June Idea Swap: Helping Chapters Embrace Change

We all know that at some point, we need our chapters to change. And whether that change is small or large, we will experience some resistance from chapter leaders. So, what is an association to do?

We know resistance to change is natural. Anytime you introduce a new process or technology, you have to think about change management from the very start. Here at Mariner, we want you think even earlier by building your chapters’ “change readiness quotient.” What is this? It’s the degree to which your chapter leaders are open to change in general. And one sure fire way to build that is tapping into your regular leadership training where you teach your leaders to seek new solutions and new ways of approaching their role.  You can also support leaders in developing strategic thinking.

In our June 16 Idea Swap, we explored how we can use our current and future leadership training opportunities to help chapters embrace change.

Listen in to the conversation here! See below for some highlights:

Change Ready: If we can get our leaders open to having conversations for change, we are already a step ahead. We can do this by baking change into leadership training by training leaders to focus on the right things. This in turn will help them identify the need for change or minimally understand the opportunities of change.

Tips on how to prepare are leaders for change through training:

  • Train chapter leaders to define meaningful outcomes, i.e., have them ask how many members are engaged, what is the market penetration, did we move the advocacy needle? *It’s not how many events you held.
  • Train chapter leaders to think in terms of measurable outcomes and metrics, i.e., teach them how to think about member engagement, volunteer engagement, event satisfaction, impact. *It’s not how registrations per se.
  •  Train chapter leaders to understand and use data, i.e., teach them how to determine what data tells a story, how to collect that data, how to use that data. *Create consistency in what data is collected across the system.
  • Train chapter leaders in how to effectively listen to members, i.e., teach them to think about how we are collecting input, what is an effective polling, and how do we act on the listening (what do you do with the polling afterwards). *Go old-fashioned calling too.
  • Train chapter leaders to explore trends during strategic planning, i.e., teach them to look at future trends (membership trends, professional/trade changes, etc.). *There’s power in being in front of change.


There are so many ways to help our chapter leader sup our change readiness quotient. Listen to the full webinar for more as well as some great ideas in the chat and the answer to what is the timeline to introducing change? Pssst … the short answer is it depends upon the chapter readiness quotient, the level of commitment from HQ, and if HQ can provide the support/resources needed.

Download the 2022 Benchmarking Study for A Look At What’s Changing for Chapters

*Be sure to mark your calendar for these upcoming events!

  • Can you hear me? Effective Practices in Communicating with Chapter Leaders (Webinar) July 27@ 12-1 PM ET. Register here!
  • In-person Workshop! Deep dive on chapter performance + Topical Topics solution rounds! Oct 11 in DC and Oct 13 in Chicago. More details to come.