Monday, May 9, 2016

What are your association’s tribes?

The other day I heard an interview with Mark Cuban (entrepreneur & owner of the Dallas Mavericks). He was being asked about the 2016 Presidential campaign and specifically about the phenomenon of the Trump and Sanders’ campaigns.

Cuban’s main point: Trump and Sanders are not running traditional political campaigns but rather exemplify the theory of tribes and the building of tribes.

Well, this made me think back to reading Seth Godin’s work and books on tribes. And, that if you could have 1,000 true fans, you could accomplish nearly anything.

I googled Godin and tribes and found this 2009 TED talk about tribes. Well worth watching.

Have you looked at your association from tribe theory? Do your members connect with you as fans? Do they rally to your cause? Or, do they just belong?

In looking at the topic, I discovered another Godin commentary that is useful to associations.

Think of his writing below in terms of your member recruitment and retention efforts:

"Sooner or later, tribes begin to exclude interested but unaffiliated newcomers.

"It happens to religious sects, to surfers and to online communities as well. Nascent groups with open arms become mature groups too set in their ways to evangelize and grow their membership, too stuck to engage, change and thrive,

"So much easier to turn someone away than it is to patiently engage with them, the way you were welcomed when you were in their shoes.

"There are two reasons for this:
  • "It's tiresome and boring to keep breaking in newbies. Eternal September, the never-ending stream of repetitive questions and mistakes can wear out even the most committed host. Your IT person wasn't born grouchy--it just happens.
  • "It's threatening to the existing power structure. New voices want new procedures and fresh leadership."
Are your new members threatening to your existing power structure?

What does your association do to engage newer members ... and to offer fresh ideas and fresh leadership to help you keep growing.

This fresh and new way of doing things is important as millennials increase their presence in your industry and/or profession.

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