One of the tenants of good management is “no surprises.” No one wants their boss to hear the news from someone else: to read, for the first time, in the media, about a major disruptor that will impact your organization, annual conference, or trade show. This is rule #1 of managing up.
So, does your board know what to expect from you and your team for 2022? How are you managing these expectations in an environment of daily changes, shifting sands, and massive uncertainty?
Here are three things you can do to stay a step ahead of your boss or your board.
- Start with the basics. Be relentless in monitoring the media so you are on top of the facts and perspectives of those closest to the issues that matter to your organization. Talk to experts, insiders, other executives, and thought leaders who can help you piece together insights and implications that, viewed discreetly, aren’t obvious.
- Communicate at least bi-weekly using a standard format that shows changes, patterns, and implications. Use the KPIs that your board expects you to accomplish. We think a measure of relevance, reputation, member retention, revenue, operating income, and engagement are the top six that should be viewed at least quarterly.
- Conduct an assessment that evaluates your organization in the context of today and what is on the horizon over the next 24 months. Who are the for-profit competitors that are entering your space? What new events are taking root? What social media communities are capturing market share of what could be your new potential members? Benchmarking your events, publications, and your core value proposition should happen at least every three years. The world is moving too fast not to know exactly what is both upon you and around the corner.
If you’d like a fresh perspective about what is happening today in other trade and industry associations and professional societies, and how they are adapting to the realities of what’s ahead in 2022, let me know. We are helping many boards see the world through a new lens of opportunity anchored in the realities of what must change to succeed in the coming months and years.
Having an outsider open the window to what’s ahead can be the fastest way to begin the changes you know need to happen.