28 September, 2013

If You Want A Different Result, What Changes Are You Willing To Make?

Well, it's happened again. I received another of those urgent, handwringing emails from an organization that has a falling membership, a rising median age and pretends it has no idea what they can do to reach people who may want to join.

The Kanawha County group that sent me this we've-fallen-and-we-can't-get-up email polled its few remaining members to see how many of them would be willing to donate money so they could rent a billboard at a cost of $1,000. They couldn't even raise a measly $1,000 from their shrunken membership. And they're now behaving like they have no idea what to do to reach potential new members.

Neither the group nor its leaders have Twitter accounts.

The group doesn't have a Facebook page or group and the leaders make no ention of the group in their Facebook profiles.

They don't turn up in a Google search. And, as I said in a previous post, Google is the new Yellow Pages. In the 80s, if your org or business wasn't in the Yellow Pages, your org or business didn't exist. Today, if your org or business doesn't turn up in a Google search, it doesn't exist. 

A few days ago I was in a meeting with about a dozen other people when a name came up and we wanted to find that person's phone number. The older folks in the room scurried for a phone book. The younger folks in the room whipped out their smart phones and searched on Google. 

I've discovered that when groups are dying it's usually not because nobody  has told them what they have to do and how they have to change in order to reach a new generation. When groups are dying it's usually because they aren't willing to make the changes that would enable them to grow. 

But here's a timeless truth: if you keep doing what you've been doing, you're going to keep getting the results you've been getting. If you want a different result, what changes are you willing to make?

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