Wouldn’t it be helpful if your association could see missteps coming and predict the future? By practicing how to think two steps ahead of the game, you can.
Taking the time to think long and hard about the future of your association is a helpful way to prepare for any change or complication that could come your way. It allows you to make long-term decisions, plan out your future, and adapt to any unexpected surprises that may pop up along the journey.
So, if your association doesn’t already, you should think about…well, thinking. But practicing foresight isn’t something that can come easily for every association.
That’s why we’re sharing our tips on how to start intuitively thinking long-term about your association’s endeavors in order to prepare for a more successful future. We’ll show what strategies can keep you on track, how to organize and use data to avoid complications, and how innovative software can help along the way.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to feel like you can predict the future, keep reading to find out more.
Developing a strategy
What’s the best way to predict future moves and counter them with ease? By developing a strategy.
Strategic planning can be used in all types of situations, but your association should really consider using it to prepare for the future. After all, practicing foresight is a way for your association to analyze and act on potential happenings before they even occur. Therefore, it’d be silly not to develop a plan ahead of time.
When developing a future strategy, your association should be assessing four different aspects of the organization: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats- shortened down to an acronym known as SWOT. These four characteristics can help better describe the wellbeing of your association from the inside out, so you’ll want to pay close attention to them.
By assessing your association’s SWOT traits, you can then start to strategize around your results and use your strengths/weaknesses as a benchmark to how you should be moving forward. Your strategy should be somewhat long term, allowing you to look 5-10 years ahead and set up a structure that will keep you on track to accomplish your goals. After all, foresight is all about looking towards a brighter future.
Provide foresight for members
If you enjoy knowing more about what to expect in the future for your association, think about how your members would feel having some foresight in their own personal endeavors.
Providing content that gives members insight on industry changes and predictions can help them better prepare for their own professional future. Members look to your association to help guide them towards positive decision making and career enhancement. If you can provide them with content that keeps them on their toes, you’ll have a better chance at keeping them satisfied.
Make it a priority to do some research about the topics your members care about. Look into the latest trends and updates within your association’s industry and provide that information in a valuable, interesting form of content that members can engage with and learn from.
You can also create newsletters to send out to members curating content that deals with professional and industry changes and updates. This way, members don’t have to take time out of their day scouring the internet for the articles they need. With your association cutting out all of the work and providing amazing content for them to digest, you’ll be doing them quite the service.
Providing foresight for your member’s future can help them feel secure with your association.
Tools to help
As we said before, planning for the future is a tall order, and not something that you should try to tackle on your own. That being said, there are a wide variety of tools you can use to help connect the dots.
For example, if you want assistance predicting the state of your association’s membership, you can try using member mapping to predict membership success. Mapping members is a strategy that uses member data to provide insight on how your future membership growth process should go.
You can also use tools to keep track of your association’s data for future analysis. You can track things like revenue growth, retention, engagement on online content, event attendance, and any other metrics your association wants to use in its future planning.
With the right software and tools on your side, analyzing your current success to visualize your future can be a breeze.
Practicing foresight to prepare your association for any wins or losses can help keep the path to success smooth. Use the tools and knowledge you have as association professionals to lead your organization to a brighter future.