Sunday, November 23, 2008

10 trends that will significantly impact associations – use them to create a Strategic GPS for your nonprofit brand.

ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership’s latest environmental scan was released last month at their annual meeting. This installment of ASAE’s environmental scanning process (new scans are released every three years or so), entitled Designing Your Future (DYF) was conducted by Fast Future, led by Rohit Talwar, a leading futurist.

It neatly categorizes environmental trends into 10 memorable soundbites.

1. What’s your leadership paradigm—envisioning tomorrow’s association
2. What’s plan B—adapting to a new economic landscape
3. Who’s driving the talent agenda—recruiting and preparing tomorrow’s labor force
4. Who’s the customer—serving an aging, multi-generational and ethnically diverse workforce
5. How do you connect your community—tapping the potential of social networks
6. Where’s the money—responding to shifting patterns of income and wealth
7. How can you exploit new business models—staying responsive and solvent
8. What’s your consumption footprint—facing up to energy and environmental pressures
9. How sustainable are you—managing ethics, transparency accountability and responsibility
10. What’s next on the radar—embedding environmental scanning, scenario planning and what-if thinking

Each of the strategic challenges also offers a few paragraphs worth of narrative describing it in more depth along with a case study from a real-life association situation and key questions to be used in examining the challenge with your association’s staff and board.

DYF also offers tools to help associations make decisions based on the scan’s findings, and in-depth analysis of each of the 50 key trends cited, including a boatload of URLs you can follow to read source materials about the trends. Finally, there are a number of helpful suggestions for how association execs can get started on implementing strategies based on what they learn in DYF.

There's also an interactive web-based trends database that debuted at ASAE & The Center's Annual Meeting.

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