Having lost a portion of industry members to the recession, many business associations are having a hard time getting back to the business of membership growth and service. Working with a number of organizations, we see groups at both ends of the activity spectrum and everything in between.
Entire books are written on how to plan and produce a successful board retreat. But they all have one thing in common – A date must be set! I know, simple. Not so fast.
Board members are busy shoring up and gradually growing their own businesses. Where’s the time? Who will do the agenda? Who will set everything up? Who will keep things on track when that one guy goes off on a tangent? Should there be a theme? Will members of the board agree on anything? Should paid or volunteer staff be present?
We work with associations that need answers to all of those questions. The answers are different with every group. But one thing’s for sure, you’d better not wait. If boards do nothing; if nothing changes or appears to help or excite the rank and file, membership will drop like a rock. If the board of directors don’t care enough to meet one day a year to energize and set new goals for their industry members, why should anyone pay dues?
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