If you’re a reader of the great publication CEO Update or a subscriber to that service which I highly recommend, you may have seen an article a few weeks ago about how the Natural Products Association filed for bankruptcy. And, you may recall how the Electronic Retailing Association ceased operations in the summer of 2018. I think there’s a canary in the coal mine for associations right now.
And, I’m not picking on NPA or ERA in particular. But what I do see is that associations must take on some of the critical business issues before them. Two of the most significant questions you should be asking: “Is our association (and its revenue model) sustainable?” and, “Are we still relevant in the eyes of our members?”
Corporate members are continuously evaluating their relationship with your association (and others they may participate in). Is it worth it? Are they getting the value they expect? Believe me, they’re assessing their affiliation with you on an annual basis.
You know the challenges confronting your association. Are you willing to take them on or are you going to kick them down the road for a little bit? Because I’m sensing there’s going to be a series of critical events that will start happening to your organization. And, the problem you think you can put off for a few years is now going to come at you much faster just because of the velocity of the world we’re operating in.
You don’t have a decade to deal with them. You’ve got the “right now.’ I’m heartened to see some of the best CEOs in the country tackling these things right away. They’re not waiting for the event to occur. They’re getting out in front of it. Take a good look around. You probably have some pressing business issues keep you up at night – selling the show, finding a joint venture, reassessing your dues models, whatever it might be. Get with it today. Don’t wait.