This week, I had the opportunity to serve as a “strategic listener” for the first ever Association Chief Executives Symposium. Produced by Shira Harrington and Jeff De Cagna, it was a full day program for association #1s and #2s to focus on high-level strategic conversations about the future of membership, the future of new value creation, and the future of leadership.
My top 5 takeaways from the day included:
- In order to survive and thrive in the 21st century, associations must learn to pay attention to the kind of people your current and future stakeholders wish to become and what they wish to accomplish. The young people ARE our future, so it’s time to stop bitching about them and start learning about them. (Anne Bryant)
- Membership is a feature of associations, but it’s not our central defining characteristic: volunteerism is. Our core is affiliation with a common identity that’s about more than consumer transactions and ROI. (Mark Golden)
- Don’t create the perception of value, create the REALITY of value. And the place to start is with your cause. (group discussion)
- We STILL have a really hard time addressing diversity and inclusion in any real way. (Don’t believe me? Check out this recent discussion on Collaborate.) (Horacio Gavilan and the discussion that followed his presentation)
- Systems produce the results they’re designed to produce. If your results aren’t what you wanted, you have to look at the system – and start be examining your own role in it. (Chris Laxton)