Association CEOs Talk 2018 Trends and Disruptions

Change is inevitable, and planning for the future can be tough. We asked a few association CEOs what trends might result in the largest disruptions for 2018.

As the new year begins, it’s only natural to be thinking ahead.

For association CEOs, that probably means thinking about any potential disruptions, forces, or trends that might give shape to your business in 2018.

As part of our January/February 2018 issue of Associations Now, we asked a group of association executives about the biggest trends they’re watching this year.

We received numerous responses—from technology and cybersecurity issues, to generational and demographic shifts, to management and leadership best practices. While we’ll feature many of these so-called change drivers in our next issue, which will hit your mailboxes in the upcoming weeks, we wanted to give you a preview of some of the broader trends leaders are eyeing in 2018.

Dawn Reshen-Doty
Benay Enterprises, Inc.
Danbury, Connecticut

2018 will bring an even greater corporate focus on the danger and challenges posed by cybersecurity. Many companies believed they were too small to be on the radar of hackers and cyber terrorists. As more companies become compromised, and with some going under due to security costs, ransom fees, and reputational damage, organizations of all types will have to pay greater amounts to protect their information and privacy. We’ve made investments in data security a priority and believe that it will continue to differentiate us from our competition.

Desirée Patno
CEO and President
National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses
Irvine, California

We are promoting the importance of women’s homeownership. Women homebuyers are the most exciting and emerging market in the housing ecosystem right now. They are entering high-paying careers, starting businesses faster than men, delaying milestones, like marriage, and sacrificing what is necessary to become homeowners. In fact, single women have been outpacing single men in homeownership for over 30 years. To not be invested in women is to not be invested in the future.

Peter Rush
Chairman and CEO
New York City

The largest trend is technology. With the consolidation going on in the tech sector for associations, it is important to understand what will change and how it will impact associations. Will certain software products be discontinued or not supported? Will there be new products developed combining the best features of the current software? And how do we continue to deploy productivity products to make it easier to collaborate? For the modern association, the technology challenges continue to grow in complexity and cost.

David J. Martin, CAE
CEO and Executive Vice President
Society of Critical Care Medicine
Mount Prospect, Illinois

Technology will continue to force association leaders to adapt more quickly than makes them comfortable. Cryptocurrencies, blockchain data security, and related data integrity and attendant regulations will begin to impact all businesses. The movement of association data into large cloud-based systems will make it easier for staff to have access to the data tools and intelligence. Virtual reality will become more readily available and improve training and education. Discussion of cloud computing will become more passé as the conversation turns to “edge computing,” with the majority of data processing taking place at the device level. To remain relevant, associations will need to significantly increase investments in everything from software platforms to staff and member education on these rapidly advancing technologies.

Dawn Benton
Executive Director
California Chiropractic Association
Sacramento, California

I am thrilled with the evolution of self-management models popping up in organizations today. I have been paying close attention to Holacracy, self-touted as a self-management practice for running purpose-driven, responsive companies. I am in the process of implementing this practice within my organization. I expect to see higher employee satisfaction, entrepreneurial engagement, and increased efficiencies.

What’s one big trend that you’re watching for 2018, and how do you think it will affect your organization? Post your comments below.

(kulykt/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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