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Design and choice

As you may have seen in the October issue of Associations Now, I recently had the wonderful opportunity to speak with futurist Rohit Talwar about the trends and issues he sees that are (or soon will be) affecting the association sector.

Unfortunately, space constraints kept me from including everything he had to say in the print edition of Associations Now. In particular, I had to cut one of Rohit's answers that I found to be striking, especially now that we're all facing such unsettled economic times. I thought I'd share that answer with Acronym readers.

Here's what Rohit had to say when I asked him about the title of the new book he and his company collaborated with ASAE & The Center on, Designing Your Future:

Q: What do you think it means for an association to design its future?

Rohit Talwar: We deliberately chose the word “design,” because design is all about making a series of choices, about form, about functionality, and about how you assemble the components. That was very much what we wanted to get the associations thinking about--a design-led approach rather than a formula-led approach.

The nature of design is, you ask yourself a lot of questions on the journey, and you make a lot of choices. So, we wanted [association executives] to think about that and to recognize that this was all about making choices, asking yourselves tough questions about every aspect of what you do and then making choices about how you’re going to respond. That’s why we chose this notion of designing your future rather than implying there was simply a future to be chosen. You could create it, and you have the power to create it.

What choices can associations be making right now that will help put them in a great position to succeed over the next few years? For that matter, what choices can we be making as individual professionals to design the futures we want to have?

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Comments

Thank you Lisa! We're working with a number of associations as well as our own chapters on finding the new models for components and the struggle has been in understanding the "process" and Rohit's comment makes it clearer.

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