Did you know that only 11% of association professionals feel very technologically prepared for the future? Research from the Community Brands Association Trends Study, also discovered less than 5% of professionals use AI, predictive analytics, or machine learning in their organization.
To thrive as a modern association, leaders must be willing to embrace the change management process and accept the powerful role of innovative technology in advancing organizational goals. While some might view modern technology as a costly investment, leaders must understand the digital imperative in improving the member experience and ensuring organizational success.
Follow our five tips to effectively lead in the change management process and align technology with your association’s goals:
How to leverage change management for your association’s goals
When it comes to adopting innovative technology to advance your organization’s goals, it’s crucial to understand your role in the process. As a leader, you’ll be guiding your staff and members through transitional change. “The organizations that are thriving and not just surviving, are those who are investing in change management, and taking the time to focus on the successful adoption of technology,” says Kathleen McQuilkin, PMP of DelCor Technology Solutions and Vice President of Practice Areas.
Lean into change management as you lead your association through a departure from the status quo and into the future. Here’s how to get started:
1. Lay the groundwork for change. Before you can implement new technology, you’ll need to focus on your association’s current needs and consider how technology can bridge the gap. What are your organizational priorities and what capabilities do you need in your new system? Consider requirements like integration, shared data, seamless upgrades, and dependable application architecture.
2. Seek feedback. As you develop your vision for change, look to your members for valuable technological insights. “Ensure that your organization is getting relevant data, otherwise it will be an incomplete equation,” says Jim Pearson, PMP, Senior Information Technology Consultant at Ellipsis Partners LLC.
Gather relevant data by conducting member surveys on how individuals use technology. Review website data and consider membership renewal activity, abandoned shopping carts, and highly-trafficked and inactive website locations. Look at customer support issues to dig deeper into current technology pain points. Use the feedback to guarantee you choose the best modern technology for your association and successfully communicate and implement the change.
3. Create a vision for change. Once you have a sense of what technology your association needs, you’ll need to build a communication plan to share with other organizational leaders and stakeholders. “Get them up to speed with the change in technology adoption,” says David Schulman, President of Associations Rewired. “Your digital presence is now the primary means of delivering value.”
As you develop a communication plan, ensure you consider key performance indicators to determine how you’ll measure success. Determine the project scope and the steps it will take to effectively implement new technology. Also, consider who will oversee the change management process. Who will sign off at each stage, and who is ultimately responsible for implementation?
4. Implement the changes. With a clear sense of what needs to occur at your association and how new technology can help you reach your goals—you’ll be ready to influence change. Create a communication timeline to determine how you want to announce the news to your staff and members. Ensure all details are shared across groups synchronously, whether it’s through an all-hands meeting or internal emails. You’ll want to guarantee all staff, members, and stakeholders know when change is occurring and why.
TECH TIP: Use Nimble Create to automate all critical communication of upcoming organizational changes. With personalized and branded email templates, you can ensure all members receive official messaging synchronously.
5. Embrace a change management culture. Adopting innovative technology to advance your association’s goals isn’t just a one-and-done deal. “Change management must be more heavily applied to associations,” says Schulman. “As you transition to modern technology, remember you’re building a garden, you need to seed it, feed it, and water it.”
Integrating change management into your association’s culture requires a paradigm shift. While it can take time for everyone to embrace change, the outcome is well worth your efforts. Leveraging innovative technology has the power to transform you into a modern association, positioning your organization as a frontrunner in the industry.
Are you looking for the best innovative technology for your organization? Discover how Nimble AMS leverages continuous upgrades, user-friendly reporting, member-driven configurations, AI, and predictive analytics to power modern associations. Read our guide, Help Your Entire Organization Thrive with Nimble AMS to learn how Nimble AMS can transform your organization.