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What did you just step in? It’s change!

by | Jul 25, 2014 | Industry News & Trends

In the movie Forrest Gump our hero, heart broken at the loss of his mom and his best girl Jenny, decides to take a year-long sabbatical by going on a run that takes him coast to coast a couple of times.

One day while talking with an admirer as he runs, Forrest steps into a pile of “something less than pleasant”. To paraphrase the conversation, the admirer says, “Wow man, you just stepped in a big pile of “change.” To which Forrest answers, “It happens.”

Now I’m not suggesting we can make a bumper sticker or t-shirt out of this wisdom, like in the movie, but it is something that is undeniable – change, it happens. And lots of times, on the surface, change can seem a little unpleasant. Most humans, by nature, are slightly change-adverse.  We love our comfort zones. We like our big comfy chairs, favorite slippers and 72” 3D TVs with Bose Surround Sound systems – but I digress. That’s why when it comes to change we like to talk about the good ol’ days.

Of course, there are those folks who claim to embrace change, but I bet if you asked them they would admit it was a process to get them there.

Yesterday we held our monthly thought leadership webinar High Touch Membership in a High Tech World. Along with Shelly Alcorn, CAE we discussed the inevitable change technology has created and will continue to create moving forward. We talked about everything from the technology tools associations should have in their arsenal, to how in spite of all of this technology, we cannot afford to overlook the most important part of what we do – serve the humans that are our members.

There is a lot of opportunity being born from the change associations are facing on a daily basis. Last week I wrote about the skills gap in American business and how associations should be making the move to position themselves as THE career resource for their industry or profession.

We held a webinar last month about the idea of “Flipping the Membership Equation” and the need for associations to revisit their membership recruitment and retention efforts. That potentially it’s time to take a serious look at a try-it-before-you-buy-it model. Generational changes in membership are bringing this to the forefront.

We looked at how the Internet, long believed to be a mortal enemy of membership organizations is starting to drive people back to their associations. It seems information overload is a very real issue and creating new opportunities for associations to once again claim the title as the trusted resource for information and content relative to their industry.

And we also held a webinar and have written about the importance of data and how it drives decision making for associations in today’s world. We feel strongly that an integrated Member Management Software solution provides associations with the right set of tools to tackle many of the challenges and opportunities they face.

Some experts in the industry say it will take bold innovation to address the challenges and to discover and take advantage of the opportunities. This is probably true in a number of areas, but that shouldn’t prevent you from taking the steps you need to take to keep you and your organization moving forward.

One of our attendees from today’s webinar wrote to thank for hosting the webinar, and added we had given him much to process.  True, there are a lot options to consider, and inaction is one of then. You can iterate and affect positive change for your organization and members. Maybe the boldest move is making the first one.

Now you’ve really stepped in it!


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