May 2016
6 Steps for Strategic Foresight Framework

The Board's Duty of Foresight

Effective High-Impact Leaders Challenge the Status Quo

Future-Focused Leadership
In some circles, associations are generally viewed as being slow movers, . Their strengths skew toward protecting the status quo, valuing the past and advocacy.
Associations that have earned a more progressive reputation have these indicators:

1. Not Demographically Challenged - Have a steady stream of emerging professionals joining and engaging. Also have strong mid-career participation. 

2. Nimble & Strategic Governance - Board and/or staff are empowered and encouraged to take risks that progress the profession.

3. Accessibility - Volunteer leaders actively participate in member education and networking experiences. They don't schedule board or committee meetings during these times.

4. Member Centric - Mission or strategic objectives don't use the words "we" or "us", but rather "you" and "our industry".


5. Future-Focused Stewardship - Leadership embraces the strategic duty of preparing its members and organizations for whatever is coming next.

If your association is missing the mark on any of these indicators, this newsletter is for you. We believe associations that convince their governance to embrace future-focused leadership will be best positioned for long-term sustainability. Be sure to read Jeff De Cagna's provocative post on The Board's Duty of Foresight below. The annual conference is the biggest and most visible stage for an association's leadership to demonstrate through actions, not words, what the future holds.

We're continuing our webinar series at 2:00 PM EST on Tuesday June 7th. Topic will be Metrics Mania For Conference Improvement: Vanity Or Actionable Metrics presented by Jeff Hurt EVP, Education and Engagement. If you'd like to participate, click here to review and register. 
anchor1Future Forward Thinking Cultures Lead To Extraordinary Results
So how do we develop, foster and leverage future focused leadership?

How do we encourage our committees, volunteers, staff and customers to laser focus on what's next, what's coming and co-creating a future together? It's so hard to look ahead when we are often struggling with the past.
For associations to survive and thrive in a time of constant change, their leaders need to develop a clear-eyed and disciplined focus on the future. The duty of foresight is a responsibility that boards must embrace now.

The beginning of 2016 is the right time for association boards to make a fundamental choice.
anchor3Effective High-Impact Leaders Challenge the Status Quo
If a problem persists for years, it is no longer a crisis. It's a condition.

Many organizations face situations built upon shoddy foundations of myth, tradition and common-sense practices.
The current state of affairs has prevailed so long they are now the accepted conditions. It's a condition of "everyone else does it that way" shadows. It yields a world of confusion and conflict, unruly minds and unraveling customer experiences.

There is a clear and important reason that associations are organized as non-profit organizations, and it isn't so they can get out of paying taxes.

Caraveli, always a vocal champion for associations to adopt a "for-profit" mindset in identifying and responding to the needs of their members, reveals in this post a growing frustration with the opposite point of view, still well entrenched in many areas of the association landscape.  
When you drive on a road at night, you depend upon your headlights to help you see.

Without those headlights, you would depend upon the light of the moon or street lights to guide you. Frequently, neither of those is available and without headlights you would crash.