Change Management

What Would Make Membership in Your Organization Recession-Proof?

Membership organizations have faced unprecedented challenges  in the last few years between the impact of the economy, massive changes to so many industry sectors and professions, and constantly evolving technology and ways of doing business. New  entrepreneurial membership web sites may enter your niche that offer online services that meet many of your members' needs at a lower cost. There is a sea change in people's attitudes toward associations and other membership organizations. It is no longer a given for people to belong to a professional or trade association. The bottom line - it is not about your organization, it is about your member or customer. What is in it for them? What are the compelling reasons that people should belong - not because they are in this profession or business but because your organization gives them benefits that they cannot live without. Do you know what is important to your members and prospective members? What they need and want? What problems keep them up at night? How can you help solve them? If your answers to these questions are based on historical answers, it is important to revisit them  through market research, listening to your constituents through social media and what they say when they contact your organization, and having regular conversations with members and prospective members in key segments. Take every opportunity you can to chat with people and listen carefully to what they care about. Ask questions about  how can we help you, how can we make a difference in your life and to your business? (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago
Career Advice

Are You Focusing on What Is Most Important?

It is easy to be distracted by the endless mundane but seemingly urgent everyday projects and talks, but they do not position your organization or your career for the future. Does your organizations have three clear goals and messages that are most important for success? close up photo of forest treesDo you keep an eye on changing trends in the marketplace, your constituents' needs and wants, and the impact of constantly changing technology? And then regularly update your goals?   Having overarching goals for your organization gives staff a shared understanding of your future and your priorities. It is also vital to know the strategies, milestones, and measures that illustrate what success looks like. It is common over the years for  organizations to have a wide variety of products, programs, projects, and procedures that evolve to meet different staff's interests and expertise. But do they serve the mission and guiding strategies for the organization? Or do they eat up time that could be better utilized to ensure the future you envision? (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago
Career Advice

Resilience: The Most Important Ingredient for Success

What is the most critical factor that individuals and organizations need to succeed in any personal or professional challenge? Reflecting on my conversations with hundreds of people from California to Cleveland to Washington, DC and New York who have shared how the economy has impacted their businesses and personal lives, I believe the answer is resilience. Seedling growing A strong, resilient spirit sparks the optimism, ingenuity, and foresight to explore new opportunities, adapt to a constantly changing marketplace, and see opportunity in the possibilities ahead.   Adversity happens. There are situations you cannot control, it's how you react to them that counts. It's how you try to foresee what might happen in the future and proactively plan that will see you through. (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago