Associations tend to lean toward optimizing. Optimizing can become a trap. Learn how to avoid this trap in the newest mini-course for association professionals:
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Optimizing is the habit of improving what we do to become incrementally better. Here are some optimizing tactics:
- Looking at Google Analytics and changing our navigation so members get to the content they need with fewer clicks.
- Or we can optimize our member marketing communications with A/B testing.
- Or we can use last year’s attendee feedback to make this year’s conference a bit better.
We optimize all the time in our jobs.
Optimization is taking what we already do and making it better. Essentially it’s improving on a solution for a problem we’ve already solved. Optimization is good! Optimization is necessary. But to a point.
Associations that only optimize are in danger of not being future focused. If you work for an association that is defined by what it provides: articles, research, the conference; the association may be too heavily focused on optimization.
Optimization must be balanced by innovation. Innovation is solving a new key problem that our members are deeply challenged with. Innovations don’t need to be grand. They can be small but unlike optimization we are never really sure if they are going to work because they are new.
If you work for an association that heavily defines itself by it’s members; who you serve rather than what you provide, the association is likely primed for innovation.
Sometimes we confuse optimizing for innovating. Optimizing is improving on a solution for a problem we’ve already solved. While innovating is providing a solution for a new problem.
By all means optimize … but innovate too.