Whether it's your association staff, volunteers, leaders, or just your members, we push a massive amount of content and information through all those channels. The options available to us are unlimited in pushing out content including: social media, conferences, print newsletters, e-news, videos, and blogs...you name it, it's out there.
This year the big question you need to answer is: Are we allowing people to just "collect the dots" or are we helping them "CONNECT the dots" in our association?
However, when you "CONNECT the dots" of information, programs, and ideas to specific struggles your members have everyday, you then CONNECT them to your association in an emotional way that leads them to be not just dues paying members, but BELIEVERS.
You see, if you had the choice of your staff sitting in a classroom and writing 8-pages of legal pad notes of information, or having them skip the afternoon sessions and hang at the pool with 3 top association executives, where they learned 2 incredible ideas for your association, which would you prefer?
Most of you reading this would struggle with that because you say you don't pay your people to go to the pool at a conference. You pay them to go to class, yet you passed on the "CONNECTION of dots" at the pool and went for simply "collecting dots" in a classroom.
Now don't get me wrong, I believe there is good work done in the classroom. My point is, we have to think differently about our actions and truly ask ourselves as we make decisions on programs, communications, etc., is this going to "collect the dots" or "connect the dots" with our leaders, members, and staff?
Remember, you are better off having just 4 programs that "CONNECT the dots" for your members, than 35 programs that fill up a benefit page and just "collect the dots".
MEMBER VALUE is driven by the quality of impact of programs, not by the number of them.
I wrote a series of blogs in 2012 that can be of great help to you in working through this. I would encourage you to forward all 8 of these to all of your staff and make them mandatory reading:
- How To Be a Real Change Agent in Your Association
- Go BIG, Go BOLD, Go NOW
- Why the Traditional Association Model is Stronger Than Ever
- WOW... This Membership Thing Really Works
- Connecting the Next Generation to Your Association... Its Not As Hard As You Think
- Why Are You Here and Do You Know Your Vital Signs
- Why Boards Need to Innovate
- 5-Stages of Building Believers in Your Association
Those who are battling the strong winds, the ones who are most successful, are the ones who simply adjust their sail and change direction.