Leadership

Lunchtime Links: Why Small Improvements Are Better Than Big Leaps

By / Jul 29, 2013 (Hemera/Thinkstock)

There’s a smart alternative to abrupt, dramatic change. Also: how to set realistic goals for your association.

Things change—and fast. But don’t give into the temptation to keep up. Doing too much too fast can confuse your members.

That, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Small change: Zack Rosenberg, founder and CEO of DoGoodBuyUs, makes small, daily changes to his e-commerce site. But he purposely steers clear of sweeping overhauls that might confuse customers. Rosenberg learned the value of small change in the aftermath of a site redesign for a previous entrepreneurial project gone awry. “Yes, the site was ‘greatly improved,’ but ripping the Band-Aid so abruptly was a recipe for disaster,” he writes for Nonprofit Technology Network blog. “Once the average users began to fade, so too did the power users. Without community, why would they stay around?” Rather than making big overnight changes to your website or association programs, Rosenberg suggests setting goals for small, incremental improvements. How does your association approach change?

Don’t overreach: When it comes to thinking big, it’s important to be realistic. Working toward big goals that you can’t possibly reach is a waste of time and resources. How do you differentiate the groundbreaking ideas from the unattainable ones? For starters, know what’s practical, says former chief executive and serial entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan. “For big goals to be effective, however ambitious they are, they must also be achievable,” she writes for Inc.com. “A stretch—yes, a virtual impossibility—no.”

Radio-reactive: Many of us start our professional days by checking email, responding to messages, and sending a few of our own. But would we be more productive if we started out each morning being proactive as opposed to reactive? Forbes contributor and content strategist Anthony Wing Kosner thinks so. He cites a lesson from the book Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind. “[The reason w]e start with email is not only because we need to respond to others, some of them clients or superiors, in a timely manner, but also that re-acting is easier than pro-acting,” Kosner writes for Forbes. “The suggestions in Manage Your Day-to-Day urge us to take responsibility for our own time and energy by not letting email or other forms of reactivity blunt our focus.”

What are you reading today? Tell us in the comments.

Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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