Association Assessments: Critical for New CEO

 Association Assessments: Critical for New CEO

 On their first day, new Association CEO’s realize they are months away from making final decisions or presenting recommendations to their Board of Directors. Most of what they need to get their arms around is identified in a thorough Association wide assessment. It’s a challenging and critical task.  Done well, the new Leader can establish firm footing with their stakeholders, and launch their Association on a path of satisfaction and unheralded revenue and membership growth.

CEO’s who worked through this experience understand this process can be either a game maker or a game breaker. There is ample evidence supporting the connection between record performance and a well executed Assessment process.

Know What You Don’t Know

In any transition the Board of Directors expects a complete review of the Association. Consequently the new CEO should be prepared to aggressively pursue a thorough Assessment as much as they did their job. Some call the process ripping the bark off the tree while others view this initiative as peeling back the layers of an onion.

Utilizing the three step process, Data Driven Strategies, Core Connections and Member Engagement process, new CEO’s can inventory key gaps and include these and recommendations in a board presentation. It’s important to engage the staff team as much as possible throughout the process. Transitions by nature are disruptive; involving staff does help maintain good morale.

1. Data Driven Strategies – Measure the actual impact the association has in real time, and take extra steps to obtain business intelligence. Soon enough it will help align the association’s strategies to member’s “pain point” issues.

Action Steps:  Confirm veracity of the Association’s financial standing including cash flow and cash balances. Confer with the Auditors, review at least three years’ worth of audits. Conduct a market competitiveness assessment, define member pain points, review existing contracts, and confirm there are no pending or threatened or legal action against the Association. Become familiar with governance issues as quickly as possible.

2. Core Connections Determine to what extent the Association is positioned to help member companies achieve their business objectives.

Action Steps: Review staffing structure, annual budget, advocacy agenda, products and services, website, social media strategy, position descriptions and performance objectives. These all must mirror “pain point” issues, those that don’t can be included in a board action plan.

3. Member Engagement –  A new CEO must identify whether or not member company executives view participation as impactful. Why? Securing the member revenue base is critical, steps must be taken to understand if members feel engaged with their Association.

Action Steps:  Review participation data at all programs and conferences from all member companies.  Large Trade Associations should assess participation from their largest dues paying members. The data may reveal significant gaps that must be addressed.

Association Assessments: Critical for New CEO

With a completed Assessment, new CEO’s are prepared to share recommendations with their Board of Directors for feedback and approval. Board leaders appreciate the candor. A forward looking vision that engages members, achieves member satisfaction, and delivers durable revenue growth is a win for the new Chief Executive.

While the temptation to take more immediate action is tempting, a thorough assessment will help new Executives build growth focused Association (see blog post http://bit.ly/17838wi). The process may take three to six months to complete, CEO’s will not regret time and effort  invested. It’s better to “identify the good, the bad and the ugly up front” says Paul T. Stalknecht, President and CEO, Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) CEO Steve Renna completed an exhaustive assessment process. Experiencing double digit revenue growth and growing conference attendance confirms how important it is for a new CEO to learn as much as possible before moving forward(see blog post http://bit.ly/117oxC3).

New CEO’s please note: In an era of ongoing uncertainty, top to bottom assessments of can position you and your Association for revenue and membership growth.

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

 

Seeds of Association Growth Inside Strategic Plan

Seeds of Association Growth Inside Strategic Plan

 Association Executives can rely on their Strategic Plans to direct strategy, staffing and budget investment year over year. The document is developed on a foundation of data driven strategies, core connections and member engagement. Taken together these elements can assist Association’s achieve their mission, satisfy members and sponsors and attract non members to join. While there may be no certain way to success, the Strategic Plan is a likely starting point.

Governance

Based on recent history, CEO’s experience greater boardroom participation than ever. The great recession compelled Board members and leaders to play an increasing role as fiduciaries. For CEO’s this can be welcome news, after all Board Leaders want to solve problems and they’re willing to roll up their sleeves and do whatever possible to help their Associations achieve success.

It’s a perfect time to join forces, collaborate and achieve the win-win that makes an Association durable, relevant and successful.

Seeds of Association Growth

CEO’s can develop a performance dashboard, match it with the strategic plan and develop a priority list of possible solutions to engage the Board of Directors. This level of transparency will breed trust and display the level of leadership they expect in uncertain times.

Understandably Strategic Plans in a number of cases are out of date, this creates an even bigger opportunity:

Data Driven Strategies – Survey the membership, include non members and sponsors. Organize an internal marketing committee and conduct a competitive intelligence exercise. Develop themes and match them with current strategies and investments.

Core Connections – The updated dataset will help Associations reconnect or establish an even closer connection with their members business objectives.

Member Engagement – Data and participation metrics could either reassure Associations or cause them to transform their culture once again. Members want to know they are having impact on policy direction, otherwise they invest their time somewhere else.

Throughout this effort Associations are planting the seeds of growth, because data driven strategies, core connections and member engagement are key to member satisfaction and long term revenue growth.

Make Revenue Growth Possible

CEO’s can now deliver to their Board an action plan based on actionable data and member business concerns. They’ll know they had a hand in repositioning their Association. By all means suggest quarterly progress updates, reinforce the partnership achieved in the process to keep them engaged.

It’s now a good time to ask for their help, however the request should focus on Pain Point Initiatives identified in the Strategic Planning Process:

Deploy member recruitment campaigns – Your requests must reflect the Association’s policy agenda and require just a few minutes of the Board Member’s time. Show how the new revenue helps the Association achieve objectives outlined in the updated Strategic Plan.

Invite participation on at-risk member strategies – As Board participants they know the value provided to members and can be very helpful.

In these and other cases where you engage the Board, express appreciation and report the outcome. Tally the successes and then acknowledge the individuals who were helpful.

Seeds of Association Growth Inside Strategic Plan  

One CEO utilized this approach to realize a new revenue stream and grow membership. In another case a CEO doubled sponsor sales. Planting the seeds of Association growth in ground fertilized with data driven strategies, core connections and member engagement works.

It’s useful to leverage every approach available to drive member and sponsor satisfaction while Association’s achieve revenue growth. While boards hold CEO’s accountable, Board and CEO success or failure are inextricably linked. In baseball terms we know this approach “as stepping into the pitch.” Today CEO’s should step up to the plate and swing away.

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

 

CEO Doubles Association Membership

CEO Doubles Association Membership

While the road to success differs from one Association to another Data Driven Strategies, Core Connections and Member Engagement are critical to success. How these are applied are a different story. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) led by Paul T. Stalknecht, President and CEO, www.acca.org, are entrepreneurs and a mirror image of their members. Member focus and risk taking swelled their membership ranks from 2,000 to almost 4,000. The story doesn’t end there either as ACCA revenues have growth by some 272% during Stalknecht’s twelve year tenure.

Building a Foundation

Similar to many new CEO’s, Stalknecht conducted an extensive due diligence process. Upon his arrival he actively and aggressively asked key questions to learn as much as possible, separating the information into three distinct categories: Administrative issues, Membership marketing and Governance.  Over an intensive six month process, he spoke with staff, members and his board to gain a full understanding of all of the issues facing the Association.

Stalknecht assimilated all of the information into a power point document. The extensive report outlined areas of concern and clear action steps that ACCA should take in order to move the Association forward. Receiving Board support, he built a foundation which delivered almost 10 consecutive years of profitability.

Entrepreneurial Culture

Throughout the conversation, it’s easy for an observer to note Stalknecht’s self awareness. Openly he acknowledges his weaknesses before his strengths. However, he demonstrates how an effective leader leverages his skill gaps as opportunities to recruit high performing executives to help him build a high performing Association.

His passion about hiring the best people available would over time prove to be one of two game changing decisions for ACCA. Interestingly enough, the three Senior Vice President’s he hired from the beginning of his CEO service are still on staff at the Association.

Mickey Mantle Approach

Regardless of Baseball Team allegiance, what is compelling is how Stalknecht encourages risk taking. With margins of error narrow, he encourages his team to use a data driven strategies and feedback mechanisms to pursue new product or service ideas for the membership. The explosive revenue growth shows how taking a good hard swing at the pitch could pay off in the long run.

Core Connections

Core Connections means Associations position themselves as strategic partners helping member, prospect and sponsor companies achieve their business objectives. That is especially the case at ACCA. Their revenue streams, staff structure and capability are all connected to helping their market place achieve its business objectives. An integral part of this Association’s culture is listening.

Mapping to Core Connections

With annual revenues approaching $7 million, ACCA delivers income from three areas: Membership dues, Products and Training and their Meetings and Corporate Partner Program. Sitting atop of a diverse revenue streams is both necessary and advantageous. The membership, comprised of small company entrepreneurs, experienced considerable turnover which impacts the Association’s retention.  Recognizing this early on, Stalknecht and his team made key adjustments.

Game Changers

Prior to his arrival at ACCA Stalknecht observed the lack of a full time research and engineering staff. Building a highly skilled team the Association delivers leading standards and certification in printed materials and online training programs for the entire HVAC industry. Approximately one third of revenues emanate from their educational training and products area.

A critical shift during the great recession turned out to the “grand slam” ACCA needed. A Sponsorship program was newly defined as a Corporate Partner program. Companies now had an opportunity to invest in ACCA’s groundbreaking education and training programs and it’s advocacy mission. Company ROI is now realized all year long and at the annual convention. What was once a revenue stream of $140,000 well surpasses $1 million.

Tracking and Accountability

Stalknecht  emphasizes the importance of accountability and measuring  progress. Each day he views a cash flow report and profit and loss performance to make sure bottom line performance is meeting or exceeding his high expectations.

CEO Doubles Association Membership

Data Driven Strategies, Core Connections and Member Engagement are all part of CEO Paul Stalknecht’s leadership toolbox. What matters most to Stalknecht and his team is delivering the best possible ROI to his members and the HVAC community. Few would question a Team of entrepreneurs whose Manager applauds his team as they circle the bases year after year.

doubles association membership

 

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

 

3 Strategies CEO’s Use to Double Association Revenue

3 Strategies CEO’s Use to Double Association Revenue

 No surprises at end of the first quarter 2013. Political gridlock looms over Washington, DC, a tough and competitive environment for U.S. companies exists and Associations still face an uncertain environment. Regardless, some Associations formulate consistent paths to double digit growth. As remarkable as it sounds, these Associations are well ahead of the curve.

With 75% of the calendar year remaining, Association CEO’s can look to real time examples they can apply to quickly reverse their fortunes and deliver strong membership and revenue growth.

3 Strategies CEO’s Use to Double Association Revenue:

1. Data Driven Strategies

 Association Strategy Consultant and Potomac Core Blog Contributor Steve Lane, Vertical Leap Consulting www.verticalleapconsulting.com identifies these as “member up at night issues.” Rightly so, these are the issues that matter most to the companies paying dues to Associations. This focus also helps Associations measure the impact they have in real time. Relentless identification of key driver issues is a key characteristic of Associations who drive double digit growth.

Tino Mantella, President and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) www.tagonline.org utilizes an annual Decision Maker Study (see blog post http://bit.ly/1n1RP0Z) . The Data confirms value delivered and uncovers new opportunities to address members concerns. It provides actionable intelligence helping to shape programs and activities throughout the year. Success seems to breed more success for TAG. At a time when Associations struggle to clear the 5% growth threshold, Mantella and his high performing team delivered 600% growth from $500,000 in 2004 to $3.4 million in 2012.

2. Core Connections

Data Driven Strategies builds out a data dashboard of member, prospect and even sponsor “pain points,” including the impact Associations have in real time. Associations apply the pain point data to link programs, products and service execution to member business objectives.  Core Connections means Associations position themselves as strategic partners helping member, prospect and sponsor companies achieve their business objectives.

As Associations reinforce Core Connections, they provide the necessary level of impetus to engage and satisfy members, and recruit new members and sponsors. These are the connections that help Associations reflect and effectively serve their communities.

For NIRI President and CEO Jeff Morgan, www.niri.org, Core Connections were key as they helped his Association establish uniqueness and enhance its competitive position (see blog post http://bit.ly/10prZJo)Morgan’s strong 17% non U.S. membership growth performance (over three years) confirms that the connection to member business objectives has impact.

3. Member Engagement

Member engagement is a crucial ingredient, Associations who have doubled growth are effective because they have cultures that link their members, staff and board. They transformed their cultures from “we/they” to “We.” For Gregory Casey, President and CEO, BIPAC www.bipac.net/bipac, almost every day is an act of engagement (see blog post http://bit.ly/ZFU6jx). At his organization, helping his members achieve their policy objectives is a passion as much as it is the mission. For ten years, Casey’s relentless member engagement and execution of customized policy solutions has distinguished BIPAC. Over the last ten years Casey’s BIPAC achieved double digit growth.

3 Strategies CEO’s Use to Double Association Revenue

Data Driven Strategies, Core Connections and Member Engagement. Associations that utilize these strategies to connect to their members, prospects and sponsors do deliver ROI and achieve double digit growth, which isn’t an easy task in today’s rough and tumble environment. Portrayed in the movie “Without Limits, Steve “Pre” Prefontaine, (an American middle and long-distance runner who competed in the 1972 Olympics) quipped to his Coach Bill Bowerman “…when you set the pace you control the race.” Setting an impressive pace, Associations too can control the race and achieve double digit growth.

 

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

 

 

“Let’s Double Association Revenue in 5 Years”

“Let’s Double Association Revenue in 5 Years” 

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once said “Vision is what you call it when others can’t see what you see.” It’s just the opposite at the Global Cold Chain Alliance, www.gcca.org where, incoming CEO Corey Rosenbusch is building a team of believers. From the Board of Directors to members and staff, Rosenbusch is developing a compelling game plan to satisfy members and double revenues.

 Focused Global Alliance

The Global Cold Chain Alliance was originally founded by current President and CEO Bill Hudson. Building a unique, and aligned focus, Hudson has constructed a global powerhouse to serve the food storage and transportation industry. Services expanded from its origin of Research and Science to include: training, business development and Advocacy today.

Under the GCCA umbrella sits a group of three Associations and a Foundation:  International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, International Association of Refrigerated Transportation, International Association of Cold Storage Construction and the World Food Logistics Organization.

Financially solid, the $5.8 million entity with retention nearing 90% is poised for international expansion and revenue growth. When Corey Rosenbusch assumes the helm in 2014, his sights are on GCCA achieving double its current revenue in a five year window.

Mission Focus to Double Revenue

Rosenbusch brings leadership management, with a food industry and agricultural and international background to GCCA. His disciplined and determined focus however is on leveraging the focus of the Association’s mission to double revenue. Whether its opening new markets for his industry, developing new training products, or enhancing issue or regulatory capacity, Rosenbusch has a Core Focus.

Like many successful Associations, GCCA and its incoming CEO maintain a laser focus on maintaining or accelerating connections to the core. In each aspect of his plan, Rosenbusch links current, planned or future offerings to how his industry grows revenues and achieves its business objectives.

A critical part of the Association’s Core is relationships and knowing what really impacts their members’ bottom line.

Data Driven Strategies

For an Association with members doing business in 67 countries, Rosenbusch focuses his organization with data and metrics. The GCCA dashboard includes a concentrated member focus on their key interests and business priorities as well as their participation and engagement. Satisfaction is a high priority, so much so they plan to score member activity in the Association Management Database.

Benchmarking and profitability of his members and GCCA will also be part of the incoming CEO’s dataset.

Alignment to Double Revenue

For Rosenbusch, the Core Focus is in the strategic plan. In order to double revenue, his plan includes a performance management strategy connecting the strategic plan, GCCA’s values and specific objectives.

Challenges and Consolidation

Being prospective in his outlook, Rosenbusch recognizes the shifts within his industry. Once dominated by family owned companies, the once stable sector, experienced a wave of acquisitions. Private Equity Groups recognized the sectors asset strength and now own a considerable percentage of the food storage and transportation industry. As a result, GCCA divides its member service focus 2 ways to satisfy the needs of both segments of membership.

Strong relationships with the industry matter, but for the Private Equity owner ROI must remain visible. Implementing a nimble approach, products and services address needs for both segments of the membership.

The current dues structure is under review, as it’s a concern for Rosenbusch.  As companies increase food storage space, member dues decrease.  The Association derives almost 60% of its revenues from dues and an internal team is developing a solution.

Unique Opportunities

Despite challenges, Rosenbusch envisions opportunities for GCCA to grow revenues and extend its global reach.

One area of opportunity rests in the Association’s Core Focus, helping the members secure international grants from, among others, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Grants totaling $1million help the industry establish a beachhead in emerging and developing markets. Once companies are operational, GCCA is in place to provide support.  According to Rosenbusch he and his team will monetize the success of these efforts.

“Let’s Double Association Revenue in 5 Years”

Successful Associations innovate as quickly as the global business cycle changes. For the Global Cold Chain Alliance’s Corey Rosenbusch, the road ahead contains both challenges and opportunities.  Regardless, GCCA’s incoming CEO and his team are embracing the future as they reach for the stars.

double association revenue

 

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

 

Change Culture, Deliver Value and Grow Associations

Change Culture, Deliver Value and Grow Associations

 Every Association needs to add more member value, and, they want to grow revenues.  However, they first need to change their culture. Why?  Culture is the predominant determining factor that sets the stage for Association growth. If the Association’s culture doesn’t buy the change in focus, it won’t happen.

Culture is the Leverage Point at an Association

 Change Culture, Deliver Value and Grow Associations

If a CEO want to shake things up and make some changes, success will be governed by the Association’s culture. In other words, culture is a shared set of beliefs, values, and assumptions that drive how people in organizations behave – because the people in the Association have come to believe that is what works.

Over the years, I have witnessed or participated in many attempts to change Association cultures. The only approach I have seen that works consistently is when the senior management team changes the underlying system of management, and then supports that action by modeling a new set of behaviors.

Implement a Management System at Associations

Management system” is a new idea, and it is not something often taught to leaders or even a term many use. A change in the management system is enabled by a conscious shift in behaviors by senior management.

An Association’s management system includes all the processes, routines and roles associated with:

  •  Setting direction
  • Defining accountability
  • Getting work done
  • Checking in on progress and results
  • Adjusting resources and actions in response to results
  • Solving problems
  • Acknowledging success

Make It An Association Growth Management System

An effective Association growth management system makes clear how things work, what is expected of people, and what actions are taken when things get off track.

Accountability and transparency are the foundations of great management, but these values come to life when surrounded with functional expectations rather than lofty ideals.

Change Culture, Deliver Value and Grow Associations

If Associations want to make significant shifts in culture, they must first change their management system. And CEO’s and Senior Managers have to model the way to an Association where delivering value and driving growth define the culture.

About the Author:  John M. Bernard. Passionate about employee engagement and the elimination of fear. Author of BUSINESS AT THE SPEED OF NOW and Contributor at Potomac Core Consulting’s Blog www.potomaccore.com.

 

4 Strategic Steps Associations Can Use to Leverage LinkedIn

4 Strategic Steps Associations Can Use to Leverage LinkedIn

 Although Job Seekers and Headhunters scour LinkedIn, it can a be a potent platform for Associations. LinkedIn expert Donna Serdula, believes that Associations can leverage this powerful resource to “grow membership and  engage members too.” Serdula is Author of the popular book, LinkedIn Makeover: Professional Secrets to a POWERFUL LinkedIn Profile; and a Contributor on the Potomac Core Consulting Blog.

1. Associations Harvesting Prospects

Twitter and Facebook surpass LinkedIn in sheer volume.  However, the business demographic makes LinkedIn a powerful destination to recruit members, says Serdula. Associations should view LinkedIn as a key element in their recruitment strategies.

 

2. Key Words Mean Everything

Serdula insists that Associations should have an “optimized” company page. Why? Associations populating their pages with key words that drive prospective member traffic to their page are game changers.

 

3. Associations Engage Members

Despite improvement in the overall economy, travel budgets are still not at pre recession levels. Associations are leveraging Social Media more often to engage members.  Recently for example, Jeffrey D. Morgan, President and CEO reported that Social Media is a key element of NIRI’s (National Investor Relations Institute) member engagement strategy. Many platforms facilitate member engagement, and LinkedIn is no exception.

 

4. Association Member Only Participation

LinkedIn makes it possible for Association members to engage in policy discussions. Policy committee leaders need not worry about non members or other outside parties listening in. Moderators can restrict participation to members only from the get go.

 

4 Strategic Steps Associations Can Use to Leverage LinkedIn

Author Alvin Toffler, in the introduction of “Future Shock,”  wrote “Change is the process by which the future invades our lives.” With its newly announced search capacity, LinkedIn is that much more effective in helping Associations grow and engage their members.

associations

 

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

Association Growth Starts With Relevance

Association Growth Starts With Relevance

Could anyone in the Association universe imagine the Digital world we live in now? News and information are transmitted in real time. Tweets and instant messages flow on mobile devices. And there are new apps everyday to enhance the user interface. How do Association’s stay relevant with their members?

3 Pillar Focus

Competition for a smaller pool of corporate membership dollars requires differentiation. Following the 3 Pillar Focus, Associations will elevate their brand and fortify their value proposition.

Pillar I: Rise above the crowd, using clear and consistent themes. Be viewed as a solution provider, a forceful advocate helping members achieve their business objectives. Digital properties, mobile applications, press releases and e mail consistently drive the message.

Pillar II: Develop authoritative studies and partner with established brand firms. In a 24/7 cable and web news cycle, Radio, Television and Web Producers look for compelling content. Powerful facts and figures and a strong brand partner could secure business media interviews on digital and or traditional media.

Pillar III: Media Partnerships can magnify messaging and the Association’s brand. Work with Trade and other Publications to develop surveys which reflect the contributions of the industry or industries on the economy, export expansion and or research and development.

Look for What’s Next

Always be looking for what’s next, but keep in mind all platforms have a constituency. Never lose sight of how and where you need to drive your messaging. There is always some new technology developing, be ready to drive your message on whatever platform comes next.

Relevance Matters

Regardless of Association size there should be a Communications Strategy. It’s a safe bet and a sure bet. Associations who drive relevance perform well:

  • Annual Conference attendance doubled and Sponsor revenues by 100% at one Association.
  • Online revenues shot up several hundred thousand dollars at another organization.

Association Growth Starts With Relevance

 There is considerable traffic in multiple channels, becoming and staying in front of members is critical to member satisfaction and revenue growth. For Associations relevance is key, driving messaging with a multi channel Communications strategy is necessary and essential.

association growth

 

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

Association Culture Change Is a Big Deal

Association Culture Change Is a Big Deal

 As my colleague Beth Doolittle puts it, “Culture is not what we say it is, it is what it is.”

Association Culture Change is a big deal

John M. Bernard, Culture of Innovation Author,
Chairman and Founder,
Mass Ingenuity

The Next Seven Weeks 

I intend to strip away the mystery of culture and share with you what it is, what creates it, and how to change it in order to meet organizational goals.

Culture Matters

Culture is the great invisible hand, and that hand determines much of what is possible for Associations to achieve. But because it is invisible, shaping it is one of the great challenges of leadership.

Culture is Central

Most Associations’ cultures restrain rather than accelerate change. Obviously that won’t work if your organization must move more quickly and effectively. So, as leaders we must understand what causes culture in order to create the culture we need to prosper.

Dr. Peter Drucker, often called the father of modern management, is credited with having said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” That is one of the great truths about organizations. Culture, not the leaders, determines what is accepted and what is rejected. Culture decides which people will be accepted and successful and which ones will leave. Culture determines which ideas get implemented and which get dumped. And, culture determines if corporate strategy will even be given a chance to succeed.

Association Culture Change Is a Big Deal

We live at a time when all Associations – are facing demands for change that go well beyond any time in the past. Culture is central to organizational change because it determines the direction and pace at which it will be accepted.

Association Culture is a big deal. Why?  Culture is a great lever of change and it’s mysterious. It’s mysterious because what moves it isn’t what you might think.

Next week, I will talk about the role culture plays in change.  I’ll also share the primary tool that shapes culture and, therefore, can reshape it.

 

Association Member Pain Points

member pain pointsAssociation Member Pain Points. Growth focused Associations utilize data as a foundation to deliver programs and services to members. While member survey outreach varies among Associations, what’s clear is how important this data is in helping organizations assess its uniqueness and relevance. The Technology Association of Georgia, www.tagonline.org, for example, surveys it’s members annually to reinforce their connection to member business objectives. This laser focus contributed to TAG’s strong revenue growth from $500,000 in 2004 to $3.4 million in 2012.

Decision Maker Study

Although data can reinforce the value being provided, it uncovers new pain points to deliver services and increased ROI.  According to Tino Mantella, TAG President and CEO, that annual outreach uncovered an important gap.

 

Unique and Relevant

Data provides actionable intelligence to Mantella and his team. Their expansive platform of interest groups reflect pain point concerns. The Association provides opportunities for members to engage and last year alone TAG held over 200 hundred such meetings.

 

Real engagement is about  bringing companies together and facilitating the dialogue leading to new solutions to shared “pain point” issues. Companies value and engage in those activities which they believe will positively impact a personal or company priority. TAG utilizes 32 different Societies to engage its members with significant success.Engagement Supports Pain Points

   

 In TAG’s example, the Association achieved revenue growth because of their transition to higher levels of member engagement combined with the usage of actionable data and pain point connections to satisfy Company needs.

Association Member Pain Points

Associations compete for fewer available corporate dollars. Those using data to determine actionable strategies to address and satisfy pain point issues will thrive. The Technology Association of Georgia is a solid example of using data to keep member needs front and center.