Great Ideas Conference: Associations Must Be Brilliant

Author Simon T. Bailey on why associations need to flip the script and ignite a fresh vision to generate ideas that will result in happier association staffs and members.

So, what exactly is an association? According to Simon T. Bailey, closing general session speaker at the 2013 ASAE Great Ideas Conference, it’s more than just a product, service, or membership offering. “An association is a memory, a connection, and collection of moments,” he said. “And those moments together become the glue that creates something amazing.”

When you reach that point of being uncomfortable with the comfortable, the universe is telling you to do something.

Bailey, a thought leader and author of The Vuja de Moment: Shift From Average to Brilliant, challenged attendees to change the status quo, do things differently, and flip the script. “When you reach that point of being uncomfortable with the comfortable, the universe is telling you to do something.”

And Bailey said once you find that next great idea, it’s not just about embracing it. “Make that idea brilliant,” he added.

While people have “emotional equity in the way things have been done before,” Bailey said associations and their staffs must ignite a fresh vision and implement these brilliant ideas. One suggestion Bailey had for doing this was to create learning plans for staff who work closely with members. When staff feel invested, they will better engage with members, which will likely lead to greater member retention.

But not every idea will succeed. Even the best ideas can run into roadblocks and difficulties. “Failure is not final, it’s feedback,” he said. “Ask yourself if there’s an opportunity to embrace the failure.”

Bailey wrapped up by telling attendees to find their inner control-alt-delete, step into the moment, and “own it” in order to create the organization of the future. “How will you be remembered at your association? What is your imprint?”

(photo by Sabrina Kidwai/ASAE)

Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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