24 April 2012

Big Risk, Big Reward

This is IT. You've just come up with THE game-changing idea for your organization. It's going to transform membership, and through it, your profession or industry.

Upside: potential HUGE reward.

Downside: equally HUGE risk.

But we're associations. We're risk-averse. So don't do it, right?

WRONG.

Part of making a big impact is being willing to make a big bet. But be smart about it. Do your homework on your audiences. Run a beta test. Get member input, and not just from your board. Invest. Determine in advance how much you can invest before you need to start seeing a return. Have a plan B and a plan C. Define what success looks like. Be ready to capture what you learned, whether it works or not. Iterate. Know what your exit strategy is.

You only get so many opportunities to take the big leap, so choose carefully. If you do, you'll start a virtuous circle where you get MORE opportunities to take those game-changing risks because you know how succeed AND fail well.

2 comments:

Leslie White said...

Anytime a post mentions risk, I have to comment. The process you are suggesting is called risk management - trying to figure out what might happen and what you are going to do about it. Your efforts can be to increase your chance of success while being prepared for what might go wrong. The preparation can be to try to prevent the "bad event" or be ready to respond to it if it does happen (a crisis management plan, business continuity plans)

Thanks for making it sound so simple because it is.

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE said...

"Thanks for making it sound so simple because it is." That is high praise coming from you, Leslie!