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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

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