Here is another way to look for gaps in your association’s value proposition.
The results of years of member research show that high-performing professionals tend to move through three stages during their career. These career stages showed up for all professionals no matter what industries or professions they are in, no matter how big their organization, and no matter whether their organization is a for-profit or non-profit.
Stage One: Personal Success
Professionals at this stage want to become great at their job. They may be new to the workforce, or new to their organization, or new to the profession, or new to an industry. They recognize that they have a lot to learn and they want to prove or distinguish themselves. These professionals are gaining tons of technical skills, they might be learning the systems and process of their organization, and they are learning soft skills like how to collaborate with team members, how to manage up, and how to be an excellent communicator.
Stage Two: Team Success
After professionals achieve personal success, they start focusing on team success. Some move into managerial positions but, becoming a manager or supervisor is not necessary for professionals to focus on team success. Even individual contributors focus on team success. They become champions for their department. They mentor others in their organization or within their profession or industry. At this stage, professionals are building their influencing skills. The focus on team success happens when they become so proficient at their jobs, they can help others.
Stage Three: Success for the Industry or Profession
Finally, in stage three, professionals expand their focus even broader. Now they are concerned with rapid changes in technology and how these changes will impact the industry or profession. Or they might be concerned with new regulations, a constricting market, or changes in public perception and how these forces will affect their industry or profession. At this stage, professionals are grappling with complex and ambiguous problems with no clear and easy solutions.
If your professional or trade association is one where you hope members stay members their entire career while they are in the profession or industry you want to make sure that the association is providing value to members at all three stages. Some associations focus heavily on personal success but not at all on team success or success for the industry or profession. How can you develop content or a forum for members at each stage?