Which 5 business lies are damaging our associations?
Monday, August 6th, 2012
Over 35 years in association business, I’ve heard a lot of business phrases.
Five came to my mind the other morning:
- If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
- If you build it, they will come.
- Ask your members what they want.
- Practice makes perfect
- Boards set policy, staff implements it.
How many of these have your heard? Have you used?
Well, here’s the reality of those five “business lies” … think about turning them around:
#1: If it ain’t broke, break it and then fix it. As Will Rogers said: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
#2: Really? Or, they’ll come if they help build it. The leader of one of my clients frequently said “the more fingerprints on the knife, the better people will support us.” Involve your members (and prospects) in what your association offers.
#3: But, they often don’t know what they want until they see it. “If Henry Ford would have asked his customers what they wanted, they would have told him a faster horse.”
#4: No. As I reminded the youth hockey players I coached “Only perfect practice makes perfect.” If you practice bad habits, you’ll use those bad habits in games.
#5: How many times have you heard this? And, watched board members delve in to implementation. Or, watched CEOs who influenced board policy. In reality, most associations depend on volunteers for implementing many programs and services. And, volunteer boards rely on their professional staff to guide them in what needs to happen.
Reprinted with permission from SCD Daily, a blog for association and nonprofit staff professionals.
Steve Drake is passionate about associations. With more than 30 years of experience with trade associations and professional societies, he’s seen trends and fads come and go. Today, as president of SCD Group, he advocates for content-driven strategies to build engaged, successful and sustainable member communities. Follow him in the SCD Daily blog, or on Twitter @SteveDrake.