A new blog feature: WWIF #1

Last week, I had the good fortune to facilitate three half-day sessions on Refreshing Your Competitive Advantage for three of CalSAE's regional networks.  During the program we discussed some of the design thinking concepts in Roger Martin's new book, The Design of Business.

One core concept Martin advocates is what Charles Sanders Peirce called abductive logic, the logic of what could be.  Here's Martin commenting on the value of this logic in a recent Fast Company blog interview:
"In a knowledge-intensive world, design thinking is critical to overcoming the biggest block: overcoming analytical thinking and fear of intuitive thinking. The design thinker enables the organization to balance exploration and exploitation, invention of business and administration of business, originality and mastery."
In this spirit, I'm starting a new weekly blog feature appearing each Wednesday: WWIF, Wednesday What IFs?  This week's WOW question is:

What if associations let members pay annual meeting registrations or dues in multiple-year increments (i.e., three-year dues or three-year annual conference registration)?

Like other organizations that do this (think airline clubs) a reduction in cost per year is a good enticement.
  • Members benefit by saving money and leveraging the financial surplus that might be available in flush years to cover the investment in the possibly tighter financial future.
  • Associations benefit by possibly retaining members during tougher financial times and by reducing expenses associated with annual renewals.
Once you open the door with this WOW, you might then begin to question or play with additional possibilities for rethinking how you bundle other financial investments asked of members … dues, a conference registration, and a journal ... etcetera.