Thursday, November 8, 2012

Association execs know that success is everything done right; failure is just one thing done wrong.

I’m not sure who originally said this but I recognize it plays out in associations.

The quote came to mind when I was reading a Wall Street Journal story titled “Windows 8 Success Hinges on $10 Component."

The issue is that bringing touch from tablets to PCs is a high-stakes topic from which association executives can learn. 

 Here are a couple of highlights from the story ...
  • Computer makers have teams of engineers designing joints, pivots and connectors for machines running the new software. They measure torque, test different springs and gears, and open and shut devices thousands of times.
  • "The hinge is the key to making it work," says Jeff Barney, vice president of Toshiba Corp’s U.S. PC group. A bad hinge, he added, "is the Achilles' heel of a laptop."
  • Coming up with the right hinge "is an industrial design challenge," says Ken Musgrave, executive director of Dell Inc.'s experience design group.
  • All this concern for components that contribute less than $10 to the cost of a computer. Microprocessor chips, displays and the operating system can all cost closer to $100.
So, for a product as basic as a computer, a $10 part is make or break and “failure” is one hinge gone wrong.
Think about the meaning of this for your association and the products and services it provides members. 
  • You get kudos for an outstanding electronic newsletter but get #FAIL for misspelling the member’s name in a newsletter article listing major donors.
  • Your convention is a huge success but you get #FAIL for the lousy service members received when registering for a hotel room at your convention.
  • Your member service team offers outstanding customer service but you get #FAIL when one member gets “stuck” in your automated voice mail system.
Perhaps it is not right that our members judge our performance like this. After all, association professionals know how much goes in to creating a convention, preparing a publication or working on multiple priorities at one time. 
The little things; however, key our overall performance and how we are judged. So, be sure you and your staff are focused on the little things within your overall programs and services.

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