Board Members need to see the business reason to continue or increase their engagement on a Trade Association Board of Directors. They want their time and money invested in solutions that shape a more favorable business environment. Sometimes complex or even routine Governance gets in the way, and some Board leaders will pull back or leave. If this is the case and the timing is right, it could make sense to invest time and resources into streamlining Governance.
CEOs aren’t just focused on the current disruptions anymore, they are leaning in and identifying the unimaginable (unknown unknowns). For company Executives and Trade Association CEOs, it’s imperative to account for the unimaginable, and this happens by incorporating Scenario Planning into Strategic Planning efforts. Scenario Planning broadens Strategic Planning deliberations, and it forces consideration of most eventualities. In a marketplace defined by disruption and chronic uncertainty, the unimaginable must be addressed in every Strategic Planning process.
Strategic Partnerships work and they really matter. In a time of constant change and uncertainty, Industry Executives seek new ways to create a better business environment and drive top line growth. Industries ranging from the Vertical Aviation Industry (Helicopter Association International) to the Frozen Food Industry (American Frozen Food Institute) are building Strategic Partnerships with their Trade Associations. They are utilizing research, convening Industry leaders and transforming Trade Associations into Strategic Business Units of the Industry. While the outcomes vary from one Industry to the next, its clear that these partnerships are making a difference. The latest success story comes from the EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) Industry. Executives convened at EIMA, the Industry Trade Association, to identify common challenges and business outcomes in a Strategic Industry Planning Process.
What’s clear is that Association Members don’t hesitate to vote with their feet and go somewhere else. Business challenges and an uncertain economy are causing professionals to evaluate how they invest time and money. Recognizing this trend, Boards seize upon the opportunity to reimagine their Association through their Strategic Planning Process. Reimagination occurs through the eyes of the Member in what is identified as “outside in” strategic planning. A highly successful example of this type of approach was utilized by the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association.