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Why Association Leaders Need a Vision

They must also build a culture that supports it

Time was, the association value proposition was pretty simple: "We're the only ones who care about you." If you were a member of a profession, the association serving it was often the sole option when it came to training you, credentialing you, connecting you with your peers, and advocating on your behalf when legislation could affect your work.

Now, of course, it's not that simple. The internet can provide community and education, and a broader array of associations means professionals can pick and choose which group best serves their interests. And as more professionals change jobs and careers more often, even the so-called "golden handcuffs" of credentialing aren't a guarantee that people will stay.

The value proposition now is more like: "We provide X like nobody else can." What's X? That's up to you, of course, but it's a tricky business. A recent McKinsey & Company article stresses the importance of finding an answer. Five experts from the consulting firm argue that every organization requires a "superpower." Or rather, you need an "institutional capability," something you do "consistently... better than competitors," the article stated. "It must involve work that is integral to the company and the industry; it cannot be a gimmick."

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

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