Corey Rosenbusch

Situation

The Global Cold Chain Alliance serves as the focused voice of the Cold Chain Industry, representing 1,300 members in over 65 Countries. GCCA retained Potomac Core to provide strategic member engagement insight and guidance with an eye toward focusing the staff team to think through new opportunities to increase the association’s revenues.

Later in 2014, the organization conducted an offsite staff retreat and engaged Potomac Core to process board member input and build out a strawman strategic plan and key deliverables for the members. The final plan was approved by the Board of Directors in October 2015 and in the last year and a half the Association’s revenues have grown by 25%.

Outcome

Potomac Core utilized Strategic Member Engagement research to center staff discussion and brainstorming around driving “member impact” and focusing on key member segments and member “Up-At-Night” issues (see below). Staff utilized the research and discussion to formulate several new strategies to grow revenues.

Utilizing board member rankings and interactive breakout group discussion, Potomac Core facilitated successful discussions leading to a completed “member business Outcome” focused strategic plan document (see below).


Survey Uncovers Members' Up-At-Night Issues 2015   GCCA Strategic Plan--Dec 2015

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.

Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations

Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations

The challenge for Association CEO’s is to understand how Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations. Simply put, the new Private Equity owners are not necessarily maintaining their Association memberships. Following the company purchase, new owners use concrete strategies that improve operations, products, revenues, and market position. Utilizing proactive and innovative strategies will determine whether or not Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations.

Private Equity Investment is ExplodingPrivate Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations

 

U.S. investment in Private Equity skyrocketed to $57 billion in the first quarter of 2018 alone. In 2017 there were 3,283 transactions in the United States, Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associationstotaling $511.66 billion. These numbers reflect a post great recession high. Associations who haven’t yet experienced membership losses yet should expect to see these challenges land at their front door soon. Bobby Franklin, President & CEO, National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) in Washington, DC indicates that PE has the resources it needs to continue acquiring companies. According to PitchBook 2017 Annual PE and VC Fundraising report, Private Equity funds have almost $1 trillion in dry powder (investment capital) and that could foretell more company acquisitions.Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations

Private Equity Background and Their Objectives

Understanding the threat is the critical first step for Associations, notes Steve Caldeira, President & CEO of the Washington, DC based Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA). Earlier in his career, Caldeira worked firsthand with Private Equity while at Dunkin’ Brands (2007-2009). The company was purchased by three PE Funds; Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group, and Thomas H. Lee Partners. It has been reported that each of the firms profited approximately $600 million upon sale of the company. Caldeira notes that these firms have a clear vision once they purchase companies:

  • Maximize return to its investors – Through due diligence and strategic rigor, they vastly improve the company’s operational performance and brand marketing to enable revenue growth and measurable profits to maximize its exit position.
  • Exit – Selling the company to a different firm or company or even possibly cashing out through an Initial Public offering.

Having this background is the starting point for the understanding of how and why Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations.

Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations: PE Too Has a Value Imperative

Nowadays executives don’t join anything without a direct connection to helping them achieve business outcomes. Busy executives will find other ways including starting their own coalitions or launching their own Associations to create an environment more conducive to business success. Private Equity is in many ways similar. Keep in mind that the key differences that define the Private Equity approach are highly disciplined strategies combined with a well established success formula for their investors. Understanding these differences will help Associations why Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations.

Two Steps to Engage Private Equity Owners

Steve Caldeira faced the Private Equity challenges as an Association Executive at two leading Trade organizations: International Franchise Association and now at the Household & Commercial Products Association. Understanding the Private Equity mandate, Caldeira applied a two step process that bridged critical gaps through an understanding of differences to work toward common goals:

  1. Early EngagementMeeting with the new Private Equity owners to understand the regulatory and tax impediments that keep them up at night. Then mapping these concerns to the Association’s federal and state advocacy teams.
  2. Volunteer Leadership – Inviting new owners to participate on the Board of Directors (with a potential pathway to the Officer level) or to participate in key Association committees. These opportunities help the new owners leverage the Association as an extension of their firm’s business strategy. They also create understanding (as well as business to business opportunities) for promoting dialogue between Private Equity owed companies and other members of the Association.

Organizations, in addition to the International Franchise and Household & Commercial Products Association, are utilizing the board leadership opportunity in similar ways, with many PE owned companies sitting on Association Boards. Associations with PE owned companies sitting on Boards include:

These two approaches are effective strategies in so much as they are determining factors as to whether or not Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations.

Private Equity Owners Also Insist Upon Clarity and Deliverables

Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires AssociationsCorey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Arlington, Virginia remains focused on the potential loss of dues and non-dues revenue as Private Equity companies consolidate memberships. Thanks to pro active strategies the Association has not lost a single private equity firm from membership when they entered the space.  Moreover, each of these companies have stayed engaged after they were purchased.

GCCA is delivering impressive results for Private Equity owned companies and overall membership through the mitigation of costs of regulatory compliance. For example, members achieved a decrease in the number of violations and OSHA fines per inspection.

Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations

The Association also identified two other high ROI opportunities to support the new Private Equity owners with:

  • Technical resources – Helping reduce costs.
  • Talent development initiatives – Assisting with workforce challenges.

Rosenbusch notes “GCCA continually identifies new and innovative opportunities to maximize the ROI for the organization and for our Private Equity owned members.”

Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations

Make no mistake about it, Private Equity is increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with for all Associations. The high volume of available capital and Private Equity investors hungry for strong returns means Association CEO’s must create opportunities to engage their new Private Equity owners. Not doing so is risky and could result in considerable erosion of the membership base. Utilizing proactive and innovative strategies are the best tools that will determine whether Private Equity Hires Associations, Private Equity Fires Associations.

To learn more about how your organization can effectively work with Private Equity click here.

Energizing Member Engagement

energize member engagement

Driving Sustainable Industry Growth Helps Trade Associations Energize Member Engagement 

With global economic uncertainty dominating most conversations, we’re learning that Trade Associations who drive sustainable industry growth are helping their organizations by energizing member engagement. Forward thinking CEO’s are utilizing Strategic Planning or Business and Engagement Planning to research Industry challenges and Business outcomes and then identify their Associations as extensions of Industries. By following this approach these Association Executives are now energizing member engagement.

Global Uncertainty is Not Going Away  

energizing member engagement

Despite eight plus years of growth in the United States and improving economic performance in Europe, challenges remain. A second quarter survey conducted by the Association of Finance Professionals reflects some of these concerns. According to the recently released results, “treasury & finance professionals remained apprehensive about the economy, and similar to last quarter, their organizations accumulated cash and short‐term investment holdings in response.”

Mixed Bag for Global Manufacturers

Although global manufacturers are experiencing improving conditions, there are reasons to maintain caution according to Chad Moutray, Energizing member engagementChief Economist for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). “It is clear that the global manufacturing sector has turned a corner, with improvements in demand and production seen in many key markets. As a result, the manufacturer outlook remains quite elevated and exports have increased this year – a nice turnaround after numerous challenges cited in the past two years. Yet, even with progress, business leaders are anxious for pro-growth policy changes, and geopolitical worries are also a constant source of uncertainty.”

Energizing Member Engagement is a Must for Trade Associations 

Regardless of global uncertainty, company executives face increasing pressure to deliver top line growth and earnings performance. How do Trade Associations utilize these factors to energize member engagement? By building Trade Associations that Drive Sustained Industry Growth.  Energizing member engagement in today’s world is so much more a journey than a destination. Why? Based on the current trajectory the complexity of Industry Growth Challenges will only increase. This means that Trade Association CEO’s who perceive these growth challenges as opportunistic for their organizations are on target to align themselves with the Industry challenges and Business outcomes that their members care the most about. In doing so, energizing member engagement becomes more about Industry Growth than it does about Trade Association performance.

Energizing Member Engagement Means You Are an Industry Growth Advocate

If members perceive your Trade Association as focused on what it must achieve instead of what the Industry must achieve, they are heading for the exit ramp. Organizations who want to energize member engagement must reposition the organization as an Industry growth advocate. This shifts the conversation, and demonstrates the return on member engagement that your members insist upon in an uncertain global environment.

Geopolitical uncertainty and technological disruption are dramatically changing Traditional Trade Association Strategic Planning processes. Static three year Strategic Plans are being replaced with a nimbler Business or Engagement Planning regimen.  It’s now about becoming an Industry Growth Advocate through a 3 step process involving direct engagement of your board, your members, Industry Suppliers, and Industry Customers that requires:

  1. Industry Survey Research – Comprehensive and segmented understanding of the challenges and growth opportunities in the Industry.
  2. Industry Brainstorming – Collaboration among your Board of Directors with your staff team to generate new ideas and approaches to address challenges and move the needle for the Industry.
  3. Industry Business & Engagement Planning – More Board collaboration to construct a nimble Business and engagement plan to address challenges and grow the Industry.

Once all the steps are completed, your organization is positioned as a flexible and thoughtful “Industry Growth” advocate.

Energizing Member Engagement

Why Your Trade Association Should Consider This Approach and Energize Member Engagement

It provides 3 reasons why your organizations should utilize this approach to Building Trade Associations that Drive Sustained Industry Growth:

  1. An actionable and data driven business plan reflecting the Industry’s challenges and desired Business outcomes.
  2. A more closely aligned organization connected with the Industry’s challenges and business outcomes.
  3. It delivers an environment where energizing member engagement becomes more likely.

CEO’s Who are Building Trade Associations that Drive Sustained Industry Growth & They Are Energizing Member Engagement

energizing member engagement

 

 

 

energizing member engagementCorey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) notes, “the impact beyond driving revenue was shifting our mindset and Strategic Plan from an inward focus to an outward focus, with an intended impact on member’s Business outcomes.” The organization’s mission now is to “grow the Industry and lead the cold chain.”

GCCA reinforces their plan to “Grow The Industry, Lead The Cold Chain, Develop Talent and Drive Supply Chain Profitability” with Key Performance Indicators. The Association is continually reinforcing its commitment to growth of the Industry. Two years ago, GCCA and United Fresh launched a Global Cold Chain Expo bringing customers together with Industries that are engaged in temperature controlled logistics. The organization is also launching an Industry customer survey to inform their members on current and emerging trends in food storage and logistics.

One of GCCA’s goals is to “Drive Supply chain profitability and do so by mitigating the cost of regulatory compliance.” The chart below will show how their Industry focus helped to achieve a decrease in the number of violations and OSHA fines per inspection.

energizing member engagement

 

Two years after their plan was approved, the Trade Association reports a 25% increase in revenue.

energizing member engagement

 

 

 

energizing member engagementThayer Long, President, NPES, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, sought a data driven approach in order to energize member engagement by connecting his organization with Industry Challenges and outcomes. Reflecting upon the process, he notes “Our team is aligning itself with Industry and the entire value chain. Through this process we are well situated to have a major impact on Industry outcomes and results. We now can become the leader which our members and the industry need.”

NPES and its Board developed a Business plan geared toward moving the needle for the Industry. Leveraging Industry and Customer Survey Research the Staff Team and Board of Directors established 2 top priorities to help the industry improve its operating excellence and grow its top line revenue.

energizing member engagement

Along with his Senior Team, Thayer Long is also building a dashboard to serve as an Industry Alignment Index.  NPES will utilize these metrics and annual survey research to ensure that it remains laser focused on helping and supporting Industry growth.

energizing member engagement

 

 

energizing member engagement

 

energizing member engagement

In one of the oldest and most vital industrial segments, Bakers, Suppliers, and Retailers are seeking ways to achieve growth in a changing environment. The Baking Industry is an important driver of economic activity. Currently, it generates over $153 billion in economic activity annually with an employment base of 799,000 skilled people. In a period of disruption and evolving customer attitudes, the Association sought a data driven planning process to help them uncover future opportunities for the Baking Industry. From market disruption to evolving consumer attitudes, Robb MacKie, President & CEO of ABA sees a data driven planning and engagement process as essential for the Trade Association and for the Baking Industry.

Recently an ABA Task Force reviewed Industry Survey Data and Robb Mackie indicated that in an uncertain Business environment, “We needed to uncover critical challenges and new opportunities to support our Industry. Our Board Task Force is very impressed by the candor of our discussions and appreciates having an opportunity to identify new and different ways to help them achieve success.”

Energizing Member Engagement

For the Global Cold Chain Alliance, NPES, and the American Bakers Association energizing member engagement is connected to building Trade Associations that Drive Sustained Industry Growth. Utilizing Industry Survey Research, Industry Brainstorming, and an Industry Business and Engagement Planning approach, these Trade Associations are aligned with Industry Business Challenges and Growth Outcomes. In doing so, energizing member engagement and increasing Executive participation is much more likely.

This article reflects key insights shared by the participants (referenced in the article) and moderator (the author) at the “Building Trade Associations that Drive Sustained Industry Growth” Panel at the Council of Manufacturing Associations Summer Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, August 4, 2017. #NAMCMA. Left to right: Panel Moderator, Daniel A. Varroney, President & CEO, Potomac Core – Association Consulting, Panelists & CMA Members, Corey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Thayer Long, President, NPES, and Robb MacKie, President & CEO, American Bakers Association. 

 

energizing member engagement

 

 

Click here to receive your free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement”

 

3 Association Radical Transformation Strategies

Association Radical Transformation Strategies

Are persistent growth challenges and global uncertainty opening different pathways for Trade Associations? In several instances, several Association CEO’s are utilizing radical transformation strategies to increase their relevance to the members and the industries they serve. Do Association’s need Radical Transformation Strategies to remain relevant enough to keep their members engaged over the longer term?

Association Radical Transformation Strategies

In 1982, as the global competition and market disruption accelerated, Tom Peters introduced a new way of thinking in his book “In Search of Excellence.” Instead of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” he said “If it ain’t broke, you just haven’t looked hard enough.” As market conditions drive tighter margins and uncertainty limits opportunities for industry growth, Tom Peters bias for action is a clarion call for Associations. The following 3 Association Radical Transformation Strategies will help to radically transform your Association and better position your organization to more impactfully engage your members:

  1. Dispense with traditional Association Strategies, Connect the Value Chain

Engage the entire value chain (suppliers, original equipment manufacturers, producers, customers, and customer’s customer) through qualitative and quantitative research. Identify similarities among business challenges and growth opportunities. In doing so, your organization is positioning itself as the place to address solutions and drive growth from one end of the marketplace to the other.

  1. Forget Competitive Boundaries, Lead and Convene the Value Chain

Forget competitive association boundaries. Convene the industry or profession value chain through your association, collaborate with other associations to address industry business challenges and identify new pathways to top line growth. For example, leverage advocacy resources of the entire value chain to reduce compliance costs. Your bias for action is no longer about your products or services, it’s about industry business outcomes. Driving these outcomes throughout the entire value chain provides the results they must have to succeed. If they succeed, then they remember who helped drive their success and reward you with a renewal or a new membership.

  1. Association Promotion becomes secondary, Promote and Grow the Industry or Profession throughout the Value Chain

In a hyper competitive world, relevance is the key that can unlock the business and professional outcomes that your members need. This is the bias for action that matters, promote the industry through actionable research. Utilize it to demonstrate the industry’s impact to advocate with elected officials, regulators, and industry customers. Also, develop actionable research to identify opportunities to increase efficiency or unlock growth opportunities throughout the value chain. Having the value chain at the table creates allies to drive business outcomes.  Anything less and your Association’s membership is at risk.

Transformation and Action

Trade Associations who demonstrate a bias for action and transformation are increasing. As global market complexities increase, several CEO’s are embracing transformation as the better pathway to keep their Association’s relevant. What’s more, each of these Associations is finding it easier to engage their members because of the relevance to their business challenges and outcomes.

Association Radical Transformation Strategies

Thayer Long, NPES President since May of 2016, sees his organization’s strategic planning process as an ongoing act of invention. Although the plan was approved by the organization’s Board of Directors in December 2016, this is a larger effort to support global growth for the print and imaging industry. An NPES Core Team is convening representatives of the value chain (original equipment manufacturers, printers, and brand owners) to ensure that new products and services provide real time solutions to drive business outcomes. Actionable data and acting on what they know versus what they think is now a part of the NPES DNA. The association wants to remain nimble to take full advantage of any new opportunities help reduce costs or to support top line growth for the industry they serve.

Association Radical Transformation StrategiesCorey Rosenbusch, Global Cold Chain Alliance President & CEO maintains a relentless focus on a strategic plan reflecting the business outcomes of refrigerated food and logistics industry around the world. GCCA developed disruptive advocacy strategies to lower the costs of regulatory compliance for their members. What’s different today? The association leads and convenes an ongoing broader industry effort focusing on cost reduction.

Since adoption of its new strategic plan GCCA has experienced 25% growth in annual revenue.

Association Radical Transformation StrategiesHeidi Brock, President & CEO, the Aluminum Association and her team have transformed the way they serve their members. Tightly aligning advocacy strategies with member business outcomes and continually providing actionable research to share with elected officials and prospective customers of the industry keeps the Association relevant. Moreover Brock, her team, and the Association’s Executive Committee work towards quantifiable outcomes for the Aluminum Industry.

The Aluminum Association is experiencing 11% membership growth, retention improved 3%, and their core revenue is 6% higher than the prior year.

3 Association Radical Transformation Strategies

Should your Association adjust its bias for action? Start by asking these four questions of your Board and your members:

  1. As you think about the Association over the last 3-5 years what has the organization achieved in terms of direct impact on your costs of doing business and your opportunities to grow your topline revenue?
  2. Over the next 3-5 years what are the industry’s most significant challenges, threats and business growth opportunities?
  3. How aligned is the Association with these challenges and opportunities?
  4. Would you like the value chain at the table with us to help build solutions and drive future topline growth?

The answers to these questions will provide the basis you need to launch your 3 Association Radical Transformation Strategies.

Association Radical Transformation Strategies

 

 

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

3 Association Growth Strategies

3 Association Growth StrategiesSluggish global growth and U.S. growth, the race for talent, and disruptive innovation create opportunities for Associations and Professional Societies to become more essential. It’s all about alignment with industry and professional outcomes that your members care most about. Those organizations who utilize these 3 Association Growth Strategies can help impact member outcomes and as a result better position their members and their organizations for long term success.

3 Association Growth Strategies

1. Secure Actionable Research

Securing forward looking data is essential. Utilizing “Impact” Surveys instead of member satisfaction surveys will help your organization determine the desired future outcomes that members seek to address their “up at night” issues. These issues must also be examined segment by segment.

The Global Cold Chain Alliance, GCCA, utilized both qualitative and quantitative research in order to align itself with its stakeholders. Through this process the organization aligned its internal team and they have transformed themselves into strategic partners for the Global Refrigerated Warehouse Industry. In doing so, GCCA is helping its members drive future outcomes.

3 Association Growth StrategiesAccording to Corey Rosenbusch, President and CEO, GCCA, the organization is taking its partnership a step further. The organization conducts qualitative research with their member’s customers to help align GCCA and their industry with the business outcomes their customers seek. Here again the organization impacts member outcomes.

Association revenues have grown by 25% in the last year and a half.

2. Demonstrate Strategic Alignment

Strategic alignment with your member’s industry and its professional outcomes is key to your organization’s long term durability and growth. Without a recognized level of strategic alignment members will not perceive the important connection between your organization and their business outcomes.

3 Association Growth StrategiesAt the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, Brent McClendon, President and CEO, continually seeks ways in which he can help accelerate member engagement. He does this by making sure that NWPCA listens closely to its members and then aligns its resources with the appropriate company and industry outcomes. One example of aligning its resources is through its software platform. Their proprietary software, “Pallet Design System” is both a product specification and engineering design tool as well as a professional marketing tool, and educational tool to serve the wood pallet industry. This platform accelerates member engagement and it’s a concrete example of how a product can drive future outcomes.

NWPCA has experienced 60% revenue growth over the last three years.

3. Design the Industry’s Future

Serving as a leader and convener for your industry creates the strongest possible link between your organization and the member’s your serve.  The link is reinforced when you provide a safe space for your members to collaborate and design their future together.

3 Association Growth StrategiesThe Smart Electric Power Alliance, SEPA, brings companies together in all aspects of power generation to design and build the industry of the future. Julia Hamm, President and CEO, and the SEPA team link the industry’s all stakeholders to develop, share, and build future focused solutions for their industry. The organization facilitates important conversations, doesn’t take sides, and serves as an industry convener. SEPA is all about helping members determine how to best drive future outcomes.

For example, SEPA created a 51st State Initiative that creates ongoing opportunities for experts and industry leaders to share, test, and provide feedback on direction and innovation to support an evolving utility sector. Through the 51st State initiative, all stakeholders have can participate in designing “Sustainable market structures from the ground-up, rather than attempting to make wholesale or partial changes to something that has been in place for decades.”

The Smart Electric Power Alliance has seen annual revenues grow 23% (2015 to 2016) and also in 2016 experienced a 62% increase in total staff (to 35 employees from 22).

3 Association Growth Strategies

In a September 2016 interview in Fortune Magazine, GM’s CEO Mary Barra was asked “What would you tell your younger self to do differently?” She replied “Focus more on speed. Time is not our friend.” These 3 Association Growth Strategies will give your organization greater speed and help your organization impact industry and professional outcomes that your members care most about.

3 Association Growth Strategies

 

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

 

Disruptive Advocacy Strategies

Can Disruptive Advocacy Strategies unlock industry growth and cost saving opportunities for your members in a slow growth economy?  While the possibility of a recession seems unlikely this year, growth remains a challenge for many industries. According to the Conference Board, U.S. growth in 2016 is forecast at 2.0% while Global growth is forecast slightly higher at 2.5%. As increasing regulatory oversight dominates the federal and global landscape, building an agency focused strategy on behalf of your members can pay dividends for the industry and for your association.

Driverless Associations

Ring in the age of Driverless Associations. It’s 2016 with Medical, and Pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Driverless cars,  and industries that are busy producing a new wave of technological breakthroughs. Slow U.S. GDP Growth  and modest improvement in Global Growth appear to be the bellwethers of even more technology advancements. These innovations help capture consumer imaginations, elevate company operating performance, and grow market share. Innovative Organizations who reach outside the box to help their member’s develop growth solutions can transform themselves into Driverless Associations.

Association Bored Meetings

Are your board members laser focused on their mobile devices during board meetings? Is there a sense of restlessness at your executive committee and full board meetings? Odds are high that your board members are either preoccupied with business challenges or just plain bored with discussions on Association strategies. One way or another, they might be tuning out and if they are, your board meetings might be perceived as association “bored” meetings.

Association Outside In Case Study

If your members face top line growth challenges, generational transfer issues, and evolving consumer expectations, how can your Association support member success? Through a strategic planning process that transforms your organization from an inside out focus to an outside in focus. The process starts with a highly engaged and strategically focused board and concludes with a strategic plan amplifying industry growth objectives.