April 1, 2011 by Jeff Hurt
All living systems, including associations, go through five predictable life cycles:
Healthy systems work to avoid decline and eventual death by using the wisdom and calm of maturity to plan a rebirth. Unhealthy systems avoid change as long as possible, often to their own demise.
Leadership often needs to step back from their customary role of being agents for members, promoting members’ interests. They need to become stewards of the system anticipating the future, even as others enjoy the present.
Each life cycle requires leaders to act in specific ways to maintain the development of a healthy association.
All association leadership needs training in identifying the life cycle stage of the association and their roles during that stage. Ultimately, leaders need to be analytical and calm, avoiding blame and managing conflict.
What other “shoulds” would you add to these life-cycles? Why do association leadership (staff and boards) often ignore symptoms of decline or death?
Filed Under: Ramblings
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