Rarely are there huge overnight successes in the association industry. Our work is the work of patience. We try new things, learn, iterate and improve over time. We learn to engage members more and the dividends slowly pay off. We try different communication, innovation, and change strategies, some work and some don’t. We find that the most engaged members are engaged personally and this takes time. Engagement work requires patience.
Patience can be a skill that we acquire. We do not have to be born with patience to become patient. Patience is practiced.
Patience in the association industry is difficult. Especially when you see the possibility. The association captures just a fraction of the possible market share. Or when most new members lapse after just one year. Or when a large percentage of members minimally engage. We uncover these statistics and we feel the urge to be impatient.
Beware, because impatience might prompt us to take shortcuts. Or write selfish marketing messaging. Or trade engagement tactics for acquisition tactics. Association professionals can not afford to become impatient.
Our work is engagement work, and engagement work requires patience.