After this lesson, you should be able to:

1. Describe the societal and technological changes that are occurring
2. Describe the modern workplace
3. Summarize the importance of an organization’s purpose and culture.
4. Explain why associations exist
5. Identify how diversity and inclusion can increase loyalty
6. Summarize engagement principles
7. Explain ways to increase engagement

The task below will be automatically checked off once you complete taking the quiz.


“More is likely to change about our professional and personal lives in the coming years than will stay the same.”

The primary factors driving those changes:

  • Societal changes, such as dual-income households and a resounding generational transition
  • Technological changes as the key enabler for many advancements in our modern work and life

Learn how to adapt to society’s evolution by examining the changes occurring in the workplace. When we do, sketches of a deeply collaborative workplace begin to take shape, one in which individuals are put ahead of departments, worksheets are less rigid, companies are smaller and more specialized, and a well-articulated sense of purpose enables coherence and creativity to work in harmony across all levels.

What provides a substantial push to ask for more often comes from an organization’s unwillingness to give, to flex and work with the evolving needs of their member and staff base alike. Many organizations are still operating with old bylaws and internal structures, mindsets, and practices that fail to capitalize on the opportunities the modern world offers. They are hampered instead by routines that, while familiar and safe, offer very little flexibility to the process of ingenuity. Without the ability to innovate, adapting to change to secure stability and growth is a futile effort.

For associations, engagement is about monitoring the all-important recruitment and retention equation. Conference attendance, online forum activity, social media followers and web traffic all help gauge member engagement. But they don’t necessarily correlate to renewals, new memberships or advancement of the underlying mission. Associations require a more thorough investigation into why and how members engage with them, as well as defined goals around what they hope to achieve from that engagement.

Answer these questions:

1. What are your members curious about?
2. What activities are they most interested in?
3. What types of products, services or information do they desire most, and why?
4. Where do they go most often for these products, services, and information?
5. What problems are they most concerned by?


The following descriptions are introductory in nature; you’ll learn more about each element as you progress through the course.


Click each topic to learn more.


Most people inside and outside your organization are passive; they want to read content, watch videos, possibly attend some training seminars and other events, but they will not cross into active engagement. As you can see from the graphic below, only 10% of members are actively engaged, leaving 90% as an opportunity to connect with.

The problem is that associations tend to focus on actively engaged members rather than trying to get the disengaged and passively engaged to engage more. If successful, they will convert to being active. The challenge for associations is most don’t have a good reason to frequently engage with their members. They are good at deeply engaging on an infrequent basis, but don’t often have enough content to reach their audience daily, weekly, or even monthly, in ways that the recipient wants. It takes about six months of intense work for an organization to form this habit through repetition. To be a voice people listen to regularly in a profession or field, you have to hook them, and that is what the frequency of engagement is partially responsible for doing.


Rules of Engagement


So unhappy they undermine the efforts of those around them.


Puts time, but neither the energy nor passion, into the organization.


Exhibits passion and feels a profound connection to the organization.

Increasing Engagement

Offering multiple ways to engage allows the casual and uncommitted member to easily start engaging while providing ways to bring those who have shown a repeated interest in your offerings closer to your organization.

Click each tab to learn steps to increase engagement.

Above all, for any association to engage their members, they first have to know who their members are. That means leaders must learn a number of things about their members, such as their strengths, weaknesses, problems they face and what they need help with in order to connect with them.

Activities to apply this lesson’s concepts


Click each tab for the activity.


See if you understand the concepts by completing the quiz. Click A Time for Change Quiz to begin.

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