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Enrich the lives of your members

Great Ideas 2012"Your members don't care about your association. They care about themselves."

This was my favorite quote from Carmine Gallo, the closing general session speaker Tuesday morning at ASAE's 2012 Great Ideas Conference. Gallo, author of The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Power of Foursquare, shared a range of inspiring lessons from innovative companies, Apple chief among them.

We've all heard countless examples of the genius of Apple and Steve Jobs, but Gallo did a nice job showing association professionals how the lessons from those examples can be applied to their associations. Most emphatically, he urged associations to ask themsevles how they can help their members achieve their dreams.

Gallo pointed to the vision for Apple products and stores: not to sell computers, but to enrich lives. It's that relentless focus on the customer experience that makes Apple so successful (one of the reasons, at least).

For example, I don't like my iPhone because Apple made it, or because it's shiny and chic. I love it because it helps me stay more connected with friends and family, gives me faster access to information, and even helps me be more creative. Think of every iPhone or iPad commercial you've seen; they always show people doing things with them, like finding a nearby restaurant or creating music or video-conferencing with family. That's how lives are enriched.

And so the lesson for you as an association professional is to think beyond benefits. Think outcomes. Think dreams. Whatever will enrich the lives or professional careers of your members, that's where you should focus. Help your members achieve their dreams, and they'll love you for it.

For more insights from Carmine Gallo, see Kristin Clarke's interview with him, "The Game of Life: Engaging Members Through Foursquare."

Flickr photo by ahissrich.



Good title for the post, Joe. We all know we should think that way, but we sometimes forget. So, thanks for the reminder.

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