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Becoming Essential: For associations, the question is: Do you want to survive, or do you want to thrive?

Becoming Essential: For associations, the question is: Do you want to survive, or do you want to thrive?

by James E. Meyers


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Do you want to survive, or do you want to thrive? Leading your association into the future means understanding that the rules have changed.

In his 25+ years of working as a partner to both associations and some of the biggest, most forward-thinking for-profit companies, author James E. Meyers has seen all sides of the strategic planning spectrum: organizations that face the future by hiding in the corner, hoping it’ll all go away, and those that careen headfirst into a fail-fast approach. For many associations, success comes in the gray area in between.

To be truly future-focused, you need your members to think about you as providing a service they need, one that they are unwilling to do without.

How do you do that? You make your association essential to your members’ lives—and that means positioning yourself differently than you ever have.

In this book, Meyers explains how association leaders can think bigger, inserting their organizations into the most pressing issues of our day to be on members’ minds all the time. Association leaders will learn:

  • Why asking how to stop slipping membership is the wrong question—and what the right question is to jump-start a future-focused transformation strategy

  • How to frame your mission in a new way, one that’s inextricably linked to your industry’s biggest, most pressing issues and an increasingly complex world

  • Why storytelling is one of the most important skills for today’s association leaders

  • How to attract and communicate with a tech-savvy, always-on, mission-driven younger population

  • Why you should be talking to people who may have never heard of you—like the broader public—and how to do that

  • How to inspire your staff to think bigger—and what to do if some of them will never become inspired

  • The metrics you must be tracking to evaluate and optimize your strategy

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780578410890
Publisher: Imagination Publishing
Publication date: 11/02/2018
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 2

Part I: Disruption 8

Chapter 1: What Are Your Disruptors? 11

Part II: Relevance 38

Chapter 2: Are You Essential? 41

Chapter 3: Reconsidering Your Purpose 53

Chapter 4: Talking to the Right Audience 71

Chapter 5: The Mythical Millennial 85

Chapter 6: The Association of the Future 101

Part III: Transformation 132

Chapter 7: Decide Who You Are 135

Chapter 8: Architect the Experience 155

Chapter 9: Build the Right Organization 171

Conclusion 194

Sources 200

Index 206

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