Deliberately on Purpose -Securing your Relevance - Takeaways from the congress

Association news
Published on 13 July 2021

John Scarrott, AAE Coach & Association Executive Trainer writes from Associations World Congress Online:

I attended some really insightful sessions this week at the Association of Association Executives (AAE) World Congress 2021.

On Tuesday, Dean Black, CD, CAE, SMP of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association delivered a session titled: “Deliberately on Purpose -Securing your Relevance”. This was an honest, straight up story of leading change told with personal candor.

Here are my 10 takeaways from his session for associations.

  1. The forces impacting your Association don’t get together to create three or five-year plans.
  2. If your approach to presenting change doesn’t change minds, you need to change your approach.
  3. Simple is never really so. Ask ‘why?’ (more than once), dig down and you’ll discover complexity.
  4. Only 12 in 1000 can explain the what and how of something. Your communication is vital.
  5. If you hear, “But I’m only a volunteer” from someone standing for election, you’ve got a problem.
  6. Showing others the nature of their association can be seen as a challenge to those forced to look.
  7. Stakeholder mapping is key: “Voluntary organisations promote relationships between similar people but inhibit contact between dissimilar ones”. You need the ‘dissimilar’ for all sorts of things.
  8. Seek out alliances with critical folks, those whose work has an impact on yours, good and bad.
  9. Show and explain your stakeholder map visually, not with data sets
  10. Read well and widely: Jim Collins Good to Great, Peter Senge: Fifth Discipline, Sarah Sladek: The End of Membership amongst others referenced by Dean.

Delegate members can view the recording in the Resource Centre here >>


John Scarrott
John Scarrott

John Scarrott Training and Coaching