embrace solutions because “everyone is doing it” without identifying the problem first. You shouldn’t be putting up a Facebook page without answering the question, “What problems are we solving by having the Facebook page?” Real innovation means matching up tangible solutions to meet real member problems, while also introducing futuristic ideas to solving problems we aren’t aware of yet. The key is to define the challenges of your members, and help them solve the problems they can’t solve effectively by themselves.
Survey your membership. As a board member, you serve the membership. That’s why you were elected. A key element to making great decisions as a board is to survey your membership on its thoughts about problems and solutions. Keep your finger on the pulse of how your overall membership views programs, services, and technology, and use the data to drive your value proposition. If they believe in the programs, they’ll remain members.
Look at your financial trends. There are four key metrics you need to look at over time. These four numbers tell you whether board decisions are enhancing member value, or driving the association into the abyss.
· Total Member Surplus at Year End. This displays the overall success of the organization in building financial resources to do the work of the association.
Looking at these trends graphically at a board meeting will tell you within seconds if you are on the right track, or if you need to do something different. It’s amazing how quickly the conversation changes when you see any of those numbers heading south.