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Patrick Dorsey: 2020 Association Technology Disruptor

 

7 traits that define technology disruptors

Innovative problem solvers that seek efficiency & always put members before themselves

Patrick Dorsey

Technology disruptors are never satisfied. Creating workarounds on top of workarounds doesn’t work for them. They don’t like the status quo. They don’t like wasting time. They want to make operations at their associations more streamlined, more efficient and, by extension, more profitable. Reduce repetitive work for association employees, reduce friction for member purchases, find a process that turns five clicks into two — simply put, disruptors want to make things easier.

Never before has this problem-solving mindset been more critical to the survival of associations than today. Quick thinking, decisiveness, and flexibility have meant the difference for organizations that were able to provide guidance for their members in this time of need, and those that went dark.

Before the pandemic started, Impexium began profiling technology disruptors from a variety of associations ranging from medical to military to archery, and everything in-between. And we continued speaking with these forward-thinking individuals as the world went into lockdown. We found that despite the differences in the sizes and missions of their associations, there were many commonalities in the struggles these professionals faced, and the tactics they used to overcome them.

The issues ranged from an inability to efficiently analyze data to having great content on their site that was nearly impossible for members to find to that old popular favorite: spending hours and hours of helping members remember their passwords. And the more we spoke with these innovative problem-solvers, the more we saw recurring traits in people who are passionate about doing great work that helps their associations and members thrive.

They find the right tool for the job.

“We initially had an AMS that was too complex and too big for us. We're an organization of 20 people, and we don't have a dedicated technology team that you’d need to manage something of that size. It created more work for us, and anytime there are more clicks and steps for staff, the larger the margin of potential error. We needed something that was more user-friendly for our staff and when we learned that Impeixum had new functionality for credentialing, we decided to pull out of the old system and start over. And no longer needing to spend 20-30 hours a week on credentialing — it’s almost like we hired an entirely new staff member.” — Jessica Gleason, Deputy Director of the Association for Addiction Professionals.

They empower others.

“Impexium has empowered our members to feel comfortable troubleshooting if they need to, but more importantly, it makes things very clear and visible as to what resources are available and where to click to get them. It is a centralized place where everything can be accessed. Now it is so much easier for our members to register and participate in what we offer. This has allowed our staff to devote their energy and time to bigger things — not having to worry so much assisting people with passwords or where they can find event information.” — Kat Michel, Senior Manager of Member Services at the American Art Therapy Association.

They listen to data — and their gut

“I'm not a believer in only making fact-based decisions because I think human intuition, curiosity and innovation go beyond what data will tell you. However, you do have to look at the data and try to understand what it is telling you. I don't think the data can ever actually tell you what to do. But sometimes it can tell you what not to do. Understanding your past provides key information to understand your improvement efforts and make decisions that change your future for the better.” — Roy Youngman the head of Member Experience and Knowledge Management at BRM Institute.

They seek simplicity.

“Our members love how simple it is to set themselves up in the system, and how easy it is to find out things like, ‘Hey, when does my membership expire?’ They can click to renew, click to join — click whatever they need to do and have any issue taken care of instantly. On the association side, this means that we don't have to send out invoices for membership renewals and wait for checks to trickle back in through the mail. Impexium allows the process to be faster and easier.” — Tatyana James, Meeting and Membership Manager for the New York Society of Association Executives.

They get excited about new possibilities.

“Before we made the change to Impexium, people would ask me, ‘Can we do this?’ and my answer was usually, ‘Sorry, not possible.’ Now, the answer is often yes, and if it isn’t available immediately, we work with Impexium to strategize a plan forward or add it to the roadmap.’” — Wendy Lang, Senior Manager of Membership, Archery Trade Association.

They take great pride in helping members succeed.

“There’s an analogy that is often made: a special operator breaking down a door in hostile territory is like an astronaut stepping foot on the moon. There is this elite person who is on target, and behind them are hundreds, if not thousands of people who made that success possible.” — Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew, Chief Operating Officer of Global SOF Foundation.

We all want to make better and faster decisions. The ability to quickly pivot based on data and member feedback is more critical than ever for associations to succeed. And as these disruptors have shown, having the right platform and digital tools at your disposal allows organizations to not only save time and energy, but to refocus their resources into creative and impactful initiatives that meet and exceed the needs of their members.

Change may be the only constant in business — but that doesn’t make organizational transformation any easier. Association leaders are balancing competing priorities and increasing demands, enough to make even the most driven executive fall victim to the inertia of the status-quo.

If the same old, same old just won't work for your association any longer...

Transform your thinking, find ways to work smarter and make technology work for you and not against you. Stop settling.

Contact us today and take the first step towards becoming an Association Technology Disruptor.

 

 

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