"Profitability is a wonderful byproduct if you have a meaningful, genuine culture."

After this lesson, you should be able to:

1. Explain the benefits of the Open Garden model
2. Identify ways to initiate the Open Garden model for your organization

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



In my company, by forgetting about who we were, the products we sold and the boundaries we once placed around ourselves, it allowed us to transform into a company that could do much more than our competitors and even our initial ambitions.


According to traditional views on business, the entire purpose of the company is inward-facing, focusing more on keeping things in as opposed to thinking too much about what it’s keeping out.



Start with an explanation of your Core Purpose, then come up with more creative ideas because you can test whether things actually improve.


Without an understanding of your Purpose, Values, and visions for the future, people will never feel rooted in anything that drives them to do more than the minimum. For associations, if the minimum is nothing (i.e., to join or not, to volunteer or not), then the communities they depend on are more likely to do nothing to help them.

With the Open Garden Model, you ultimately drive more value to members by thinking more broadly about how the association’s work affects the wider population. The more people are aware of the association’s value, the more they are aware of its members’ value as well. The association is also able to profit from the larger audience, as we have discussed previously, creating a larger and more sustainable financial model, which can, in turn, be used to advance Purpose even further.


While your purpose should be expansive, your priorities should be narrow, focusing on the small steps necessary in fulfilling your commitment to Core Purpose every day.


The real value of the Open Garden Model is not just about selling what’s in your stock,


it’s about expanding what you can offer and to whom you can offer it.


The goal is to use the association’s expertise more like an electromagnet than a megaphone to attract people. Remember: Membership isn’t the only path forward.


Engaging a broader audience increases the association’s brand equity, and it affords a higher level of useful insights, revenue streams, and talents by including more people who care about the association’s topic of expertise.
It’s a virtuous cycle that strengthens the association as the community expands.



Activities to apply this lesson’s concepts


Click each tab for the activity.


See if you understand the concepts by completing the quiz. Click Maintaining Your Garden Quiz to begin.

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