Prepping for 2021 and beyond: Lessons Learned

Wow! It’s been a month since our last virtual idea swap Prepping for 2021held on September 23 and we’re just getting around to posting the recap? Well, it’s been a busy month prepping for next week’s 2020 CEX but that is no excuse especially since our participants had some great ideas on heading into 2021 on the right foot.  

We started the swap with six lessons that we’ve learned over this past year – as crazy as it’s been – and how we can leverage those lessons for 2021, which may well be another unusual year. One critical lesson is that chapters are still an important part of the system (see #4!) and we need to consider not only how we work with our members, but how can we work with each other, i.e., we have to think differently.   

Lessons learned:  

  1. People are everything and reserves are critical. Underscores the importance of good leadership and adequate reserves That goes without saying.  
  2. Chapters are in a position to pivot. It requires mental flexibility to take advantage of the opportunity. We can help with the right support and permission. Note that, unfortunately, those on a shoestring budget often struggle with this. Goes back to the #1 reserves are critical.  
  3. Geographic lines are blurring. Education and events are no longer tied to local areas, so the challenge is to expand the content nationally (or globally) while preserving local programs. But of course, that takes us to #4. 
  4. Local is critical. We still need members locally on advocacy, problem-solving and community engagement.  
  5. Tradition isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. The traditional structures of chapters aren’t supporting changes we need, i.e., the old way of doing things is just not cutting it anymore. Which goes back to #2 – Chapters are in a position to pivot.  
  6. Virtual is not as bad as we thought but still does not replace F2F. Virtual offers us an option that is viable, reaches more, yet won’t replace face-2-face.


In the next post, we’ll dive into what participants have learned and the advice they have for heading into 2021.

See you there!