One of my favorite quotes was when Eric Shinseki, then the Army Chief of Staff, now Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, said “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”
I love that.
But boy, is it tough for a lot of associations to heed this advice. Many organizations are well on their way to irrelevance.
If you’re a leader of an organization that feels like it is headed that way, here are a few ideas:
1. Revamp your Board. This means dropping the dead wood and looking for some people who will come on the Board and shake things up. If your Board isn’t future looking, the organization won’t be either.
2. Look outside your space. As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane heading to the TED conference. I went last year, thinking I’d be excited to hear the technologists and organizational gurus. But here I learned the most was from poets and gardeners. Sometimes lessons come from unlikely places—open your experiences.
3. Stop doing something. You’ll never get to the items on your “to do” list unless you have a “to don’t” list. Spend some time at your next Board meeting talking about what you can stop. You may discover it leads to a new beginning.