Does Your Association Have Room for Passion?

Scope of Success podcast recording

A pair of members come to you with an idea to move your mission forward based on a passion they have.

What they are proposing has not been done before.

They are asking your board to support them financially in this endeavor so they can do it properly. The project can create extra excitement for your association.

What do you do? (Select the option most likely for your board.)

A.    Tell them while the project sounds interesting AND it's not part of your five-year strategic plan.

If they want to try to be part of the next round of planning, they can talk to a board member in three years.

B.  Be offended that regular members feel they can highjack your carefully created plan of work.

They aren't offering to be leaders. They just want to do their passion. The nerve! You shut them down quickly explaining if they want to do a new project, they will need to become a board member.


C. You think the idea is interesting; however, the budget has already been approved for the year.

If the members are willing to do the passion project with their money, they might be supported by the board.

D. You like the idea and take it to the board for possible funding.

After six months of discussion, the board decides it's not fair to invest any money in a passion project because other members might have ideas too and it could cause a political mess.

E. Your board is willing to consider the passion project proposal.

They debate potential impact. They do analysis on how this fits with the current plan of work. They argue over unintended consequences and the lack of guarantee for ROI for the association.

Finally, three months later, the board decides to do a mini-level of support.

Unfortunately, it's too late.

The members were hot to get started and took their passion to another organization. It is already a big hit and created dynamic new energy for other members in the other organization.

F. Your board loves new ideas and encourages members to tap their passions in new ways to help move the association mission forward.

You have dedicated funds for new, innovative ideas every year.

Members simply fill out the online proposal form which guides them through the information needed to make a good decision about viability and potential impact.

The leadership team representatives review the proposed project  - less than a week later members have money and approval.

Which of the above options best described your association today?

What kind of space to you hold for members who want to share new ideas and passion?

Is your current approach serving you well in generating enthusiasm, momentum - and growth for your association?

The reason I ask?

I recently spoke at a Project Management Regional Leadership program.

At the end of my session, two men asked if I would be on their Scope of Success podcast show.

I was expecting a quick interview on someone's cell phone.

Instead, I walked out to a professional audio setup.

The men had three fabulous microphones, a mixing board and computers going.

They were super fun together playing off each other as they chatted about their region meeting experience.

Before interviewing me, they paused for a word about their sponsor - the local Long Island Chapter of PMI.

We had a delightful conversation goofing around while still making a few solid points.

The interview was live on their site soon after we finished.

When I asked them about it the show, they explained they had passion for doing a podcast and their local chapter was willing to embrace it.

Click here to check out their site and listen to our interview.
(It's just under 16 minutes long.)

What would you do if some of your members suggested the same passion project to your association? 

How do you support your members in creating their own value while moving your mission forward?

We face a future filled with endless possibilities.

What path will you and your association choose?

- Cynthia

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