Building a Next Generation Association for a Next Generation Workforce

Seth Mattison, Chief Movement Officer, Luminate Labs gave a presentation at ASAE's Annual Meeting last year that I attended.

What a fascinating presentation and subject matter.

Below are my notes that I thought I'd share.  Change is inevitable.

Relevance - your individual relevance and your chamber's relevance.  You must think about this everyday!

We need to adapt and change from time to time to stay relevant.

What are the "best of the best" doing to stay relevant - future proof yourself and your chamber to bring relevance to our organizations.

Three Characteristics:

  1. Past, present and the future;
  2. Leaders are always thinking about this and understanding the value of what has made you successful without holding on too tight that you miss what's coming next; and
  3. Leaders can keep their feet in the now and execute and continue to evolve to find out what's coming around the corner.

The future is being defined by two forces:

  1. Hierarchies - how we grew up in the workforce; and
  2. Networks - the current generation, no lines of authority, they grew up on the web, they don't know anything different.

Most of us grew up in the hierarchy, think staff organization charts.  No debate, no discussion.  You never go above your boss!

The future

Study generational shifts, study the youth, personal empowerment!

Are you moving away from hierarchies to a networked team-based organization?  Studies say that's the #1 thing in today's work moving forward.

Seth says you need both, you need balance.  You can't have winners and losers.  Hierarchy provides security and stability and clarity but very little freedom.

Networks allow for freedom but ambiguity and uncertainty as things move and change very fast.  Freedom brings responsibility and accountability.

What does the future-maker look like? The new leader leads from the center of the network.

Five key shifts I took from his presentation:

  • Technology shift - you upgrade your tech tools.
  • Process-shift - you need to change the process, think "that's the way we always do it."
  • Experience-shift - it's about your members experience.  Do you remember the term the experience economy?
  • Skills-shift - half your skills will be irrelevant in 5 years. How to future proof yourself, having the ability to collectively take input and be able to give a clear vision of the future for your chamber.  That's the skill every leader needs.
  • Inner shift - the inner person of you must first change for your chamber to change.  Otherwise, your organization will not change/shift unless you and your staff do it internally first.

Technology has hijacked our minds.  Instagram has a one second delay before your notifications post.  They do it on purpose.

Be present in the moment with your staff and members at the chamber.

We are always competing for our members attention. That's why our experiences for them need to be the best!

Three employee experience shapers:

  1. Culture;
  2. Workspace design; and
  3. Technology.

High performing jerks - they're toxic!  They are culture killers.  What values do you have in your organization?  Are they simple to understand?

Studies show that when values are known and understood employees are 39x more likely to be engaged.

Drivers of talent engagement:

  • I have confidence in senior management;
  • I can own and develop my work; and
  • I have confidence in the future of my organization.

He ended with four things so we can future proof yourself:

  1. The future is not fixed;
  2. Contemplate where order/freedom can and should live in your chamber;
  3. Commit to create remarkable experiences our customers and employees deeply value; and
  4. Find your way back to yourself so that you can access your greatest source of wisdom - you!

Design and Implement a Successful Sponsorship Program

If you're like the rest of your peers around the country securing sponsorship dollars, new and legacy, you might want to review the tips below as you move forward.

JP Moery, President, The Moery Company and Patty Leeman, Chief Analyst, The Moery Company recently conducted a workshop, on the title of this blog!

They structured their presentation around the following four concepts.

  • Why do sponsorships matter;
  • How to build a new sponsorship program;
  • How to assess sponsorship cost vs value; and
  • How to sell sponsorships.

My notes from the session are as follows:

Why do sponsorships matter?

Studies show it's a:

  • $600 million game
  • 75% considering new sponsorships

Sponsorships today meet multiple goals for the association and for the sponsors.

How to build a new sponsorship program?

Data tells, stories enable you to sell - interview potential sponsors, ask them what they want?

Build a program that goes beyond the 3 days at the annual meeting, they want to be connected the other 362 days a year.

Not only do you need to interview potential sponsors, you need to interview staff to make sure you can deliver what you're going to put in the prospectus.

The key is to have consistency amongst your staff to ensure you are delivering the product, and oh by the way, make sure you can deliver what you've put in the prospectus.

You need to start at least six months in advance so you can deliver the product of the sponsorship.

Do you segment your sponsors? Do you know where your sponsorship money is coming from?  How about the bulk of the money?  I bet it's coming from 20% of your list of total sponsors - think 80/20 rule.

How to assess sponsorship cost vs value?

Move to program based budgeting to figure out the real costs. What is the product or program going to cost, not just the cost of the pen, but the staff time to order, put in bags, etc.?

How to sell sponsorships?

The first two things to ask yourself and be mindful of:

  1. What is the buying season for the sponsor?
  2. When are they flush with money?

Once you've figured that out, it's time to put the other pieces into place. It's important to put the demographics in the prospectus.  Remember, the prospectus is built for the sponsor.

Write the prospectus that answers the business objectives from the sponsors perspective.  Naming rights are hot right now, think podcast, fly-in sponsored by ABC company.

How about the opportunity to speak on a panel?

Thought Leadership Program?  Think content produced over a 12 month period.  This can be very beneficial for both parties.  Pick an issue that is hot in your community.

By the way, don't forget to grow your current sponsors first before chasing that new potential sponsor.  I bet you're already doing this in your membership space. Think tiered dues where you upgrade a member to the next level.

Are you renewing their sponsorship right after the event for the next year when they are on a high from the meeting or program that just finished? If not, you should be.

Are you using a CRM (a customer relationship manager system) to keep track of your communications so you can track your progress with your sponsorship contacts?

Straight from JP, "If it's not in your CRM, it didn't happen!"

And their final thoughts:

  • Interview your sponsors;
  • Get the data to assist in creating your prospectus;
  • Develop prospectus for sponsor audience; and
  • Capture all communications in your CRM.

For more information on The Moery Company go HERE.