Daily Buzz: Creating Real Change Within Your Association

It’s one thing to say things have to change, it’s another to take action. Also: Two festive ways to engage members during the holiday season.

As times change, so must your association. Organizations are often aware that they need to evolve, but knowing is only the first step, points out Amanda Kaiser on the Smooth the Path blog.

“Knowing that disruption is coming and that flexible, agile innovation is the path toward stability is different than doing something about it,” she says.

When it comes to making change, what is holding associations back? Kaiser says one of the biggest obstacles is getting board approval.

“Many association CEOs are ready to try some new things. They have ideas; they are poised; they’ve rallied the staff. And just at the point they are prepared to dive in, the board says, ‘no.’”

Board members might be hesitant to say yes to new initiatives because they don’t want to approve a project that hurts the company, Kaiser explains. To work through this, Kaiser offers three strategies:

1. Approve a small discretionary budget. Approving a small pot of money for innovative activities saves the board from making decisions on a case-by-case basis.

2. Experiment first, launch later. “Show the board that the staff’s innovation process includes multiple rounds of small experiments, iterating, and then launching only the products most likely to succeed,” Kaiser says.

3. Recruit the right board members. Some percentage of your members want to see change in their industry, company, or even your association. Encourage them to run for board positions.

’Tis the Season to Engage

December is filled with holiday cheer, tasty sweets, and festive parties. Naturally, this month is also a great time to offer exciting engagement opportunities, says Callie Walker of MemberClicks. Walker offers two tactics to try at your association:

1. Publish a gift guide. Your members will likely have to buy gifts for their colleagues. A blog post of gift ideas unique to your particular industry will give them a head start on their holiday shopping. As Walker points out, coming up with gift ideas isn’t so easy!

2. Launch a “12 Days of Christmas” campaign. Walker says there are two ways you can execute this . “Both would involve publishing something on social media and asking followers to comment on that post to be entered. But then from there, you could either give out one prize a day for 12 days (a mug with your organization’s logo, a business card holder, a free webinar registration, etc.) or you could run the contest for 12 days and give out one grand prize at the end (a free annual conference registration, for example).”

Other Links of Note

The power of social: Sprout Social shares the story of how the ASPCA used social media to make a difference.

What is the best way to facilitate a community discussion? Adrian Segar of Conferences That Work has an answer.

If your organization use chatbots, there are several ways to make them better, says Sharon Goldman on CMSWire.

(Prostock/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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