A leader’s ability to make shifts to his/her organization is a key skill that is hard to master. Whether it is anticipating the needs of your members, responding to internal financial concerns, or predicting industry trends, leaders are constantly trying to get their staff and boards to stay one step ahead.
Let’s face it. To stay ahead associations need to make quicker and more accurate decisions. Take a recent survey conducted by the International Association of Conference Centers. They asked what meeting planners of all ages prefer and how that affects which venue and conference space is selected. Not surprisingly, they found that there are generational differences amongst attendees. For example, millennials prefer meetings to have an experiential learning aspect while baby boomer attendees prefer high-quality service over anything else. Recognizing and acting on these changes is instrumental in how you deliver service to your clients. In the near future, meeting planners will shift their approach given the information they have. By anticipating their needs, you can provide a personalized experience that delights.
As a person that admires the quality of the experience, and the CEO of a technology company, I enjoy thinking about opportunities such as the one above. Recognizing shifts provides us with boundless opportunities to reinvent an experience for members, how our employees work and take care of customers, create new business models, or simply make our day-to-day lives easier and more enjoyable.
Here are five shifts that will continue to influence how we run our organizations and personal lives. I’ll expand on them in a series of future articles, but for now, it’s about recognizing them, and considering how they can easily be applied to your organization.
Technology is always evolving, but it’s not enough to acknowledge its evolution without the opportunity to recognize its value. Within technology companies, it’s becoming less about the technology and more about users experience -- you put more emphasis on turning design flaw, into design awe, and what used to be challenging to accomplish performed with ease.
In fact, with technology and the expansion of cloud computing, associations can access information faster than before and it’s time to get on board. A 2014 Intuit study predicts that 80 percent of small businesses will have fully adapted to cloud computing by 2020. In the past, you had to identify separate hardware, software, and network engineering services.
Now, we view the world as wholly integrated; we’re able to access our data from anywhere despite proximity to data centers. With a cloud shift, you'll see that limited solutions are turning into endless possibilities.
Understanding how to identify and utilize this shared data lies in an analytical shift. Analytics are an excellent way to tell how and where your organization is shifting, and what areas you should concentrate your efforts, as evidenced by the aforementioned survey. In the future, it’s possible that organizations will be able to make real-time changes to attended meetings or event experiences.
With nearly 2.1 billion people having social media accounts, it is evident we should pay close attention to social shifts. Social media is changing the way information is collected, how products are designed, and how marketing is conducted. You can’t control the message anymore because consumers demand transparency.
Consumers are more connected now than ever before. It is important to ask: How is your organization enacting what your consumer is asking for? Do you even know what your consumer wants? We want things to be easier, more efficient, and tailored to our needs.
At the end of the day, the greatest winners will be your clients and what you can deliver to them. The first step is to start shifting.
JP Guilbault is President and Chief Executive Officer of Your Membership. He also serves on AMCI’s Board of Directors.