Chapters and the New Power Dynamic

When you think of the archetype association-chapter relationship, too often it’s top-down, where power moves from headquarters to the team at the local component. That’s an “old power” dynamic that can hamper members’ sense of affiliation, trust, and loyalty to the organization. However, when the relationship is redefined and flattened to a more horizontal share of power, where the national organization supports chapters and vice versa, the member ultimately wins.

This observation by Tim Ebner writing in Associations Now applies the lessons shared by the ASAE19 Annual keynoters Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans to the trends we’re seeing in the 2019 Chapter Benchmarking Report. Timms and Heiman, authors of New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World—and How to Make It Work for You, talked about how power is shifting in the 21st century from a top-down to a bottom-up approach—or, in Timms’ and Heimans’ framing, old power to new power. The new power dynamic makes membership more fluid leaving us with a reality that not everyone will be a highly engaged, card-carrying member. We can address this by embracing the new power.

This is where chapters come in. Can chapters help associations “tap into the power of the current” Timms and Heiman talk about?

Read Tim’s post in full.

Download the 2019 Chapter Benchmarking Report.