When did we all start to look alike? Are associations like long-married couples or people and their pets, looking so much alike we can't tell them apart?
Lately I have been digging around any number of associations' web sites, looking in vain for a prospective client's heart and soul or checking out a client's competition, and come up empty. Words, words, words that say nothing and mean less. Generic, homogenized association speak!
FIrst, it was the switch
to meaningless acronyms, abandoning names that identified our cause,
and now it's meaningless mission statements, hollow core-values, and
self-aggrandizing goals, like this one promising to be
a model association that "facilitates the development and execution of
coordinated strategy." And don't get me started on the fascinating
lists of "benefits," like silly discounts and association code for ways
to spend more money.
What happened? Have we become so obsessed with being business-like that we sold our souls? The antidote is to be human again.
- Stand for those your members serve, not just members' self-interest or (shudder) your own. An association is the means to an end, not an end in itself.
- Stop being a Raccoon Lodge--with apologies and abiding admiration for the mystic order of the Racoon and the Honeymooners--and become a movement.
- Find your voice, your personality, get real and you will truly engage people in your work. Leap out there and be a leader for responsible practice, for a world free from what you want to overcome.
When I land on your home page, show me who your are, what you love, and why I should care--instantly.
When I read your mission statement, let me sign up--not as a member, but as a believer.
When I watch the video stream, inspire me, engage me, and show me a better future.
O-o-o-o-kay, enough caffeine for me this morning, back to work and hushed, modulated tones. Blah, blah, blah.