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February 26, 2019

Association Innovation: How Much Does Age Matter?

How much does age matter when it comes to an association’s ability to achieve and foster innovation?

On one hand, newly-established organizations often exhibit a nimbleness and openness that their more established peer organizations may lack. But what about the disruptors that enter a market and, with very limited experience and tenure, completely change an industry or product? Think Amazon, Lyft, Dyson … The list is long.

The truth is that being innovative is more than just adapting to changes in the association space — it’s adapting to industry trends, membership needs and the state of the world around us. In many cases, it’s even about the individuals who lead those associations.

On March 18th, my colleagues and I will host an Idea Lab at the Great Ideas Conference in Colorado Springs. Our session, Innovation Within an Association’s Lifespan, will share stories and encourage open dialogue about the opportunities and challenges surrounding association innovation.

From the personal to the organizational, the panelists will share how they’ve spurred new ways of thinking and working within their organizations. We will invite attendees to share their own stories and drive the conversation as we explore questions like:

  • What drives innovation?
  • Where can you turn for support in becoming more innovative?
  • How can you be innovative in an organization that has variables beyond your control?
  • What does staff longevity mean for an association’s potential to innovate?
  • And, ultimately, what do we mean by “innovation?”

From starting a new organization or restructuring staff and traditional methods to building the right teams to foster an innovative culture, we will take a deeper look at solutions to the toughest barriers of innovation. Colleagues joining me include:

  • Deborah White, MBA VP of membership & marketing, AANAC
  • Joe Ricci, CAE President and CEO, TRSA
  • Lisa Levine, CAE CEO, Energy Bar Association
  • Peter O’Neill, FASAE, CAE CEO, ASIS International

Hear inspiring stories that help you take the next steps toward innovation within yourself and your organization on March 18 from 11 – noon MST.

Learn more about our session and join us at Great Ideas, March 17–19, in Colorado Springs.


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