If you could renovate any part of where you live (home, apartment, etc.), what would you do? Take the same passion and ask … if you could renovate your chapter structure, what would you do? Better yet, would you choose a renovation, a remodel or a complete rebuild?
We know from our Chapter Performance and Benchmarking Report that change is on many minds. The report found that 1/3 of associations said they made a substantial change while another 1/3 said they expected to in the future.
On the September 20th webinar, Peggy talked more about how we can embrace change through the stories of several associations that have or are now working on making changes, some incremental adjustments with some bold and transformative.
Check out these highlights:
Reno – focuses on restoring something old back into good repair (making it more efficient)
The Risk Management Association (RIMS) – Centralizing Administration: The goal was to reduce siloed systems by lessening administrative burden and eliminating risk while gaining a greater insight into chapter performance. Working with Billhighway, RIMS was able to come into alignment with brand and standard processes, which positively impacted member experience and data collection. Read more here.
ASIS International – Flattening oversight structure: Daunted by a disconnect between HQ and chapters, ASIS looked for ways to bring global staff closer to the chapters so they could offer the right support. To do so, they have created regional boards that support chapters within specific areas, each with committees focused on key chapter functions. This has led to more flexibility in training, the creation of new volunteer pathways, and a pathway to bring chapters and subject matter communities (aka SIGs) closer.
Remodel – changes the design, the form, and the functionality
American Staffing Association (ASA) – Adding Options: Knowing that people want to get together in meaningful ways on their terms, not the association’s, the goal here was to meet the needs of different communities. The process took ASA from under-performing chapters to supported geographic state networks that – with the onset of the pandemic – morphed into industry segments vs. geographic segments. Basically, the conversation and connections were stronger along areas of interest than geographic boundaries. This allowed “birds of a feather” to connect over role-specific topics driving member engagement and retention. Important note, this didn’t replace all geographic groups – those that are strong continue. It did though transform those that struggled into a model that met more members’ needs. Bonus – As it continues to grow so does the opportunity for future changes.
Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) – Adding Options: MGMA asked how can we make it easy for people to choose dual membership regardless of where they are coming from. This was just the first change as MGMA piloted a process that streamlined the dual membership option which became a win for members and affiliates. There were still struggling affiliates, though, so MGMA continued the concept of adding options with a subsidiary chapter model, which will provide operational support. It is open to any affiliate that gets a “failing” grade on MGMA’s chapter success matrix. This new structure will begin next year based on matrix scores. This will be a model for us to check in on.
Rebuild – Starts from scratch & asks the fundamental why and how questions
WERC (MHI) – A New Model: The key premise for a rebuild is the why has changed! People don’t necessarily need a geographic chapter to find their peers, to get their education, or to have their leadership journey start. If we can build a model that provides that value without a traditional association, let’s do it. And WERC did just that. When WERC recognized that people don’t need, or want, the old geographic chapter model for educational purposes any longer, they began by asking “Why do people need to get together?” and “How can we help them to get together in a way that benefits the member?” The answer was to build a new model that would serve a clarifying purpose, i.e., would address specific issues applicable to that time and space. The Chapter Leadership Council model, with the support of national programming and staff, oversees 10 regions. The idea is that the Council (consisting of one representative from each region) will become the connection between National and its regions. The opportunity is also for the creation of new pathways for engagement and volunteering.
Navigating the waters and engaging stakeholders.
Finally, before you jump in, do a deep assessment of why you are making the change and what impact it will have on your members, volunteers and staff. Ask what you hope to gain, what are the potential risks, and what is the best way to implement. Bring all stakeholders into the process. Instead of a task force with a blank sheet, bring in smaller focus groups to find out what’s working and what’s not working. Tap your data.
Ask … What are we changing and why?