Be a Strategic Cheerleader: 3 Steps to Prepare Your Association for Change

When an organization prepares for change, the board has received feedback, gathered the surveys and held the meetings with committees and task forces. The board now has momentum to move forward with (maybe) a bit of fear and (hopefully) lots of excitement about the positives that come with change.

As a board leader, you now transition to a strategic cheerleader.

3 Steps to help your association prepare for change:

Create buy-in with stakeholders and the leadership team:

Outline for the stakeholders and leaders how they can effectively communicate “why” these changes will benefit the organization. Consider including the data that supports the change, offer clear and consistent communication on how association’s structure, systems or processes will improve with the outlined strategic initiatives.

By creating the buy-in with the leadership and enlisting their help in telling the story, the board can stay the course in leading the change.

Implement the Changes Mission & Practices:

After the plan has been created, outline the changes to the company’s structure, strategy, systems, processes, employee behaviors or other aspects that will depend on the specifics of the initiative. Designated owners of projects and initiatives will streamline efforts and let others know who to turn to with questions and suggestions.

Topics to ensure are covered are:

  • Who will oversee the task of implementing a specific change?
  • Who needs to sign off at each critical stage?
  • Who will be responsible for implementation of specific efforts and initiatives?

Project scope and regular progress report outs:

Schedule regular times for the change managers to report on the progress of efforts, allow for discussion on needed pivots and discrete steps to keep moving forward or determining that part of the initiative falls outside of the project scope.

Celebrate the small wins. Winning a championship comes after the regular season. The team needs to be cheered on when there are successes – especially in times of change.

While no two change initiatives are the same, strategic cheerleaders understand whether a change initiative was a success, failure or mixed result. There is no doubt that opportunities for change offers valuable insights and lessons to leverage future association efforts. 

Picture of Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore

As Director of Membership, Lisa incorporates her 20+ years of expertise in higher education and fraternal organizations to manage a broad range of association and membership services. She spent majority of her career providing leadership at Indiana State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and University of Southern Mississippi. Her higher education career focused on communication, marketing, student success services and alumni association. She is also a member of the Memphis Area Alumnae Panhellenic Association.