Associations at a Crossroads

Jun 17, 2024By Belinda Moore
Belinda Moore

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (or perhaps just around the corner, depending on where you live), a group of cave dwellers huddled around a fire. They weren't just discussing the best way to hunt mammoths or how to start a fire without losing an eyebrow - they were forming the first-ever association. That is, a community of people coming together to advance a common purpose.

From the dawn of humanity, the need to come together collectively to solve common problems has been as fundamental as the need for food, water, and a good gossip session around the communal campfire.

Fast forward a few thousand years, and here we are, navigating a world that's changing faster than a hangry toddler’s mood. Our associations have evolved from those simple fireside chats to complex, multi-faceted structures, but the need to connect, collaborate, and collectively tackle challenges remains steadfast.

It's like our very own human constant—a bit like gravity but with fewer apples and more agendas.

As we dive headfirst into these challenging times, driven by technological advancements that make yesterday’s sci-fi look like today’s news, the way our society operates is undergoing fundamental shifts. From the way we work to the way we communicate, and even to the way we define our organisational culture, the digital age is reshaping our world in ways we can yet fully imagine.

Amidst this accelerating whirlwind of change, one thing remains crystal clear: the need for people to come together collectively has never been more crucial.

And the kicker? Associations are the ideal vehicles to navigate this brave new world.

Whether it's advocating for members to government, providing members with direct support, or simply providing a platform for members to collaborate and connect, associations have the potential to lead the charge as society charges into an unknown future.

The fate of associations now rests in their own hands. They stand at a crossroads, staring down two very different paths.

One path leads to a golden age of relevance, where associations embrace the future with open arms, adapting and evolving to meet the needs of their members and society at large.

The other path? Well, let's just say it involves a lot of missed opportunities and the emergence of new ways of associating that might leave traditional organisations in the dust.

At SMS, we believe in the power of associations and how important it is for them to stay ahead of the curve. This e-news is one way of the ways we help keep associations up to date with what’s coming.

How can you help us to help you?

Recommend this newsletter to anyone interested in receiving these updates. Invite them to subscribe and help build this community.

Connect with other professionals at an Association Leaders Exchange in Sydney, Wellington, Melbourne, or Brisbane - Julian and I will hosting discussion sessions at each.

Upskill yourself on AI by attending our Fundamental AI Skills Webinar in July - this will give you the basic skills everyone in associations should know.

Keep up-to-date with what's coming by attending our Update on the Latest Developments in AI in August. This session will showcase what developments in the pipeline that will impact associations.

By spreading the word and getting involved, you can help ensure that associations not only survive but thrive in this ever-evolving landscape.

Together, we can make sure the spirit of collaboration, collective action, and association shines brighter than ever.

Looking forward to seeing you on the journey 😊