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I really enjoyed reading this article: The Upside of Down, published by Associations Now, the ASAE publication. Given where we all are right now, a little perspective and focus on the ‘silver lining’ is where I’d rather be focusing. And as these statements are true for Associations, they can also be applied to for-profit organizations as well. In the article, a few ASAE folks talk about forward-thinking moves, and I agree (with my interpretations below):

  1. Assess everything for true ROI (return on investment) and Results – tangible or intangible as they may be. What’s working? What’s not? Hold onto the former, let go of the latter.
  2. Recognize realities – black tie affairs are ‘out’, brown bag lunch-and-learns are ‘in’
  3. Get creative, and ask your customers what they really need
  4. Then give it to them.I would add one more, that is:
  5. Capture the knowledge and expertise of your customers (members) and convert that knowledge into tangible products that the rest of your customers (membership) will highly value.

Of course, I’m always going to take the “learning” point of view – but truly, having customers continue to value you as a provider (and not consider dropping you this year) will pay dividends this year, and years to come, since a lost customer is a lot harder to re-engage.