A snapshot by the Conference Board of both the U.S. and Global Economy doesn’t necessarily paint the rosiest of pictures GDP growth is projected at 2.9% in the United States while economic performance in the rest of the world will be shaped by “volatility.” In what appears to be a low growth scenario, how and to what extent can Associations be transformed into market disruptors that support market growth?
Be assured that the current slow growth environment or an economic downturn will inflict significant pain on your revenues and membership at some point. Organizational Association balance sheets took significant hits in 2008 and 2009, and there little reason to think otherwise in the current environment. Knowing this should CEO’s maintain traditional Association product and service offerings or should they analyze strategic alternatives?
New products and services penetrating the marketplace have disrupted the U.S. economy from the start of the Republic. At each turn throughout our history, new entrants reshaped a dynamic marketplace. With big data, predictive analytics, and emerging technologies new companies are in several instances upending the marketplace and driving innovation and boosting higher levels of productivity.
Can an Association go beyond traditional roles and provide nontraditional solutions to industries in a slow growth environment? Are boards and volunteers ready for their Association to position and help drive their industry positioning and growth in domestic and international markets?
Since the great recession for profit firms are aggressively developing innovative solutions and products to more immediately help companies address business challenges and grow revenue. Why can’t your association play the same role?
At a time of unprecedented change your Association can become a Market Disruptor and position your members for success in a slow growth world.
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When your Association’s founders first convened, did they envision hiring staff that would sell products and services? No, they identified like minded companies who shared the same challenges understanding that they could achieve greater impact together that individually.
When is the timing right to embrace innovation and change at your Association? Some argue that with an improved economy its best to leave well enough alone. Maybe, no. The real question? How well are you positioned to help your member’s achieve their business outcomes in a time of dramatic innovation and change?
How does an Association grow membership and revenue in an Omni channel and hyper competitive environment? Your answers are more likely found in research and actionable data, strategic board conversations, and 3 year roadmaps. Today’s successful Associations see long term positioningas essential to their long term growth and durability.
In 2015, Association board rooms should be filled with expectations of membership growth, improving retention, and conference revenue growth. After a punishing downturn, the economy is growing and volunteer leaders seek stronger advocacy efforts or they want to restock Association reserves.
Recently reported economic expansion reflects only one part of an evolving and complex business environment. Cyber threats, disruptive technologies, innovations and social media, an aging workforce, and talent gaps weigh heavily on corporate bottom lines. According to a McKinseyDecember 2014 Global Survey, “geopolitical concerns remain paramount as a risk to growth for executives whose optimism for the global economy in early 2014 has faded over the course of the year.”
If you’re an Association CEO are you thinking about the next recession? Since 1947 historical data shows a recession, averaging every 6-7 years in the United States. With a U.S. recovery in 2009 might 2015 or 2016 be the time frame when the next recession occurs? Even though economic forecasting can be inconclusive, being ready for the next downturn might be a prudent move for Associations.
In a climate of disruptive innovation and tight operating margins where can companies look for education and training solutions? Quite simply it’s Associations, as they have the ability to facilitate new solutions to address evolving member business outcomes. While the traditional Association model “pushes” out training and education programs, innovative organizations structure these products to help members achieve their business outcomes.
In an increasingly competitive and low profit margin world companies only invest time, money, and staff resources where they can drive business outcomes. With fewer dollars to spend, today’s executives look past yesterday’s Association model and instead seek out strategic partners.
Engaging boards in strategy development is powerful; the strategic member engagement survey (see results http://bit.ly/1g8g1J2) reports that those Associations who have this capability more often report upward 3 Year business trends. However, when actionable member data (through impact surveys) is discussed with boards, it helps Association’s create great conversations on how to align with their member’s business outcomes.