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Five reasons why membership is killing association business models: Part I

Principled Innovation

Membership is perhaps the most sacred tenet in all of association orthodoxy. Indeed, for many organizations, the membership imperative defines the very existence of the association: membership is who they are and what they do. In a time of relentless societal transformation, however, the impact of forces beyond our control makes it necessary for us to question all of our most deep-seated beliefs, including our beliefs about membership.

What is Associations Unorthodox?

Principled Innovation

Now that my new e-book , Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , has been out for a couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to step back and reflect on the reasons why I wrote it, as well as its deeper implications for association leaders.

Associations Unorthodox e-book available on August 8

Principled Innovation

Jeff De Cagna’s new e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , will be available as a free download beginning this Wednesday, August 8. The e-book was produced in collaboration with DC-based branding firm, CHIEF.

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Five reasons why membership is killing association business models: Part III

Principled Innovation

Membership is perhaps the most sacred tenet in all of association orthodoxy. Indeed, for many organizations, the membership imperative defines the very existence of the association: membership is who they are and what they do. In a time of relentless societal transformation, however, the impact of forces beyond our control makes it necessary for us to question all of our most deep-seated beliefs, including our beliefs about membership.

Three design challenges for 21st century association business models

Principled Innovation

Association boards, CEOs and senior executives will need to answer a wide variety of questions as they embark on the work of developing new business models to enable their organizations to thrive over the next decade and beyond.

Ten “next truths” of governing the 21st century association

Principled Innovation

In my last post on six serious ideas for 2013 , I discussed the concept of “strategic legitimacy,” which is about challenging association boards to do a better job of providing future-focused stewardship in a world experiencing relentless transformation. To inspire association leaders to embrace strategic legitimacy, I have identified the following ten “next truths” of governing the 21st century association.

Associations Unorthodox Shift #3:Eliminate budgets

Principled Innovation

This is the third post in my series on the six shifts presented in my new e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , created in collaboration with CHIEF. Please check out the previous posts in the series.) If you have not done so already, I hope you will download the e-book , and please join me on September 26 from 2 pm-3:30 pm EDT for my webinar on the e-book, presented in collaboration with Peach New Media.

Empathy, new value creation and the stakeholders of the future

Principled Innovation

In early January, I wrote a post on six serious ideas for 2013 that included the concept of SED, which is short for serendipity, empathy and discovery. SED is a term I coined to inspire association leaders to shift their conversations about the future in a more generative direction.

Join Jeff for P.I./TMA Resources Executive Breakfast on March 6 in Alexandria, Virginia

Principled Innovation

Join Jeff De Cagna of Principled Innovation on Wednesday, March 6 for the P.I./TMA TMA Resources Executive Breakfast for association CEOs, C-Suite executives and other association leaders. This free breakfast session will be held at the headquarters of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) in Alexandria, Virginia, and registration for this event is now open. The schedule for the morning is below: Registration and Continental Breakfast (8 am-8:30 am).

My new Associations Now article is now live!

Principled Innovation

My brand new Associations Now article on boards and business models is now available online. The magazine has given the article the title, “Trapped in The Past,” although I refer to it as “Five Reasons Why Boards Are Killing Association Business Models.”

Asking different questions: MMCC 2013 edition

Principled Innovation

“Is the association model broken?” ” “What does ‘member’ mean to you?” ” “Do we need a new membership model?” ” “Is membership dead?” ” These are all interesting questions, and I understand why some people are asking them. Unfortunately, they are not the right questions.

Join Jeff for Better Boards Workshop on March 8 in Denver

Principled Innovation

Join Jeff De Cagna of Principled Innovation on Friday, March 8, 2013 in Denver for a full-day workshop on Building Better Boards , presented by the Colorado Society of Association Executives. Registration for the workshop is now open.

Serious Questions: Are associations dead?

Principled Innovation

In August, I launched the P. Serious Questions newsletter. Each issue of the newsletter presents a serious question on which I offer my thoughts for newsletter subscribers. Today, I am publishing what I wrote on the September 2012 Serious Question of the Month on the P.I. The September 2012 Serious Question of the Month. Are associations dead?

Overcoming the association value gap: part I

Principled Innovation

This post originally appeared on the Associations Now Leadership Blog on March 7, 2013. In a recent post , Associations Now blogger Joe Rominiecki shared what both he and I regard as a startling fact: 53 percent of associations surveyed in 2011 had raised their dues in the previous three years. To put it another way, during the most severe economic decline in most of our lifetimes, more than half of associations surveyed still moved forward with a dues increase.

Associations Unorthodox #5: Collaborate everywhere

Principled Innovation

This is the fifth post in my series on the six shifts presented in my new e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , created in collaboration with CHIEF. Please check out the previous posts in the series.) As always, I invite your feedback in the comments below, or you can join the Associations Unorthodox conversation on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #auxsix. The Problem.

Making Innovation Happen Survey: Sharing Key Results

Principled Innovation

Video not showing? Find it on YouTube. Last week, I released some preliminary results from the P.I. Making Innovation Happen Survey. This morning, I am sharing more detailed survey results in the form of the video you (should) see above. You are welcome to download this video, as well as a PDF with an overview of these key results. The download link will bring you to a page where you will be able to access both files.).

Jeff De Cagna to deliver keynote at CESSE 2013 Annual Meeting

Principled Innovation

Jeff De Cagna , chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation, has been selected as the opening keynote speaker for the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE) 2013 Annual Meeting. Jeff’s keynote talk, which will take place on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, will focus on themes and ideas shared in his provocative free e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future.

Associations Unorthdox Shift #6: Build a strategically legitimate board

Principled Innovation

This is the sixth and final post in my series on the six shifts presented in my new e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , created in collaboration with CHIEF. Please check out the previous posts in the series.) As always, I invite your feedback in the comments below, or you can join the Associations Unorthodox conversation on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #auxsix. The Problem .

Why business model thinking matters to associations

Principled Innovation

This post appears as an article in the May/June 2012 issue of Success by Association , the magazine of Association Executives of North Carolina. You can download a PDF of the article (512 KB). If your association would like permission to republish this article, please submit a request through the P.I. contact form and provide details in the Message box. Building a 21 st century organization is not an endeavor for the faint of heart.

P.I. Making Innovation Happen Survey is now open

Principled Innovation

The inaugural Principled Innovation Making Innovation Happen Survey for Association CEOs is now open and accepting responses. All association CEOs are invited to complete the survey , which can be found online at [link]. As innovation becomes a more significant strategic priority in the association community, Principled Innovation will be tracking the challenges association CEOs face in making innovation happen within their organizations.

An opportunity for Sacramento associations

Principled Innovation

Jeff De Cagna will be in Sacramento, California in mid-August, and he is available for sessions on August 16 and 17. Any Sacramento area association interested in having Jeff work with its board, senior team or staff can confirm a workshop at a very favorable investment level. To learn more or to schedule a session, please submit an inquiry through the P.I. contact form and mention this post in the Message section.

It’s all about boards and business models in March!

Principled Innovation

In support of my new article, “Trapped in the Past,” a.k.a. “Five Reasons Why Boards Are Killing Association Business Models,” that will appear in Associations Now next month, I have a few activities on the calendar to which members of the association community are invited. Here is a list of what is planned so far: March 6– P.I./TMA

Associations Unorthodox Shift #4: Go all in on digital

Principled Innovation

This is the fourth (and profoundly delayed…sorry!) post in my series on the six shifts presented in my new e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , created in collaboration with CHIEF. Please check out the previous posts in the series.)

Serious Questions: What will it take for your association’s stakeholders to thrive?

Principled Innovation

Last month, I launched the P. Serious Questions newsletter. Each issue of the newsletter presents a serious question on which I offer my thoughts for newsletter subscribers. Starting this month and going forward, I will post the previous month’s serious question and response to the P.I. Blog once the current month’s issue of the newsletter is released. The August 2012 Serious Question of the Month.

Jeff De Cagna elected chair of RedRover Board of Directors

Principled Innovation

Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, has been elected chair of the RedRover Board of Directors. Jeff will begin his two-year term in January 2013. “RedRover is thrilled to have Jeff serving as the next chair of our Board of Directors.

Announcing the Making Innovation Happen Survey!

Principled Innovation

It is my great pleasure to announce that Principled Innovation is launching the inaugural Making Innovation Happen Survey for Association CEOs this morning!

Jeff De Cagna serving as curator for ACE Symposium on July 12

Principled Innovation

Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE , chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, is serving as curator and provocateur for the inaugural Association Chief Executives (ACE) Symposium , to be held on Friday, July 12 at The Gannett Building in McLean, Virginia. The ACE Symposium is open exclusively to association CEOs, and CEO attendees may register their #2 executives to participate with them in the event.

Overcoming the association value gap: part II

Principled Innovation

This post originally appeared on the Associations Now Leadership Blog on March 28, 2013. You can read Part I here. In Part I of this series earlier this month, I identified the association value gap as an underlying structural problem within membership-centric business models. Put simply, associations are unable to drive profitability solely by delivering on the membership value proposition and must find alternative ways to monetize membership to maintain their existing business models.

Read Jeff De Cagna’s latest article on business model innovation

Principled Innovation

Jeff De Cagna’s latest article on business model innovation, “Designing Association Business Models for the Network Age,” is now available for download. The article appears in the August/September 2012 issue of Association Magazine, the official publication of the Canadian Society of Association Executives. Jeff will lead a three-hour workshop on this same topic at CSAE’s National Conference in Ottawa, Ontario on Thursday, November 1, 2012.

Associations Unorthodox Shift #2: Crowdsource strategy

Principled Innovation

Last Tuesday, I began this series of blog posts on the six shifts presented in my new e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , created in collaboration with CHIEF. If you have not done so already, I hope you will download the e-book , and read the Shift #1 post , right away. Also, please join me on September 26 from 2 pm-3:30 pm EDT for my webinar on the e-book, presented in collaboration with Peach New Media.

Associations Unorthodox Shift #1: De-emphasize membership

Principled Innovation

Over the next six weeks, I will publish a post on each of the six shifts presented in my new e-book, Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future , created in collaboration with CHIEF. If you have not done so already, I hope you will download the e-book today. Also, please join me on September 26 from 2 pm-3:30 pm EDT for my webinar on the e-book, presented in collaboration with Peach New Media.

Making Innovation Happen Survey: Preliminary Results

Principled Innovation

In preparation for ASAE’s Annual Meeting next week, I wanted to share some preliminary results from the Making Innovation Happen Survey we conducted during the month of June.

ASAE12 Making Innovation Happen workshop agenda released

Principled Innovation

The agenda for Jeff De Cagna’s upcoming Making Innovation Happen workshop, to be presented during ASAE’s 2012 Annual Meeting (ASAE12) in Dallas, is now available for download [PDF]. Association CEOs and C-Suite executives attending ASAE12 are invited to participate in the workshop, which will take place on Sunday, August 12 from 1:30 pm-5:30 pm in Room D161 of the Dallas Convention Center.

Jeff De Cagna to speak at ASAE12 in Dallas

Principled Innovation

Jeff De Cagna, chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation, will be one of the speakers at ASAE’s 2012 Annual Meeting (ASAE12) in Dallas, Texas next month. The schedule of Jeff’s formal and informal sessions is below: On Sunday, August 12 from 1:30 pm-5:30 pm CDT, Jeff will present a four-hour workshop, “ Making Innovation Happen: An Executive Learning Experience for Association CEOs ” in Room D161 of the Dallas Convention Center.

The era of strategic planning is over

Principled Innovation

During the more than twenty years I have worked in and with associations, it is my guess that organizations throughout our community have committed millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours of staff and voluntary leader time to generate tens of thousands of pages of strategic plans and related documents.

Jeff De Cagna joins ATA Board of Directors

Principled Innovation

Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, has been elected to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) Board of Directors. ATA, located in Portland, Oregon, exists to cure tinnitus through the development of resources that advance tinnitus research. Tinnitus is the medical term for the perception of sound in one or both ears or in the head when no external sound is present. 50 million Americans experience tinnitus to some degree.

Sign up for Serious Questions

Principled Innovation

In early August, Principled Innovation will launch Serious Questions, a regular electronic briefing for senior association leaders. Each month, Serious Questions will explore a new “serious question” facing the association community, provide a curated selection of useful readings for association executives and share other announcements and offers from Principled Innovation.

Build a Bridge to Maximize the Community Experience With Social Learning

Higher Logic

If we build it, members will come, right? Organizations and associations dedicate significant resources to their learning strategies and content development in order to attract members and make their membership more valuable.

How to Recruit and Retain Millennial Employees (Hint: Start by Building Community)

Higher Logic

Some companies naturally attract millennials. They’re the cool ones with foosball tables in their break rooms. But for the rest of the businesses out there, convincing Gen Y that your organization is a great place to work isn’t so easy.

The Great News in the Jive Acquisition

Higher Logic

Last week, Jive announced it was being acquired by Aurea, which would make Jive part of the Aurea customer experience management platform.