Quick and Easy Tips For Revamping Your Association

Written by Mary Byers on November 1, 2018

Revamping can revitalize and grow all aspects of your organization. There are unlimited ways that the concept of revamping can be used in the association arena. However, it comes with risk and uncertainty. To help you prepare for this process, I have compiled a checklist of things to think about as you embark on any kind of revamp.

Start small, think big

Sometimes a small change can result in a big result. Think about revamping information into bite-size pieces. Change management experts always encourage people to focus on the quick wins: find something small that you can change quickly. You’ll hit it out of the park, and that makes it easier to tackle bigger, more difficult tasks later.

Center member need

One of our strengths as associations is playing in the space where our members live. They are the subject matter experts, often working in different forums and sections of your industry. Part of the challenge is being relevant across the spectrum. The business intelligence piece of that is thinking about what your members need to succeed. How can we help equip them to do better at what they do? What can we do that they cannot do themselves?

Adapt what worked elsewhere

Revamping takes energy. All of us are on deadline and as soon as we finish one project we have to dive headlong into another one. It’s easier to just pull out last year’s agenda, process or format with a slightly altered look, instead of revamping. Adaptability is key. What have you seen work elsewhere? Take it and tweak it so that it fits your culture and organization. There are ideas that wouldn’t work well in one organization that would work wonderfully for another organization.

Get people on board

Be careful about how you communicate revamping processes to volunteer leaders. Do you have the green light to spend this money? The bigger the project, the bigger the potential impact or controversy. The faster you try to execute it, the more suspicious people will be. Ensure buy-in all round before you begin, and take the process at a steady pace.

Prepare to fail

It’s important to go into a revamping project understanding that it might not work, or that if it works now it might not continue to work. Revamping means learning to let go of what is no longer serving you.

And finally, it helps to think about things as a work in progress, always. Revamping is an ongoing project that will never be truly finished, so enjoy the process!

Mary spoke in the “Revamp to Revitalize and Grow” session during SURGE Optimism 2018, an interactive virtual conference hosted by AssociationSuccess.org on November 7th-9th. Click here to watch the sessions on demand.