With this week’s ASAE Great Ideas Conference just completed, we thought we’d ask readers how their organizations develop new ideas. We thought formal structures were the way not-for-profit organizations developed new ideas, but results of our unscientific reader poll indicate otherwise.
Nearly half of respondents (44 percent) said the process was “Ad hoc” on an as-needed basis, while another one in four respondents (25 percent) said new ideas were the result of suggestions from members and volunteers. Nearly one in five respondents (19 percent) told us new ideas were the result of focus groups, member surveys, market research or other means, and just 13 percent said they assigned formal task forces and committees to develop new ideas.
As Russ Webb, vice president of the Atlanta Apartment Association explained in a recent Corner Office interview, “We’re always looking for ideas from inside and outside the organization. I read somewhere that there’s no such thing as a new idea. If we see another organization that we think is doing something spectacular, we will try to emulate it and put our own twist on it. We’re big advocates of working smarter, not harder.”
Based on our poll results, AAA has lots of company.
“The association world needs to adapt faster than the regular business world because our members are looking for us for innovation. We need to innovate all the time,” added Webb.