outside in innovation 8 5 2015

Association Outside In Innovation

President & CEO


With so much new technology available, should associations develop an innovation strategy? Not necessarily. Your association might want to understand what strategic initiatives it should put in place in order to drive your organization’s impact on member business outcomes. If technology is a delivery mechanism to deliver impact on member business outcomes, then it’s an example of Association Outside In Innovation.

Sweet Spot

The strategic planning process should always begin with actionable data and knowing what internal and external factors are impacting your member’s business outcomes and profitability, and then:

  • Rank the business challenges.
  • Rank the member’s desire for the Association to address these challenges.
  • Plot each challenge on a matrix to drive your Association’s impact on member business outcomes.

Association Outside In Innovation?


association outside in innovationWith actionable data in hand, your Association can devise strategic initiatives, and as necessary, develop technology solutions to address your member’s most pressing business challenges (see diagram above). However keep in mind that:

  • Impact on business and professional outcomes come from more powerful experiences to share knowledge, network, and provide ongoing opportunities to utilize the association as a strategic business partner.
  • Technology in and of itself is not a solution, rather its part of a broader strategy to increase your association’s impact on member business outcomes.

Association Outside In Innovation

Associations utilizing actionable data through their strategic planning process can pinpoint the strategic initiatives, and delivery mechanisms to add impact to member business outcomes. In some instances, it may be just as simple as providing opportunities to learn how to implement technology to drive business growth. What will matter most for your members is how your association’s outside in innovation solution helps them achieve their business outcomes in a challenging economic environment.

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