Insights

Leading through the pandemic – how leaders of membership organisations have met the challenge

Membership Guides

Through our work with membership organisations, we have seen the challenges and frustrations this year has caused first-hand. However, we have also seen the improvements and successes of organisations that have tackled the challenges head-on.

This led us to launch a research project with our strategic partners Rise Above, to understand the membership market in a more personal way by interviewing the people who lead membership organisations.

Our aim was simple, to understand how they had led through the pandemic, and what insights they could share with the industry from this challenging time.

The outcome is an uplifting story of success in the face of an existential global threat, which we have pulled together into a report – Leading through the pandemic – how membership organisations have met the challenge. Download your copy of the report below.

Leading through the pandemic

Download your report

What is included in the leadership report?

A summary of the six key areas that are covered in the report:

Belonging Together

Members want to be part of something bigger than themselves, but that isn’t enough in a pandemic. Membership organisations have been forced to clarify, justify, and make more relevant what they do.

Leading Apart

There is a new blend of leadership qualities emerging from the pandemic, and perhaps a new kind of leader. The most successful leaders of membership organisations have five qualities in common.

Pandemic Good

The best thing about the pandemic for membership organisations has been the acceleration of digital transformation, but this will not guarantee success. Digital excellence is the gearbox and transmission, but it is not the whole car.

Pandemic Bad

Everyone is in difficult circumstances. Leaders have to take responsibility and have the strength and stamina to mentor team members honestly and empathetically. Leading with kindness is a human and strategic necessity.

A Changed World

Membership organisations need to be more agile, more ambitious and more willing to try things. They should be focused outwardly on the reality of members’ lives, not looking inwardly at the organisation.

A New Model

Membership organisations must re-evaluate their business models as members’ lives change. The goal is one inclusive, flexible, innovative, digital-savvy business made up of members and staff, doing what members really need.

Leading through the pandemic quote

In this pandemic year, the private and the public, the personal and the impersonal have been collided, liberated and constrained as never before. Everything is exposed to the light. The digital world that was already surging in importance has exploded into relevance.

The pandemic has sharpened wants and needs into must-haves and demands. Membership, like a good brand, is and will always be about offering a particular balance of emotional and functional benefits, but membership is now much more about delivery too: what members get, how they get it, and at what price. Above all, members want it now.