At this month’s Leaders Retreat, ASAE presented a research brief titled “Drivers of Change” first published in August 2017 about changes most likely to affect associations in the coming years. ASAE partnered with Foresight Alliance and Signature i as part of its ForesightWorks initiative to help association leaders identify, anticipate and act on trends expected to impact associations and their communities.
While ASAE ForesightWorks initially identified more than 300 trends, researchers narrowed the field down to the most relevant 41 “drivers of change” associations should be aware of. At the retreat, association leaders focused on the six changes most likely to have the biggest impact on associations in the near future. As summarized in the Drivers of Change report, they are:
- Anticipatory intelligence: Big data, data analytics and artificial intelligence are enabling predictive analytics used to anticipate needs, opportunities and threats in an organization’s environment. Organizations view predictive analytics as one of the most important ways to leverage big data.
- Diversity and inclusion: American society and workplaces will continue to grow more diverse and inclusive as values evolve and younger generations increase their share in the demographic mix. This will occur against a backdrop of social, political and racial polarization – and the workplace will be a primary arena in which contending views collide and issues are worked out. To meet these challenges, inclusion efforts will be supported by a new generation of tools and processes.
- Empowered women: In the United States, changing workplace needs, women’s educational advances and the reduction of discrimination could enable women to dominate more professions. Associations have a unique and important role to play in promoting women in the workplace and making their presence visible.
- Fraying cybersecurity: Risks to digital infrastructures are growing, even as dependence on them rises. Employees are worried about digital privacy and security in the workplace, and they are tired of the difficulty and complexity of maintaining system security. Associations face the same internal risks as other organizations and a call to support their members in new ways.
- Microlearning: Workers will need to continually learn, but many want small, specific bursts of information tied to immediate job demands. New media will enable modules that are small, timely and focused. Certification will need to change to allow microlearning modules to be assembled in innovative combinations for new forms of certification.
- Organizational millennials: Contrary to some conventional wisdom, millennials as a group are willing to both join and stay with organizations, but they need the right incentives. Organizations will increasingly need to learn to provide the kinds of training, mentoring, content and other services many millennials value most.
Do you agree with this list of priority drivers of change? What trends does your association anticipate dealing with in the near future?