- Know where you’re going. Understand your core values and mission and use them to establish your vision for what you want to become in the future.
- Find members who fit. Members who mesh with your culture and share your associations values will buy into your vision.
- Help new members fit in. The onboarding process should help members fit in to the associations culture and show how they fit in with the bigger picture.
- Set the right example. The leadership, executive and board of directors need to lead when it comes to living the values of the associations culture and encourage open communication across the association.
- Integrate your values into everyday activities. Every decision made, no matter how small, should be based on the associations values.
- Provide rewards and recognition. Recognizing membership fosters a sense of belonging and rewards a job well done according to cultural values.
- Foster feedback. Listen to your members , who are great sources of information and can provide keen insight into areas that need improvement.
- Monitor key performance indicators. Use metrics and surveys to gauge success and monitor them to see how actual performance compares to desired outcomes.
- Fix what’s broken. Most importantly, listen to member’s as to what is broken and then take appropriate action.
How does an association become successful?
I have had many conversations with people over the years about successful associations and what makes them tick. With over three decades of being involved with associations at all levels I can confidently share with you that there are some key ingredients. Leadership is the key, Engagement with membership is critical, and Value of what the association does for you and your company is important.
Another key ingredient is to surround yourself with wonderful people who share the vision, people who are dedicated to the goals and objectives and are willing to put in the time and effort. The success of any association will happen because of the leadership and the supporting team.
An associations culture is an organization’s distinct personality and the culture should align with its mission as an extension of its core values. It is unique to each organization and cannot simply be a copy of another already-successful association. There are many benefits to a strong associations culture. These include increased member engagement, morale of the Board of Directors productivity of staff and the board, retention of membership, creativity, and innovation, as well as increased member satisfaction.
In assessing or strengthening an associations culture, these nine considerations are important:
An associations culture needs nurturing to ensure it still reflects what your company as members stands for. I am sure you and your company are members of a number of associations. What one(s) do you value the most? Who associations do it really well. I am interested to know, please share.
As the holiday season approaches us I want to wish you all a safe and happy holiday. Thank you from our family to you and your family. To all of our customers, colloquies, family and friends both personal and professional, I am so thankful for the many incredible people I know.
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