If chambers and associations were placed on a continuum with “thriving” on one end and “struggling to survive” on the other, in my opinion, there are huge numbers on both extremes and we’ve never been more polarized.
I don’t have data to support my assertion, but it sure seems that while there’s a huge number of organizations that are “hitting on all cylinders” and soaring like never before, there’s also a similar number in decline and even on life support.
I’m sure about one thing. This polarization on the success continuum is not caused by the economy. There are a number of cases where a soaring organization is a next door neighbor to one that is in critical condition.
So what’s going on?
For decades it’s been overwhelmingly true that organizations in trouble have problems in one or more of the following areas. Organizations that are soaring excel in these.
- Board Leadership – Do you have the right people on the bus?
- Professional staff – Do they have the talents needed for organizational success?
- Programs – Are you doing things that meet the needs of your members?
- Communicating value
- A willingness to risk and embrace change
When organizations are struggling, it often seems that complacency is the culprit and everyone’s content with operating on auto-pilot in an almost zombie-like way.
Rather than protect the past or the status quo, let’s live up to our brand promise and embrace change.
Yes, it’s not easy. If it was, anybody could do it.
Yes, it’s risky, but leadership is risky.
Now’s the time to lead and take your organization to the “thriving” end of the continuum by embracing the four Cs of success: You must have the courage to make a choice, to take a chance to make change happen.
Enjoy the journey. It’s a lot better than standing still.