Why Change Challenges Associations

If you are an association CEO struggling to be a great change leader, you may appreciate this reminder of why your volunteers and staff are so content with the status quo. 

Your volunteers and staff like the security of knowing what to expect, living in a familiar world. Yet your job as a change leader is to help them accept risk, to brave the unknown. 

In stasis your volunteer leaders have resolved who has power and authority.  Everyone understands their roles and they rely on precedent to make decisions. You have to move them to operate with more fluid power and authority and that requires greater trust and empowerment.

You and your staff have the competence, the knowledge and skills, to manage current conditions. When you move toward change, you move into learning by doing.  Sometimes you don’t have a lot of information or skills for a new initiative at the outset.

Everyone has a clear sense of success now.  As you lead change, you don’t know enough to even define success.  You have discovered an opportunity and do not know if it will lead to incredible success or disappointing failure.

Acknowledging what you are asking people to leave behind will give them greater assurance that you understand their fears and have strategies and solutions to address them.