We are confronted with so many choices every day we cannot think critically about every one of them, so our brains take shortcuts. We grab the same brand and flavor of laundry detergent each time it is on the list. We tend to eat the same thing for breakfast. Even when we get a restaurant menu with a hundred items, we tend to gravitate to a handful of the same delicious items we usually order. With infinite possibilities, it is hard to make a decision. So our brains adopt habits, heuristics, and a heap of cognitive biases to reduce the load.
Knowing that consumers are more likely to choose their offering when there are fewer choices, companies narrow the possible paths for us. For $14.99 you can get the silver level, for $24.99 the bronze, and for $39.99 you can get the gold package most professionals choose! In almost every product category there is the economy choice, a middle choice, and a luxury choice.
We are used to two or three choices, and this extends beyond our spending habits. Almost everyone is either a Democrat or a Republican, very few are Independent, less are Green and just a very do not find any affiliation with any of the parties. Give us a choice between two or three selections, and we are likely to pick one. And this poses a moral obligation for all associations.
As association professionals, we tasked with narrowing, defining, and amplifying the significant issues. We do this in research, in publications, and in programming. We do this when we pick speakers, authors, respondents, and experts to interview.
While performing the role of guiding our association on the significant issues, we could leave out a critical choice. Or it is possible that we could define one of the issues just a little bit wrong?
Hopefully, members take notice, stand up, and let us know that what we put forward is incomplete. But what if they do not?
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