Embrace the opportunity of an association leadership change

Change is coming. Your association’s long-time executive director or CEO announced they’ll be stepping down. An outsider’s been tabbed as their replacement.

So what’s next for your association?

We touched on this in a post on this on Associations Now, but from the perspective of an uneasy employee wondering about their personal future. In that piece, we recommended the following approaches to an association leadership change:

  • Get excited, not worried
  • Be a fly on the wall. Try to be patient, listen and learn
  • Be yourself and maintain your progress

But does that really happen? Are most association employees really that worried when a new leader comes around? Probably not.

So you’re not in a position of uneasiness, and neither are your coworkers. This change has been on the horizon for some time. Everyone’s prepared, and everyone’s confident in the staff’s new leader.

While employees were happy under the direction of the former CEO or executive director, association leadership change provides a rare opportunity to try new things. Change what’s not working. Double down on what is.

It’s an exciting time at the office. There’s a little more pep in everyone’s step. Try harnessing this newfound energy and see where it takes you.

Make some website changes

You’ll have to update your staff page anyway, why not do a quick website remodel while you’re at it. Small style improvements to the cards on your association staff page or the overall look of the event management module can do wonders for your public image. (Be sure to involve your association management software vendor in this process to ensure everything is styled correctly)

Learn more from your members

When the association’s top dog has been around seemingly forever, members come to appreciate their direction. Members look to them for guidance on industry issues.

No matter how great the replacement, the institutional respect won’t be there. Members won’t look to the new director as often. Great. You have the perfect opportunity to learn from your members and look to them as industry leaders.

Every association has a member database, right? They all have — most likely — member profiles, too. Are they all taking the information from those profiles to craft a tailored experience for members? Absolutely not.

Find out your members’ interests. Use that data to craft more engaging professional development opportunities. Write more relevant blog posts. Create better annual meeting experiences.

The information is there. At least, the opportunity is. Whatever the case, use your data wisely. ASAE agrees.

Whether you have analytics staff, hire consultants or take courses to improve your own data-crunching aptitude, having someone who can sort through the numbers and explain their meaning to key stakeholders, including the board and senior staff, will advance the data’s utility in strategic decisions.”

Change your aging software

If the previous CEO or executive director had a personal connection with a software vendor that wasn’t particularly loved by the staff, now’s a great time to make a change.

If the association aims to follow Step 2, as listed above, you’ll want a database with simple dashboards to display complex data.

Or, if you’re already considering major accounting or email marketing changes, maybe it’s time to change your association management software to something that integrates easily with both.

Ready to make a change? Request a demo with Protech staff today.