“Road to Relevance”

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Associations are confronted with unprecedented, ubiquitous, and relentless competition.
Traditional association governance and management approaches are ill-equipped to respond.
Nationally recognized consultant and best-selling author Harrison Coerver addresses this
challenge in a thought-provoking look at how competition is threatening the relevance of
associations and what they can do in response.
Harrison Coerver, President, Harrison Coerver & Associates

Published in: Business, Technology
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“Road to Relevance”

  1. 1. Harrison Coerver, President, Harrison Coerver & Associates
  2. 2. Road 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations Relevanceto
  3. 3. Time pressures Expectations; R.O.I. Member diversity Generational values Competition Technology New Normal
  4. 4. The Mismatch Association Model • Time intensive • Slow, tradition-bound • Designed for homogeneous member • Face-to-face and print • Package of services Association Environment • Time pressures • Accelerating change • Specialization and consolidation • World going digital • “What/when/how I want it”
  5. 5. • 5-Member Competency-based board • Empower CEO and Staff • Rigorous member market definition • Rationalize programs and services • Bridge the technology gap Race for Relevance
  6. 6. Association Association members Media companies For Profits Buying groups Internet Social media vs. Associati on
  7. 7. When a competitor does a better job of delivering value, they matter more and the association matters less Relevance
  8. 8. Skillful, creative and disciplined use of resources to achieve objectives Strategy
  9. 9. Tradition – not strategy – is the master of most associations Strategy
  10. 10. • Build on Strength • Concentrate Resources • Integration; Fit • Lean Processes • Abandonment 5 Strategies
  11. 11. Build on Strengths
  12. 12. • Can’t compete from a position of weakness • Meet increasing member expectations • Pressure on resources Why?
  13. 13. • Better assessment • Fully exploit • Source of innovation Strengths
  14. 14. • Passionate commitment • Best at producing it • Drives economic engine Hedgeho g
  15. 15. Concentrate Resources
  16. 16. How many businesses can you be in?
  17. 17. • Organizational complexity • Disperses resources • Communication challenges Diversity Downsides
  18. 18. “Wherever we find a business that is outstandingly successful, we will find that it has thought through the concentration alternatives, and has made a concentration decision.” Peter Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices
  19. 19. Concentration Decision Advocacy
  20. 20. Concentration Decision Program & Evaluation Committee
  21. 21. 50-mile stretch of beach 850,000 men 148,000 vehicles 570,000 tons of supplies
  22. 22. Fit
  23. 23. • Master plan for services and programs? • Integration: activities that complement and Fit
  24. 24. “Fit is far more central component of competitive advantage than most realize.” Michael Porter “What is Strategy?”
  25. 25. Short Flights No Meals No Seat Assignments One Type of Aircraft
  26. 26. • Education • Job board • Compensation surveys • Resume bank • Career coaching Suites of Services
  27. 27. • The fit “theme” • Governance “fit” • Technology “fit” Fit
  28. 28. Lean Processes
  29. 29. • Response to competition • Focus on eliminating waste • Manufacturing origins Lean
  30. 30. • Activities or resources that do not add value to end user (member) • Toyotas “Eight Wastes” Waste
  31. 31. • “Waiting” • “Defects” • Redundancies • Human Capital Waste
  32. 32. • Defining “value” • Value stream mapping • Eliminating waste Lean
  33. 33. Bd Charge>TF>Mtgs>Recommendation>Bd Action
  34. 34. Abandonment
  35. 35. • Withdrawing resources from low value offerings • Redirect to high value • Key to innovation Abandonmen t
  36. 36. NO! “The art of leadership is saying no, not yes… It is very easy to say yes!”
  37. 37. Steve Jobs eliminated of the product line70%
  38. 38. Mercury Aston Martin Volvo Jaguar Land Rover
  39. 39. Saab Pontiac Oldsmobile Saturn Hummer
  40. 40. • Don’t underestimate resistance • Use data • Compelling opportunity first • Risk free! Abandonmen t
  41. 41. Roles
  42. 42. Board CEO What? How?
  43. 43. • Small, competency- based board • Make the concentration decision • Hold board and CEO accountable Board
  44. 44. • Empowered • Owns strategy • Source of continuity and reality CEO
  45. 45. Successful Associations
  46. 46. More Disciplined More Focused Business-like Technology Driven
  47. 47. Road 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations Relevanceto

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