Steps for Taking the Plunge Towards an Innovative Forward Thinking Association

lynne Newbury- Business Services Manager at Member Evolution

Innovation is about having a new idea, device or process that is viewed as having a better solution to a problem that meets a new requirement or market need. Innovative ideas are being shared with us every day whether we realise it or not.

Associations and their members, sponsors, staff, committee and stakeholders face obstacles day in and day out and knowing the answer is not innovation. Rather innovation is all about asking the right questions.

First Step

Questions do not mean weakness, if you were to ask a fellow work colleague a question, for some it may give the impression that you don’t in fact know the answer. This can be portrayed for the person asking the question as a weakness. This is not the case as to be an effective leader of an association you must be willing to ask questions. The questions should be directed at not only your members but also yourself, your staff, your friends and family and anyone else who is willing to talk it out and get to the bottom of what is working and what is not.

Innovative Ideas     

Innovation takes place when you admit you don’t have all the answers. The innovative ideas can form from a verity of different things and can include any of the following:

  • Conferences/workshops/sessions
  • Networking events
  • Creatively thinking about a problem
  • Outsourcing industry experts (consultants, CEOs)
  • Asking someone with fresh eyes
  • Seeing how another industries handle similar problems and situations 

There are multitudes of resources out there just waiting to help you, and as for specialised individual’s, each have years of knowledge and experience working within in their specialised fields within the NFP industry.
Remember there is no right answer on where to find your next innovative idea.

Don’t be Held Down

The people who you surround yourself with makes all the difference.  If staff have the attitude that doing their job is good enough without looking for improvements across the organisation you will never get ahead. To lead an innovative association you need to surround yourself with people who ask questions and have a common goal to advance the association forward. If there isn’t a common goal or questions being asked, then it may be time for a team meeting to look into changing the organisations culture, goals and attitude.

Keep in mind why your members are your members and how to improve retention and drive membership. Any personal preferences and customisation of association membership experiences are expectations today and are not simply just nice benefits. 

Latest App Innovation

This week a new Australian App was launched called ‘Pocketbook’. The app aims to manage all your financials all in the one place, without expensive professional help and as its free! They saw the need for people to be able to easily keep track of their money rather than using spreadsheets, print outs and numerous different banks and bank accounts. Now you can view all of your transactions in the one place. 

Innovative ideas come in all shapes and sizes and they can be a solution to a current inefficiency or bold idea. Your next question could be how to make your members happier and more involved. Learn more on how to keep your member community thriving.