Most associations won’t drastically change their patterns unless they are facing a burning platform and have to jump. There is generally too much momentum supporting the way “we have always done it”. But, this does not mean you can’t innovate. It just means you have to build confidence, comfort and a plan for innovation in your organization.
Start with small steps that expose your team to what innovation looks and feels like in your organization. Small steps can be something as simple as having a real discussion about what worked and what didn’t work at your last event and making changes based on the insights, asking your members what they are trying to accomplish and listening, or testing a new process or technology for a project. Small steps will help to build your innovation skills, your organizational confidence and your colleague’s buy-in.
Taking small steps isn’t avoiding innovation. The small steps build innovation confidence. Small steps show your team that you are serious about making change and that you want them to come on the journey.
Small steps are part of leading real change. Take a small step toward innovation today. Here are a few you could try:
- Have an honest discussion with staff or members exploring “how we could improve ____ (an existing program, resource, process, etc) to better serve members, our mission or the organization?”
- Engage people from outside your association, industry or profession in exploring a need, idea, challenge/opportunity, etc?
- Celebrate staff attempting new ideas or activities, even if it didn’t work as planned.
- · Have a “How might we…?” discussion challenging your team to think and explore other ways you can serve a need, address a challenge or embrace an opportunity.
I encourage you to check out David Kelley’s TED2012 video How To Build Your Creative Confidence it is an easy introduction to helping people build their confidence to do something different.
“The real gap is between doing nothing and doing something.” ~ Austin Kleon, “Show Your Work”