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A Prescription for Your Mission

When you’re feeling unhealthy, oftentimes you will seek the advice of a physician or medical professional. You share your symptoms, receive a prognosis, and are given a prescription to remedy what is making you feel ill. This same process can be applied to your organization – and doesn’t require a trip to a doctor’s office!  

How do you know if your organization is truly healthy?  

To start your organizational health “checkup,” I recommend looking at your membership succession plan. If one doesn’t exist, now is the time to put one in place! An effective membership succession plan and a NextGen membership pipeline are integral to your organization’s survival.  

I encourage you to think about where you would like to see your organization in five years (or even ten or twenty!). What services and experiences do you envision providing your members and how will you continue to engage younger generations?  

We no longer live in an era where knowledge and wisdom are solely passed down from elders to young people.  

Today, our society has more access to education, information, and technology. As a result, every generation now has a wealth of skill sets and experiences to share and absorb with one another. Never before has so much teaching and learning happened simultaneously, and it is important to identify whether that is taking place in your organization or not. 

“Aging out” is a common condition that ultimately means younger generations of members are not being engaged and little to no membership succession planning has taken place. I have had firsthand experience with organizations that had to close their doors because they “aged out.” All too often, it is because they were unwilling to let go of traditions or accept and implement new ideas.  

If you want a future for your organization, you must engage those who will carry you into the future. Regularly conducting temperature checks to gauge the average age of your members, board members, and overall community within your organization can help you identify how diverse your organization really is. A lack of diversity typically results in homogeneous thinking (or as I like to call it, an echo chamber of ideas). Remember, the diversity of your boardroom is likely representative of your community as a whole. A board consisting of early to late-career professionals with a range of knowledge, experience, and wisdom is the key to developing an effective membership succession plan. 

Here is what I prescribe for your tribe: establish where your organization is right now and gain clarity on where you want to be. If your organization is suffering, it may be time to take an honest look within and determine whether you are engaging younger generations and creating experiences that make them feel included within your community. Ushering in a younger generation of members, being willing to learn from their ideas, and regularly assessing age demographics can yield a longer life expectancy and a healthier future. 

For more information, or to get a personalized checkup for your organization, get in touch with us. 

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