RADIANCE BLOG

Category: Strategy & Tactics

Look beyond the financial transaction

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Younger association members know what they want, and they have specific preferences for membership associations. Millennials are generally a tech-savvy and frugal group who value work/life balance, personal fulfillment, and connection. They want a clear sense of the benefits of being a member, something they generally don’t feel they are getting now. Mission impact and community service are significant deciding factors for Millennials and Gen Z. Career-focused messaging, personalization, and á la carte pricing are the most effective ways to connect with young members. Gen X and Boomer members expect the same. 

Connection and fulfillment are universal desires for members today, from memberships in trade associations to cultural institutions.  According to trend tracker Colleen Dilenschneider, “Supporting the organization’s mission matters a lot – mission-motivated members are more likely to buy higher-level memberships, renew their memberships, and find greater value for cost in those higher memberships that they are purchasing. A problem, however, is that not all cultural organizations recognize the importance of highlighting these benefits and instead focus almost exclusively on transaction-based benefits.”

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What to join? Co-working space, meetup or traditional association?

Associations used to be the place to go for ongoing professional development and engaging conversations with colleagues in your field. That is no longer the case as members use free, open-source alternatives such as webinars, online courses, and LinkedIn video content. Co-working spaces and meetups are ever-present substitutes for busy people seeking connections on terms. Associations can distinguish themselves by focusing on the credibility and brand of their offerings and highlighting their high-touch, in-person interactions.

Your members have more options than ever. Engage in ways that are meaningful to them.

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Welcome to the future. Today’s 4-year-old will be the parent of 2040.

Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

Karla Raines of Corona will be joined by her friend Gretchen Kerr, COO of the  Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus to chat about the power of a 20-year visioning horizon. The Museum’s new 2030 Master Plan used a long horizon to leap over the usual constraints of shorter-term thinking. Moon colonization? Autonomous vehicles? Yes and yes.

Using a case study approach, we will share the advantages of a longer horizon, discuss the essential topics to explore, and share how your scan can illuminate possibilities you hadn’t envisioned as you build buy-in for an exciting future.

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What’s your Story?

We all love a good story. There is increasing evidence that storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate information that will be retained by an audience. An analysis of the 500 most popular TED talks demonstrated that more than 65% of the content was storytelling. The ability to communicate a clear and emotionally resonant narrative of impact is essential for nonprofits and purpose driven organizations.

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

Three of Corona’s associates will take you past the buzzword of storytelling and breakdown what makes for an effective impact narrative. You will learn how tools of strategy, qualitative research, and quantitative analysis can help your organization share the story of why you matter.

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Swat that SWOT. She said what?

Photo by Astrid Greif on Unsplash

SWOT analysis, one of the most prevalent tools in strategic planning, is in dire need of an update. Can you name another tool that hasn’t evolved in 50 years? To put it in perspective, it is akin to using a rotary dial phone in the age of the tech-enabled smart phone.

Karla Raines, Corona’s strategy guru, will share four notable shortcomings in the existing approach and highlight innovative alternatives that will position nonprofits to make the most of their next strategic analysis. Once you understand the shortcomings you will be primed to consider alternatives, including how to optimize your next SWOT.

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Taking a Leap Together: Knowledge Leads to Bold Action and Dramatic Results

We sat down recently with Mike Yankovich, Gretchen Kerr, and Amy Burt of the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus to reflect on our work together.  We asked them to take us back to the beginning.  

Twelve years ago, our hero’s journey began, as many do, with a quest for knowledge. Feeling a bit like the cartoon character “Underdog,” the Museum knew they had potential to make a more notable impact on the community yet weren’t quite sure how to get there. The facility was a bit too crowded—a theme that would emerge again in later years. Their search for answers led them to Corona Insights, as the Museum endeavored to gather customer insights to determine how to make the most of the available space, enhance quality, and solidify their reputation.

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Strategic leaders create meaning to make a difference

Every strategic leader is tasked with creating meaning for their teams. They answer questions like, “Where are we going? How will we get there? Why is our work important? What matters most to our customers?” The role of “meaning maker” is especially relevant given the frenetic pace of the change. When you lose sight of where your organization is going over the next 3 months and 3 years, the hyperactivity of today is that much more distracting. Before you know it, your organization has shifted course by default rather than intention.

As we learn to “say no to say yes” we give ourselves permission to focus on how we truly make a difference for others. No matter how large our organization, ultimately there is another human deciding to engage with us. Its important not to forget the human-to-human connection.

For more insights on strategic leadership listen to my interview on the Groler Podcast.


It Could Have Gone Off the Rails

Colorado Cancer Research Program’s  operating environment is both complex and demanding.  So too are its internal operations. Add to that a group of MDs, PhDs, JDs, researchers, and other smart folks and you have the potential to spend the better part of your retreat down the rabbit hole as you endeavor to address individual needs for clarity, and a desire to understand a few details to the Nth degree.

We sat down recently with board member Ken Dawson to reflect on their most recent board retreat. Ken is retired from the insurance industry. A few years ago, he joined the community engagement committee of CCRP and then was recruited onto the board of directors. This is Ken’s first time serving on a nonprofit board. We initially worked together in February 2018, when I facilitated CCRP’s annual board retreat.

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DU’s Keystone Strategic Plan leads to action

 

The 20th century model of delivering a liberal and creative arts education is inadequate to the task of developing graduates who can think broadly and critically in and out of their chosen fields.

—From the Keystone Strategic Plan 2018-2025

 

We are thrilled to celebrate the creation of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences at the University of Denver.

The creation of the College is a direct result of their strategic planning process. The exciting Keystone Strategic Plan commits the college to nothing less than the transformation of the liberal and creative arts education in alignment with the University’s transformation under DU IMPACT 2025.

 

What role will the social sciences, arts, and humanities play in a world that increasingly operates through artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and big data? A very important one. The careers and lives of tomorrow will be defined by distinctly human qualities such as ethical judgment, creativity, adaptability, agility, and storytelling.

—From the Keystone Strategic Plan 2018-2025

 

“This plan represents the best of our strategy work at Corona. We are thrilled with the resulting plan and look forward to the momentum and positive changes it creates for the students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the college,” said Karla Raines.

Read the full press release here. See the video that DU produced about the plan below.


Virtual Natives

Hello virtual native, good-bye digital native.

While that statement might seem far-fetched, after all it wasn’t that long ago that we were getting used to the idea of a digital native as a person familiar with computers and the Internet from a very young age, it isn’t too early to plan for a future defined by virtual reality. Children born over the next two decades will grow up with it. Not only will these children grapple with developing their own imaginations, they’ll be discerning what is really real from what is virtually real. Might the 2 year-old of 2030 have a virtual imagination?

It’s time to get ready. Parents, care givers, educators and children’s museums will be shaped by this new reality.

You read it here first. Virtual native – a person familiar with virtual reality from a very young age.