“As (organizations) age, they become increasingly effective and decreasingly innovative.” This statement from the co-founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings, caught my attention. This makes sense, we strive to figure out what works, and when we find the magical ingredients that members want, we optimize them. Many associations have been following the rinse and repeat calendar for years.
It stands to reason that most associations haven’t flexed their innovation muscle in some time, but it is never too late to become a more innovative organization.
A few years ago, together with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), we learned how the most innovative associations innovate (because association innovation is different from for-profit company innovation).
We explored the processes, practices, structures, and mindset of association innovation. We learned what drove innovation at these associations and the common barriers encountered along the way. NBAA shared the report with the association community so everyone could learn from it. The results are still applicable today.