March 11, 2012

Watch Out for Unintended Consequences

 
What if:

Your amazingly talented association professional staff starts turning to each other more and to members of the community less because of the knowledge and experience right at its fingertips?

The reserves grown over the years and the consistently balanced budget unintentionally lead to individuals not wanting to invest any of the resources so carefully accumulated?

Your internal processes and procedures for vetting ideas cut off interesting and potentially breakthrough possibilities that the current data doesn’t support or portend?

The autonomy granted to chapters to foster innovation at the local level yield some components disconnected from the (inter)national organization and the direction of the profession or industry?

Your dashboard indicators or balanced scorecard become not just metrics for gauging progress, but also mantras by which all strategy and tactics are determined?

The templates and checklists that ensure efficiency and avoid reinventing the wheel result in few current efforts being refreshed or few new efforts being invented?

Your blazingly fast Wi-Fi connection makes it so easy to find anything you want online that you engage less in random roaming offline and outside?

Too much of a good thing is still too much. Guarding against unintended consequences can help prevent a good thing from going bad.

What are other things that have obvious positive merits, but could lead to negative consequences if left unchecked?

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