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Helping your Members See the Future - Resource Handout


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Panel presentation at 2014 DigitalNow Conference in Nashville. Featuring case studies from Fusion Productions (Don Dea), American Chemical Society (Robert Rich), MACPA (Tom Hood), and Marsha Rhea, …

Panel presentation at 2014 DigitalNow Conference in Nashville. Featuring case studies from Fusion Productions (Don Dea), American Chemical Society (Robert Rich), MACPA (Tom Hood), and Marsha Rhea, President of Signature i, LLC.

Associations are well positioned to serve as a sort of lookout post for our members and professions as we scan the horizon for future trends and engage them in a dialog about what it means to them right now and in the future. The panelists in this session will share methods for efficiently examining the key trends, possibilities, and uncertainties. Approaches to engaging with members about the results of systematic scanning and learning from these dialogues will also be a focus. This will be an interactive conversation and will provide participants with a worksheet to create their own plan to use insights from this session to think about new ways to add value to their members. Several examples of trends research will be included in the presentation. The panelists include:
• The Maryland Association of CPAs, led by Tom Hood, has developed a program to explore the developing CPA landscape, and to share that information with members and other CPAs nationwide
• The American Chemical Society, through a partnership between Robert Rich and Marsha Rhea, has been working with its leaders and stakeholders to develop an innovative “three horizons” environmental scan as an ongoing activity in support of association strategy and member decision-making.
• Through digital Now and the related online properties, Don Dea brings focus to emerging trends and issues several years before they are common topics of conversation in the association industry.

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  • 1. Helping Your Members To See The Future: How To Add Value In Today’s Rapidly Changing World Key Themes, Useful Resources & Session Slides May 19, 2014 Robert Rich, Ph.D., CAE, Director, Strategy Development, American Chemical Society Marsha Rhea, CAE, President, Signature i, LLC Tom Hood, CPA,CGMA. CEO & Chief Strategist, Maryland Association of CPAs/Business Learning Institute Don Dea, Co-Founder, Fusion Productions
  • 2. Key Themes 1. Your association can serve as a “sentry post” to inform your members about emerging trends. a. Every association needs to set strategy in our changing world. Episodic SWOT analyses and the like are insufficient to develop a deep and widespread understanding of the strategic context. b. When a wide range of leaders have a thorough understanding of the forces shaping the external environment, they can make better decisions and set and achieve more powerful goals. c. Individual members value associations that keep them informed about factors and developments affecting their industry/profession. d. Good associations help their members get more comfortable with the future. 2. It doesn’t require a large investment to provide useful foresight. Simply... a. Propose the right questions. b. Capture and organize for meaning the information we already collect. c. Use good resources available free from reputable sources via the Internet. d. Prioritize the most important trends for our profession/industry. e. Select experts on emerging trends to speak with or write for the association. 3. The value is in the right people having strategic conversations and learning about future trends and issues together. a. Tap into the collective wisdom of every member and staffer’s own perspective and insights on what the external trends mean. b. Stay open to refining your understanding and accept ideas which don’t fit your original mindset about the future. c. Think “pull” vs “push” - create an open conversation and resist prescribing what they should do about the future d. Use “systems of engagement” like social media,, and other tools to engage your members and capture insights about their reactions to the future. 4. Constantly prioritize and sift for what is relevant to your association and your members. a. There is far too much information out there to be comprehensive. Be provocative and describe only as much as necessary to draw in your audience. b. Ask people to rank the importance of trends, to suggest what is missing, to suggest what should be changed. Do this frequently. c. Continue to learn and build upon what you’ve already unearthed. Since the world is constantly changing, efforts to understand it need to evolve continuously as well. 5. Deal with certainty as well as uncertainty. a. Some trends are very likely to continue and strengthen their impact. Knowing what these are is empowering. b. Some areas are drivers of uncertainty; i.e., they may go in multiple possible directions. Use scenario planning and three horizons analysis for deeper insight into these long-term uncertainties. These methods can help you understand intermediate implications and detect early indicators of the direction of important changes.
  • 3. Useful Resources Case study materials from the American Chemical Society scanning and strategy initiative are included at the end of this set of resources. Calling All Association Executive to Become Futurists. Signature Insights, the Signature i blog, monitors trends and issues and offers association forecasts . Environmental Scanning to Anticipate and Lead Change. A Signature i methods resource in PDF format covering the basics of effective scanning. CPA Horizons 2025 showing the trends, purpose and values. Daniel Burrus on the New Principles of Leadership and why leaders must be anticipatory. Foresight Maturity Model. Foresight Alliance assessment and resources to evaluate and strengthen your organization’s ability to use foresight. Offering the Future as a Member Benefit, Edward Bernstein on the Industrial Research Institute’s IRI 2038 project, available to ASAE members only. Also through the IRI2038 project website , IRI shares multiple futures resources.
  • 4. Session PowerPoint Slides
  • 5. Foresight Maturity: Readiness Poll #1 1. Ad hoc (level 1). We are not (or only marginally aware) of foresight processes. What does occur is ad hoc without plans or expertise. 2. Aware (level 2). We are aware that there are best practices in foresight and we are trying to learn and use them. 3. Capable (level 3). We have a consistent approach for foresight across the organization, which delivers an acceptable level of performance and return on investment. 4. Mature (level 4). We have invested additional resources to develop expertise and advanced processes for foresight. 5. World-class (level 5). We are considered a leader in this area, often creating and disseminating new methods. Adapted from the Foresight Maturity Model, Terry Grim, Foresight Alliance, recognized as a 2013 Most Significant Futures Work methods contribution by the Association for Professional Futurists
  • 6. Your Organization’s Readiness for Change: Poll #2 Please answer how most people in your organization feel. 1. We love to talk about our good old days. 2. We believe if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. 3. We will hop on the train before it leaves us at the station. 4. We are in the know and ready to act on the right opportunity. 5. We lead the future others will follow.
  • 7. digitalNow • Leadership & Management in digital world • Model: Value/Strategy/Structure • Advisory Group and Community • Research, Surveys, Partnerships, SMEs, People
  • 8. 1st Horizon Near-Term Trends and Issues What is our strategic fit with these developments? Consider first 2nd Horizon Possible Key Turning Points in a Period of Transition and Uncertainty How should we prepare for these turning points? Consider third 3rd Horizon Alternative Scenarios of the Future How to shape the future we want? Consider second 1-3 Years 3-5 years 6-10+ years Descriptive Strategic The ACS Three Horizons Environmental Scanning Model
  • 9. Results of Three Horizons Environmental Scan Gather Information Prioritize Impacts Discuss with Leaders Consider Strategy Discuss with Members • 33 Updated Trends • 4 Scenarios • Uncertainties / Turning Points • Top 10 Trends and Supporting Data • 25+ Committees • 10+ Staff Groups • 25% of Strategic Objectives • Many Divisional Objectives • Board Strategic Issues • Webinars • Conference Presentations • Interactive Discussion • Online
  • 10. Our Strategic Thinking Process
  • 11. Overview of Association Foresight Strategy DevelopmentVisioningStrategic Planning Anticipatory Learning Change Leadership Innovation
  • 12. Foresight in Use in Your Organization: Poll #3 Check all the ways you are using foresight now. 1. Strategic planning 2. Visioning 3. Strategy Development 4. Anticipatory Learning 5. Change Leadership 6. Innovation 7. Other* * Please share what you are doing in our next open comment question.
  • 13. Practices & Tips: Social Sharing 1. What other ways are you using foresight in your association? 2. What are some tips you can share from your experience in helping members see the future?
  • 14. Aspirations & Action Planning: Social Sharing 1. What steps will you take to help your members see the future? 2. What can you do to increase your foresight maturity as an individual or organization?
  • 15. Additional Case Study Materials from the American Chemical Society Robert Rich, Ph.D., CAE, Director, Strategy Development, American Chemical Society
  • 16. What is Environmental Scanning? • A thorough understanding, • Of the forces shaping, • The Society’s external environment, • Which is widely shared, • Among Society leaders and managers, • That enables better decision-making, • To set more powerful goals, • Which makes the goals more achievable, • Thereby, advancing the Society’s Mission and Vision. American Chemical Society 18
  • 17. Some Environmental Scan Outcomes To Date • Generation of Board strategic issues for 2013 and 2014 • Several objectives in the draft ACS Strategic Plan for 2014 and Beyond • Very highly-regarded discussions with ACS committees and subsequent strategic thinking by these groups • Incorporation in cross-cutting, divisional, and individual thinking and planning across the staff American Chemical Society 19
  • 18. ACS Ongoing Environmental Scan American Chemical Society 20 Gather Trends Prioritize Impacts Consider Scenarios Identify Uncertainties Discuss Implications Trends List 1st Horizon 3rd Horizon 2nd Horizon Feedback
  • 19. 21 American Chemical Society Environmental Scanning – Areas of Interest External Macro- Environment • Society, Demographics & Culture • Economy • Ecology/Environment • Politics, Regulations & Government • Information Technology • Information, Media & Learning • Associations & Nonprofits Internal Operating Environment • Chemistry Enterprise • Education & Professional Development • Chemistry Workforce • Knowledge & World Views • Technological Capabilities & Tools
  • 20. What do we mean by a “top trend?” Which are the most significant trends likely to affect chemistry, chemists, and the ACS during the next ten years? • Emphasis on emerging and eye-opening • Impact on ACS as a whole • By necessity, these trends are seen today or extrapolated from today’s realities • Unchanging realities are not considered top trends American Chemical Society 22 1st Horizon
  • 21. Overall Top Trends – Tier 1 • Personalized delivery of information and resources • Even more constrained government finances • U.S. governments search for revenues – Impact on not-for-profits • U.S. science losing a young cohort due to new normal in employment • Those no longer calling themselves chemists as primary professional identity • Resource wars escalating: from a world of abundance to shortage • Always connected, always on, everywhere • Online technologies enhance and replace meetings and conferences • Disappearance of corporate labs • Virtual universities, MOOCs American Chemical Society 23 1st Horizon
  • 22. American Chemical Society 24 3rd Horizon
  • 23. Key Uncertainties for Personalization 1. How much do audiences for scientific information (e.g., researchers, librarians, students) demand personalized information? 2. What are the opportunities to add value to information and resources by tailoring them to an individual’s needs? 3. How effective are the available approaches and tools in efficiently and inexpensively creating mass-personalized content? 4. Can organizations figure out how to use a person’s behavior and advanced analysis to craft more effective marketing campaigns and stronger engagement? 5. How is technology evolving to support trusted relationships that feel personalized between organizations and their stakeholders? 6. How are associations personalizing their offerings to effectively support their goals and objectives? American Chemical Society 25 2nd Horizon
  • 24. Other Association Examples of Personalization • National Association of Independent Schools – For a small additional charge, member schools can request a custom segmentation analysis, which identifies brand value, tuition elasticity, and parent segments. They also offer individualized dashboard services and customized market profiles of demographics. • Drug Information Association - “Our marketing team has been distributing tailored conference agendas for our upcoming Annual Meeting and the response has been very positive. The agendas are developed based on the member's interest areas and the email includes the member's name. Click rates and open rates are much higher than our usual promotional emails.” • American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, & Air Conditioning Engineers - “ASHRAE has been working with a vendor to create Personalized URLs (PURLs) for all of our membership in order to engage and inform them of resources, events and more that may be of interest.” American Chemical Society 27