They started out by talking about communication styles during the pandemic. Do you know the preferred ways of communication for your members? If not, ask your members how they want to be communicated with.
Generations play a role in how each want to be spoken to and how they will engage with your organization.
They discussed the idea of going back vs moving forward with how we communicate with our members based on in-person or virtual meetings. You need a separate virtual strategy, not just streaming a live event.
Younger members are not engaging like the older members. Are your membership business models changing? Do you have a non-member revenue strategy? It’s about building influence in your industry or community. Mary asked the question, “do these folks need to be members?”
They pivoted to having a discussion on organization boards. Does your board represent the different generations in your membership and community?
Think about how you are selecting new board members. The old model of the volunteer journey may be over. The thought of it taking 10-15 years to get that board invite after you’ve participated in other activities within the organization are over, or they should be!
Do you have a designated board slot for the Gen Z group?
They went on to talk about how innovation plays a role in our organizations – things they’ve seen: creating a strategy, set aside money to experiment, list possibilities and then prioritize and finally test. Corporate America has been doing this for years.
It’s important to focus on what’s working (think delivering value to your members) and getting rid of sacred cows. For a blog post on killing sacred cows go HERE.
“Keys to innovation is abandonment” – what a great quote. How are you evaluating your program of work to decide what you should be focused on doing? Is your program of work mission specific, do members participate, do you make money on these programs? You must look at your resources and capacity to deliver a great product.
Use data to make these decisions and be consistent in whatever questions or metrics you want to use to decide what programs you will maintain and those that you will shutter.
Create a matrix and use it to evaluate each of your programs. That way you’re comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
Remember, nonprofit doesn’t mean don’t make a profit. Run your chamber like a business. You are a business organization, right?
Fail forward and fail fast. That too is a part of innovation. Launch your new program and see if your members react. Did they engage, attend, buy? If not, tweak and try again, or drop it and move on to the next idea!
For a copy of an updated version of the Race for Relevance book go HERE.