Last October I decided to learn more the future of
leadership. Why? Because associations provide a microcosm of the US
economy. If you group together all of the professional societies,
which bring together experts in a specific area of expertise, and all
the trade associations, which unite business owners involved in common
commerce, you have all the professions and trades of our economy
Step back and now and take a look at the trends emerging in the
leadership of the organizations that represent these groups and what
you will see the future of collective
practice as it is represented across the most important sectors
and industries in America.
So, I conducted a literature search, read the books and papers I found,
and went out and spoke to 25 CEOs of associations, one on one. I sat in
the offices of large associations and small, asking these leaders what
they thought about the future. I took what I Iearned and conducted some
analysis on the responses and found six key issues.
Then I held two working sessions, inviting those CEOs and more to
attend. I wrote a short executive summary, and just two days ago
published a short piece on Fast Company’s website that details 6 Key Issues Facing Association Leaders. I did not
get paid to do any of this. I did it because I was curious.
I published because I want to share what I learned and find out what
others think. I know I will be challenged in response. I am likely to
get a variety of input, not all of it favorable. But, this is how
We live in a time of unprecedented knowledge development. Look at the
recent work of Gallup over the last fourteen years with their string
They have been pursuing some of the most challenging and helpful
questions of our time, harnessing the immense force of their polling
processes to help us understand how to identify and exploit our
strengths, what makes for the best management, and the essential
components of well-being.
Then there is Vital
a company that conducts research into what it takes to have a crucial
conversation, how to deal effectively with personal and professional
conflict, what it takes to influence others and change yourself – these
are some of the most difficult, perplexing, and productive topics you
can imagine. After they carry out their research, they turn their
findings into easy-to-read, digestible books and workshops. Now their
years of research can be digested in less than a day by a curious mind.
The world is now a classroom. We are all teachers and students, helping
each other, opening our eyes to new and better ways to think and act.
What are you curious about? What are you learning? How can you tell
others what you find out?
is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.”
7 Common mistakes leaders make when
it comes to succeeding at innovation:
1. They don’t think in terms of inflection
points, looking for decisive
shifts before they occur and preparing to take advantage of them when
2. They don’t build the foundation required to successfully develop new
ideas and take them to market.
3. They don’t collect the necessary intelligence to ensure
circumstances are conducive to their new offerings.
4. They don’t take advantage of market disruptions.
5. They don’t think through value
from the customers’ point-of-view.
6. They don’t systematically use existing
offerings to create more and better value.
7. They don’t drive the required uptake to
increase and accelerate market acceptance.
My new book, Getting Innovation Right, addresses these seven
mistakes and shows
you how to correct them, spelling it out using step-by-step
instructions, templates, techniques, tools and practical guidance on
how to do the very things that ensure your innovations
succeed in the market.