Forever changed: the future of associations
WHAT do the Black Death (mid-1300s), the Spanish Flu (1918-1920) and the Covid-19 pandemics have in common, besides causing the deaths of millions of people? These are all universal adverse events that changed the world forever.
Futurist Gihan Perera, online presenter, speaker and author, opened his webinar presentation titled “Forever After: The Future Is Not What It Was!” with this story.
Below are my main takeaways on the three levels of what Gihan has covered for the future (global, digital and personal), which I think will resonate with associations:
1. “We are not safe until we are all safe. “
This refers to the varying status of immunization around the world, i.e. high immunization in high income countries and low immunization in low income countries, which has implications for the duration of the vaccination. current pandemic.
The longer the pandemic persists, the more challenges associations face in terms of member engagement, product and service delivery, income generation, labor productivity, as well as its own survival.
2. Time zones are more important than geographic locations.
This involves, for example, organizing the work teams of an international association which must collaborate more effectively and efficiently. By being in the same time zone as opposed to a dispersed location, the association will be able to fulfill its role better and more quickly.
3. On the change of mindset for business and innovation, Gihan quoted Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, a billionaire Indian entrepreneur who said, “For me, a successful drug is serving at least a billion patients, not about a billion dollars. It is about patients first and business will follow.
If you replace the word “medicine” with “service” and “patients” with “members”, it becomes a subtle message to associations on how they should first take care of their members.
1. Omnichannel retail.
This refers to a retailer’s efforts to deliver a consistent and coordinated customer experience across all possible distribution channels, using reliable and universal data. For an association, this helps promote and deliver its services to members largely through technology and data analysis.
2. Online learning (also called e-learning).
While e-learning has been around for some time, the pandemic has accelerated its transformation. Associations must now offer most of their knowledge resources in digital formats and dissemination media.
1. Mental health
It includes emotional, psychological and social well-being which affects the way people think, feel and act and help determine how they deal with stress, relate to others, and make healthy decisions. More than ever, associations are faced with this problem, particularly with their stakeholders.
2. “Head of lawyer”
Someone who has a “soft exterior” (people skills) and a “hard interior” (business acumen); something that an association can emulate.
Two more additions: be an active learner and talk to young people. If you have a youngster in the family, Gihan jokes, “the future lives with you!”
Column contributor Octavio ‘Bobby’ Peralta is the founder and CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE). The PCAAE is organizing the Summit of Associations 9 (AS9) on November 24 and 25, 2021. The two-day virtual event is supported by the Tourism Promotion Council. E-mail [email protected] for more details on AS9.