Engage strategists


After this lesson, you should be able to:

1. Identify the formal and informal strategists in your association.
2. Explain the benefits to having an outsider's perspective.
3. Summarize options for engagement.
4. Choose engagement activities that you want your association to implement.

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The tasks below will be automatically checked off once you complete watching the video and taking the quiz.


This is your Square One. You need to do your homework before you can take action. Activities in this section discuss how best to begin assembling information. As you collect data, it will be up to you and your team to review and pluck out the most valuable points. This kind of group review and evaluation comes in many forms, each having their own benefits for gathering and assessing information.


If you want to be at the forefront of potential trends you need to engage with the right strategists. Strategists can be categorized into two types: formal and informal.

  1. Formal strategists include your association’s CEO and the board of directors.
  2. Informal strategists include:
    • Volunteer leaders
    • Staff
    • Members
    • Thought leaders

Outliers and provocateurs

Sometimes it’s a good idea to expand your outlook by getting the perspective of someone who isn’t a strategist for your association. They may present a contrarian, contrasting, or fresh perspective.


REFLECT: Who are the formal and informal strategists in your organization? Are there outliers whose perspectives you’d like to hear? Who are they?


We mention that you need to intentionally engage with the strategists, but you may be wondering how to do that. Here are some suggestions.

Different types of engagement

There are two types of polling options you can use to engage with your association’s strategists.

Informal polling consists of spontaneous dialogue that doesn’t require process or planning. Examples of informal polling include:

  • Conversations
  • Social events

Formal polling consists of well thought-out and planned events such as:

  • Strategy sessions
  • Focus groups
  • Polls
  • Thought leader interviews

Get the Playbook: Engaging Strategists

The following plays are activities you can complete to practice engaging with strategists and outliers. You can save and download or print the activities.


REFLECT: Which engagement activities do you want your association to implement?


See if you understand the concepts by completing the quiz. Click Engage Strategists Quiz to begin.

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