Lessons in Association Management: How to Communicate Your Group’s Vision

Best Practices : Article

Association management vision sharingI recently read a great article in The New York Times about how challenging it will be for Microsoft to find its new CEO, given the diversity of businesses that the company represents. The article ends with a quote from Harvard Business School professor, David Yoffie:

“I think the fundamental question for the next CEO of Microsoft is, what is his vision for Microsoft?”

When it comes to association management, vision is paramount. But having a vision is only half the battle for associations. At times, a bigger challenge will be communicating that vision effectively. Here are five ways to do just that:

1. Repeat yourself

It’s not just about people needing to hear a message over and over again; it’s that new people are tuning in to your message every day. When you talk about your vision, remember there are always those who are hearing it for the first time.

2. Use every medium

People learn in different ways—some learn by listening, others learn by reading, still others learn by doing. In a world full of multi-modal learners, don’t restrict the communication of your vision to any one mode—just a written statement, for example. Why not produce a two-minute video about your vision? Or create an infographic?

3. Bring it home

Help members make the connection between your association programs and the broader vision. For example, “Welcome to our training program—our vision is to bring our profession to the next level. This program is a part of that…”

4. Don’t hide it

I shouldn’t have to look deep within an association’s “About Us” section to identify its purpose. Communicate your vision on key pages of your website. Don’t recycle the same boilerplate material. Push yourself to use fresh, compelling language.

5. Repeat yourself

Get the point?

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