Unlocking your Future: Purpose, Process, People
The future of your association already exists. Being prepared to take advantage of all the opportunities inherent in the future depends upon your ability to unlock the potential by ensuring that your association’s purpose is robust and relevant, that you have the tools and processes in place to continue to progress, and that your organization has the culture and the people for execution and continued growth and value.
Associations today are more trusted than many of society’s institutions. Since trust is going to increasingly become the new currency, associations are in the prime position to capitalize on trust as a strategic asset. This is the value associations can bring both to membership and to the world at large.
The purpose of your association in the future will be forged by taking a hard look at what your role and mission is in the digital age, creating new value which previously was unthinkable, reaching out in new ways, and doing so in a cost effective, highly competitive, and user friendly manner.
The new association reality is one of reaching out beyond servicing members and truly affecting your profession, industry, and even society by becoming the facilitator, gateway and architect to new, highly personalized, contextual, and customized service offerings of credentials, career paths, guidelines, standards, connections, convening, body of knowledge. Who owns the transformational decisions and the vision of what your association can be, the shifts in your profession or industry that you can create? Is it you as the CEO, your executive team, your volunteers… or no one?
In order to support your value based on your position as trusted source, you must give urgent priority to the tools and processes that are technically adept, interoperable, secure, accessible, and agile - and that they are being employed to move your organization forward. In order to progress, your processes and tools must be flexible, making you more nimble and agile so that you can change and move along with all the forces that can affect your progress. Is it time for technology to shift from supporting fluctuating processes to supporting instead the firm and consistent value you offer?
What are the implications and challenges of the “digital service association”? How far are we from being able to offer information, infrastructure, context, research, and broad spectrum value through our proprietary information? Is that part of your association’s future value? And if so, how does that change the way you make decisions about IT and what your role is in that end-to-end process?
Does your technology leadership participate in all strategic discussions and executive meetings? Have they produced new products, services, and innovations as well as reduced costs and risks and simplified process? As a leader, you can no longer afford to think of technology and strategy as separate. Technology is a strategy and a leadership issue.
We once spoke of having the right “people on the bus,” but the road to the association of the future can’t be traveled by bus. Not anymore. Your journey is not to an augmented version of what you have always been, but to a new vision of what must be. This vision must be an organic outgrowth of your foundation and history. However, in order to create the relevance you need to be vital in the future, you must be willing and able to assess the skills and people needed to bring that future vision into the present and deliver the new value through the foundation and systems that you put in place.
As critical as they are, people are just one piece of the combination; the culture of your organization determines how those people work and how they support your mission. What is the culture of your association? Do you have one? Does everyone at your organization understand what it is and how to live it?
Just as technology is a leadership issue, so is culture. Culture is not a “nice-to-have.” Skilled people and a clear and engaging culture are what brings your purpose and processes to life - and to the marketplace.
Defining and delivering clear value. Building the technology infrastructure to bring that value to your members and to the community at large. Driving culture and people to make it all work.
Purpose. Progress. People. Your leadership is critical to bringing them all together.
Join us at Walt Disney World Swan Resort, May 28 - 30, 2015 to unlock the future of your association.