Business as Usual has Left the Building
“What’s dangerous is not to evolve.” Jeff Bezos
Spending hours (a lot of hours) with the people we are closest to and zero time with everyone else is one of a thousand things that seem out of balance in our new reality.
It isn’t easy to stifle fear and stoke the resilience, hope and creativity needed to be strong until we see the end of this challenge, but I have faith in the association community. Our leadership and our organizations are more important than ever. I know that all of you are focused on giving your best professionally and personally to the staff, volunteers and members who depend on you for guidance.
I’ve been writing and speaking about the need to prepare for disruption for several years. I thought that technology would probably be the source for the most sweeping changes to our industry. It turns out I’m wrong—at least for today. COVID-19 is a lesson in what we already know but, most of the time, choose to forget. There is no normal. The world changes on a dime in ways that are always surprising and often completely unexpected.
It’s impossible to prepare for every unpredictable event. But with innovation, mental agility and foresight you can survive and even succeed in the midst of disaster. The Association 4.0 books (Positioning for Success in an Era of Disruption and An Entrepreneurial Approach to Risk, Courage, and Transformation) that I wrote along with Kevin Ordonez were motivated by our interest in exploring how these qualities are being cultivated in the association community and what we could learn from people who strive to build the kind of adaptive cultures that thrive on change.
We interviewed 47 CEOs and entrepreneurs who are compulsive innovators, problem-solvers and builders. These are some examples of how our contributors prepared for obstacles and found opportunity in disruption.