As with businesses, some industry organisations will not only endure, but grow in the year ahead. What are they doing differently? It might surprise you.
As the recession unfolds industry service organisations across all sectors are bracing for impact as economies and business activity slow. The corollary of a shake-out scenario for industry organisations, is the question of what the high performers are doing to buck the trend?
The US firm Marketing General recently released the findings of a national benchmarking survey of professional and business associations across America. They found that the best performers in membership growth had three dominant characteristics:
1. Understanding and building the value proposition for businesses;
2. Culture of innovation for creating value for businesses; and
3. Proactive strategies and tactics to engage businesses.
These seem so obvious, that you would expect most organisations would say ‘we’re already doing that’. However, is that really the case?
What most industry organisations do is talk up their goals, value, innovation and engagement, while there is a gap between intentions and execution.
It matters, because businesses believe what they see (behaviour), not what they hear (promises they have heard before).
Organisational goals are important for setting direction, but are no guarantee of results. While industry leaders may think they need to change their results, the results are often not the problem.
What they really need is to change the internal systems that cause those results.
The most effective organisations are not only doing what they claim, but striving for excellence. It may seem dreary to talk up organisational systems and good habits, but that is how progress is actually achieved.
The coming months could see dramatic changes for industry organisations.
Those that emerge stronger will be concentrating intensely on getting the fundamentals right to produce great results for businesses, and making it a daily habit to become even better than they were yesterday.