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What is keeping Association CEOs Up At Night?

Association Leaders Share Their Top Challenges and Solutions at the Association Innovation Summit.

On August 24, association leaders gathered in Melbourne for Association Forum's Association Innovation Summit, a platform to exchange ideas and insights on the most pressing issues facing their organisations. The summit posed a key question to the participants:

“What was keeping them up at night?”

The leaders identified eight major challenges that ranked in order of importance as follows:

  1. Ensuring financial stability and surplus
  2. Attracting and retaining top talent
  3. Adapting to new technology including the use of AI tools
  4. Advocacy and managing stakeholder relationships
  5. Developing and executing a successful strategy
  6. Staying ahead of industry trends
  7. HR Issues and building / maintaining a strong culture
  8. Managing risk and compliance

To address these challenges, the leaders discussed various strategies such as developing strong networks with other associations and key stakeholders to collaborate and find solutions, fostering a more innovative and creative organisation to adapt and adopt new ways of working, and building organisational culture to align with the organisation’s mission and vision.

The summit also revealed some interesting trends in the association sector. While most organisations reported an increase in revenue over the past 12 months, membership growth has been limited. The participants were divided on whether economy was going to improve or getter worse over the next 12 months.

Written by Tony Gleeson, Associations Advisor, Associations Forum on 6 September 2023. 

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