Why should Association CEO’s worry about their culture?

This is the third in a series on organizational culture, its role, how it is shaped, and how it can be changed.

Why should Association CEO’s worry about their culture?

association CEOCEO’s are the primary individuals who can effectively alter culture, and that responsibility can loom large.

In the work we do with our customers, the most common driver of change is the reality that keeping up with today’s fast-paced world isn’t easy. Associations feel the enormous pressure of a now-oriented world. The members of our Associations that want good service and they want it now.

So, the reality of our fast-paced world demands that Associations continually adapt and improve everything they do every day. The key point is that in order to meet the unique needs of today’s members and to ensure a great member experience, Associations need to be much more responsive.

Association CEO’s Support Culture Change

In order to be more responsive to member needs, significantly more decisions need to be quickly made every day. CEO’s can see where this is going: to succeed we need a culture that supports more effective decision makers. This ambitious, yet worthy goal can only occur if CEO’s shape their culture to support the goal.

In practical reality this requires we move real decision-making authority into the hands of those who are doing the work – employees. Of course this does not mean all decisions.  However, the decisions that directly impact the member experience need to be made by the people who are directly accountable for a great member experience.

Huge Association Culture Shift Required

Yet, many Associations, maybe even most, operate from a hierarchical management foundation.  This requires that decisions travel up and then down the chain of command. That takes time, and in this day and age, it takes too much time to enable a great member experience. Therefore, for most Associations, the opportunity to adopt a responsive culture demands a huge shift.

Why should Association CEO’s worry about their culture?

Members’ demand for speed and great service is driving many CEO’s to realize that they must change their culture to prosper. For most Associations the change demanded by our now-oriented world challenges the rock upon which they were built – the shared assumptions about “who decides?”

What makes an Association’s culture shift quickly? Some thoughts on that next week.