementing aDigital Dialogue– With Google, Facebook, and Amazon to help deliver both traffic and revenue back to the news media Industry.
    • Conducting important research to help the Industry understand more about their audience, i.e. how they want to consume information and identify possible strategies that could be helpful in the changing advertising market.
    • Releasing an “Advertising Panorama” providing a comprehensive look at the news audience and how marketers can reach them.

    David Chavern

Replacing the traditional member benefit and services model – In its departure from the traditional model, the Alliance is on the leading edge of change. With clear eyes it reshaped the organization’s focus including shutting down the Trade Show. Recognizing that the Industry’s challenges are more commercial than political, Advocacy is just one part of its market positioning. Its larger role nowadays is staying close to the Industry, understanding, delivering, and helping the Industry overcome its challenges and restoring it to a stronger and more profitable footing. Membership is growing as the Industry views the Alliance as its partner in constant transformation. David Chavern, President & CEO notes “we’re energized with our role in building tools to help the Industry win commercially.”

Members Hire Constant Transformation

    JP Moery

In an era of constant transformation, Association leaders should radically shift their focus to helping Industries achieve commercial success. JP Moery, President, The Moery Company, and author of Association Hustle – Top Strategies for Association Growth, emphasizes that these Associations are thriving because “Each understands that Association survival is driven by entrepreneurism, willingness to pivot, and their ability to adopt innovative strategies that help their members succeed.”

Letting go of the member benefit and services model is increasingly a given, especially when Members hire constant transformation. Association Executives from the Global Cold Chain Alliance, Association for Unmanned Vehicles, and the News Media Alliance are adopting the transformational and commercial success formula, and they are getting traction because they:

  • See their Associations as market movers – Challenging their own thinking and rapidly embracing opportunities to help members consistently solve their problems.
  • Are Data focused – Sharing any new or emerging research insights that might give company owners, executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and investors a window into new and emerging market opportunities.
  • Have Fearless implementation in their DNA – Fast moving culture with energized staff in a time of innovation and rapid change.
  • Practice Transparent ROI – Frequently seek insights and communicate progress on investments made to grow the Industry with Board members.

Members Hire Constant TransformationPhilosopher Arthur Schopenhauer observed that “Truth Passes Through Three Stages: First, It Is Ridiculed. Second, It Is Violently Opposed. Third, It Is Accepted as Self-Evident.” Late Breaking News. For Associations, tomorrow’s world is here today, Members hire constant transformation.

To learn more about how your organization can constantly transform click here.

Thom Dammrich

Case Study – National Marine Manufacturers Association

Situation

NMMA wanted to understand its alignment with the Industry’s ”up-at-night” challenges and desired business outcomes. In addition, the Association wanted to leverage a research driven Strategic Industry Planning Process to first affirm its current offerings and to identify new opportunities to add increased support for the Marine Industry.

The organization represents the Industry on public policy issues, advocating at state and federal levels to protect the interests of the Marine Industry, and the users of products. Collectively, the Association’s members manufacture an estimated 80 percent of marine products used in North America. The Association also collects, analyzes, and distributes Industry, economic and market data; including recreational boating research, statistics, and technical data.

NMMA also promotes recreational boating through consumer outreach as well as provide & present information on the Industry’s interests to the media and other public entities. The Association also produces boat and sport shows in key North American markets to provide quality sales venues for exhibitors and consumers.

Outcome

A Board Task Force utilized Interviews and survey research to identify three primary areas for future strategic investment: Advocacy, Research & Industry Promotion, & Workforce Development. These resulted in three new strategic ideas: Advocacy Offensive, Retaining and Recruiting Boat Owners, & Attracting a Competent Workforce. The Board unanimously approved the plan and later approved funding to support the Strategic Initiatives over the next three years.