Tuesday, December 6, 2011

“Speed wins. While you’re looking at your calen..



“Speed wins. While you’re looking at your calendar to find the time to get back to your customers (read members), they are looking at their watches.” Joe Calloway

Speed does win ... in nearly every endeavor.

I can think of at least three stories about speed.


  • Tom Bedecki, one of my college hockey coaches, used to tell me I’d be better at hockey if I was “more mobile, agile and hostile.” And, he was right ... especially as I tried to keep up with faster and more mobile skaters!
  • My dad was general manager of a cooperative organization. Back in the early 60s, he realized the size of the board was inhibiting the organization’s ability to act quickly within its competitive environment. Dad convinced his board to downsize from 35 to 15. When I asked him how he was able to convince them to make the change, he said “I explained that -- in our competitive marketplace -- we needed to act quickly and couldn’t wait until the board could meet.” 
  • David Meerman Scott talks about real time marketing. At the 2011 Content Marketing World conference, he said “Too many companies fail to operate in the present. They do a great job in planning for the future but fail to plan for NOW or react NOW. The Power Law of Marketing & PR shows value of NOW marketing.” 
How many of our association and nonprofit organizations are contemplating strategy while our competitors (which is anyone seeking time and money from our members and donors) are quickly moving forward and earning the time and money of our friends and prospects.

The problem (as noted by Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers, CAE, in their cutting edge book Race for Relevance) is a function of our current board governance structure which includes large boards, multiple committees and complex board meetings. All make most of our organizations unable to act fast enough in today’s fast-paced environment.

As I mentioned in a previous post, our members, prospects and donors experiences with organizations as consumers greatly influences their expectations of their associations and nonprofit organizations. Speed and quick responses they receive from most of those companies sets the bar for us.

Have you and your organization established systems/processes that allow your organization to move quickly to opportunities? Are you practicing real time marketing? Who within your organization is monitoring hourly information to determine if it is a threat or opportunity for your association? And, do your processes allow you to act with speed and agility? If not, why not?

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