I love it when an idea is repeated. For then, we being to analyze (read Joe Rominiecki’s article Chapter Restructuring: A Board’s Most Difficult Job). And then the idea gets intentional thought (read Jamie Notter’s excellent post Engagement: Local vs. National). And finally we get brave enough to act. I’m talking about changing the approach to chapters.
Back in 2002, we here at Mariner starting talking about how the traditional chapter model was aging. We participated in a couple of ASAE sessions where our colleagues shared their efforts to think differently. We even wrote a white paper. And now, the idea is really entering the final phase as we see more and more organizations looking to evolve their chapter model, and more who have like American Association of Diabetes Educators, National Association of Realtors (Partnership Helps Realtor Chapters Fulfill "Core Standards" Requirements) and Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) International (Members Win When Chapters and Associations Get Along). We’ve just walked the journey with two other brave organizations.
The catalyst for the idea talking hold can be tracked to a couple of things, most notably the conversation on member engagement. And Jamie Notter captured the why:
So here’s the deal: maybe the new operating environment is asking us to shift our culture. Maybe the very separate cultures we have nurtured over the years at the national and local levels are now creating a negative experience for our stakeholders. Maybe in order to succeed today, we need to do things differently. Maybe we will have to change the way we share information with the chapters, make decisions about programming, or even share resources.
Are you brave? Share your story, your idea, your question.