Design-Led Approach to Your Association’s Future

A must read posting (and article in October issue of Associations Now) on the future and associations is over at Acronym. Lisa Junker conducted the interview that is the basis for both with futurist Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research and a key player in ASAE’s future research. Here’s perhaps one of the most important points highlighted in the posting:

Q: What do you think it means for an association to design its future?

Rohit Talwar: We deliberately chose the word “design,” because design is all about making a series of choices, about form, about functionality, and about how you assemble the components. That was very much what we wanted to get the associations thinking about–a design-led approach rather than a formula-led approach.

The nature of design is, you ask yourself a lot of questions on the journey, and you make a lot of choices. So, we wanted [association executives] to think about that and to recognize that this was all about making choices, asking yourselves tough questions about every aspect of what you do and then making choices about how you’re going to respond. That’s why we chose this notion of designing your future rather than implying there was simply a future to be chosen. You could create it, and you have the power to create it.

We are working with several associations and indeed our chapters to seek models for components that will serve members now and in the future. The angst is so often in understanding the process. I think we are too often focused on a formula-led approach.

Thanks Lisa and Rohit for helping focus differently!