Dear Association Leader Who Defends And Champions Status Quo

Code Name: Cobra Commander

Dear Association Leader:

The status quo does not have your best interest at heart.

It feels safe. And familiar. And comfortable. And even successful. But it’s not.

It’s a very enticing powerful force. It can seduce you into a seemingly logical yet inadvisable present-forward mindset. You project today’s business into the future and expect yesterday’s success tomorrow…although the world continues to change.

Pondering Things That Make You Go Hmmmm

So ask yourself: Do I buy status quo products and services? Would I want my family and friends to purchase run-of-the-mill common experiences?

Who really wants to buy mediocre, ordinary, outdated products and services? How many people will continue to go out of their way to buy what you’re selling if they can find the exact same or even better services elsewhere?

And who on your association leadership team wants to sell average things?

The association marketplace is littered with status quo membership services and programs. Your ability to reproduce your past comes with risks. Rarely does returning to your greatest hits appeal to the buyer. It lacks the appeal of retro, vintage or nostalgia.

Developing Customer Loyalty With The Uncommon

Your customer loyalty is built on making the common uncommon! On making the ordinary extraordinary. On creating unparalleled experiences.

Lower prices, ease of access, updated, well-known programs and services all have their advantages. And those advantages can vanish tomorrow quickly.

However uncommon quality attracts and connects with your customers in powerful, personal unique ways.

Status Quo Equals Conventional Sameness

Status quo’s best friends are inertia, fear, control and ease. It embraces sameness. It clings to: “We’ve tried that in the past and it didn’t work. Just repeat what we did last year.

We’ve always done it that way just won’t cut it anymore.

Status quo is a taker. It will take your passion, your unique ideas, your energy, your difference-making and make you just like every other organization to paraphrase George Couros.

Status quo offerings create a sea of association sameness.

As an association leader, you’ve got to fight the incentive to perpetuate your previous success. You’ve got to be selective about repeating the past and expecting better results. You’ve got to escape the unchecked assumption that your association’s existing business can simply be extended into the future—a present-forward mindset. (Hat tips Innosight.)

Instead you want to adopt a future-back mindset: identifying what a successful future looks like for your target market. Then reverse-engineer programs and services that can help your customers grow into that future state. Ultimately, you invest in your future by investing in your customers’ future. And this creates uncommon programs and services.

Your Mission Should You Choose To Accept It

Association leader, change is the norm today. It’s predictable and certain. It’s inevitable.

You’re needed as a change-maker. A change-agent-leader. As someone who brokers change in your association with a focus on the mission and future success.

Don’t allow change to be something done to your organization Empower your association and its customers to leverage opportunities in change.

Keep an eye on your customers. Keep an eye on their future. Keep an eye on creating uncommon programs and services.

Lead your association to stand out! And please don’t defend the status-quo.

What are some uncommon association products or services that you’ve bought? How is your association developing and offering uncommon services?

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  1. Erick Burton says:

    Great article to catalyst leaders to step up and lead.

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting Erick! I know you fully understand all the nuances and challenges with leadership and the lure of status quo.

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