The Future of Membership in a World Driven by Technology

Membership is about people; people sharing ideas to improve their personal and professional lives, opining on the latest issues, building personal and company brands, and yes, utilizing technology.

My goal here is to listen to the "world" on where membership fits in these fast changing times, and deliver the services needed to get people to "buy" into membership organizations.

Membership is deeper than community. Membership is more personal and takes more effort. It is built on trust.

Stop by often and find out what's happening in the world of Membership... Thank you.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Role of Membership in a Disruptive World…

“Disruptive” is a term we use often in the social media world and simply means; outside the current wisdom and norms. It seems to me that membership can be as “disruptive” as any technology or new platform similar to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc…

Membership organizations disrupt current norms because when people gather around a common interest things change. People drive norms, and technology supports people’s ability to change process and business practices that over time become the norms. Technology is the platform that enables disruptive behavior but we don’t want to disrupt just to disrupt. The things that should be disrupted are things that need to be changed. For example, customer service practices for service organizations.

Customer service needed to be disrupted because too many organizations were hunkered down in their barracks insulated from customers through phone trees that frustrated people off the phone, self service technology that placed the burden back on the customer, and large marketing budgets that flooded the market with one sided messages designed to replace reality with perception. Companies that had embraced the practices of keeping customer complaints at bay have now had to deal with the disruption that social media enables. In my opinion this is an example of positive disruption.

So let me try to bring this back to the traditional “membership model.” Membership organizations if they are doing it right, are simply trying to drive industry disruption by bringing together the “players” (members) that are the leaders in an industry. Most people that join membership organizations have leadership qualities and are tuned into what is important and relevant in a particular industry. They decide together what is needed in an industry and go about trying to make the changes needed to improve that industry.

It seems on first glance that a practice with such traditional roots could be so cutting edge, but membership is where cutting edge ideas gain credibility and validation. Great ideas and intentions are all over the web today in many different places including LinkedIn groups, Face Book groups, Google Groups, Yahoo Groups, Fan Pages, and advanced through Tweets, but are these ideas making a difference? I would argue absolutely! But imagine if all of the people in an industry came together through membership in one organization willing to promote, fine tune, and through a collaborative effort validate those ideas, what an impact that would have on an industry! That is what membership does when done right.

Talk about being disruptive…

No comments:

Post a Comment