Money & Business

Daily Buzz: Don’t Forget About Small-Scale Innovation

By / Dec 16, 2019 (masterzphotois/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Big idea: Successful innovation can be small, too. Also: Nudge members to get more value from your association.

How do you define innovation?

Although most leaders might see innovation as disruptive, transformative change to a process or product, Michael Tatonetti, director of certification and education for the Professional Pricing Society (PPS), argues that there is more to innovation than its large-scale ventures.

“I want to invite you to the real world of innovation: small-sized innovation,” Tatonetti says on Association Success. “Rather than think of innovation only as large, shiny new projects, think of it as any change that moves the needle toward your goals.”

One way to implement this vision of innovation is to focus on streamlining workflows. At PPS, for instance, Tatonetti says his team changed the way they delivered member newsletters.

“Now, instead of an alert to login with a link to the member portal, we email them a link to view the newsletter directly without login,” he says. “This turned a 4-click login process into a 1-click viewing process and made our members much happier.”

It might seem small, but these types of slight changes can open the door to the larger innovative projects down the line.

“As a result (of these small wins),” Tatonetti says, “staff morale is higher, we find ourselves more open to large and small change, and we tackle bigger innovation projects with confidence and enthusiasm because our small wins have built us up.”

Hint, Hint; Nudge, Nudge

If members aren’t taking advantage of benefits, it might be time for an environment change—in particular, a shift to a new culture that prompts, or “nudges,” people to make positive, productive decisions.

“Used right, a nudge is a very small action or change in environment, which makes it easier for you to make the decision that’s best for you, without forcing you to decide a certain way,” says Niklas Goeke in a summary of  Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. “For example, if the cafeteria put the fruits next to the registrar, and not the candy bars, you’d eat more bananas—simply because they’re easier to pick up.”

Drawing on these insights, association thought leader Jeffrey Cufaude recommends starting with outlining what members should be doing to gain more value from your association. Then, based on those determinations, make small shifts in your culture that promote that action.

Other Links of Note

Looking to amp up your association’s brand image? Social Media Today explains the do’s and don’ts of creating brand recognition.

Keep employees happy in 2020 with these five leadership tips from Inc.

Not sure how to measure social media metrics? The Sprout Social blog explains how to analyze the right numbers for your organization.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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