Is the ASAE Model One of the Past?

Interesting post from one of my daily reads: “Is ASAE Dying?” asks Maddie Grant. She challenged us further with this question: “Assuming you think ASAE does have a value for you, what should it do as a leadership model to counteract this?”

What makes this even more interesting is that in today’s email I was asked to help ASAE in its project to develop membership materials for each professional interest area by answering the questions:

– What are the most important, relevant benefits of membership for professionals in your section?

– What learning program, publication, resource, networking event would you recommend to your peers in your professional interest group?

I’m not sure which questions are more difficult. I just spent two days with a group of key leaders from the National Golf Course Owners Association and I heard similar questions relating to their chapters.

So are we all asking really the same thing: do associations offer a value that cannot be delivered by some other entity? I believe that just as there are many different retailers out there for us to shop, there are many different types of communities for us to join. Associations will continue to have relevance as long as they are offering a unique angle – that could be unique service, a unique service delivery method, a unique gathering of people. ASAE and indeed the chapters I spent time with could all die if they believe they don’t have to identify and nurture their unique element or if they attend to their governance and management structures more than to their community.

For all of us, the leadership needs to get innovative and gutsy, and be willing to put themselves in the hands of the community … let the community be actively involved in creating the organization on a day-to-day basis.