# B U I L D B A C K B E T T E R 2



Giuseppe Marletta, MD – Europe, Association of Corporate Counsel and president, European Society of Association Executives.

“In order for organisations to build bettercommunityengagementstrategies for a post-pandemic environment, they first need to understand what their members need. “Organisations must be tapped into the voice of the customer. Wherever your members are having conversations, you need to be actively listening to what their needs are and asking how to best address them to create engaging member experiences. “You’re not necessarily looking for validation of what you’re already doing, although that may happen. These conversations are learning mechanisms. “If you have a user-experience capability within your organisation, use it. If not, think about how you can gather members to have a conversation in order to understand what it will take to keep them engaged and align it with (or augment) existing strategies without sending them yet another survey. “The outputs of those conversations shouldbe tacticsyouthenuse tocreatemore engaging, sustainable experiences based on those strategies that are well-informed by user data and that are flexible enough to shift as that data changes over time.” Marjorie Anderson, manager, digital communities, Project Management Institute and founder Community by Association.

“Two types of associations struggled in 2020: the dinosaurs who weren’t digitally savvy and were therefore unable to reach out to their members, and those whose governance didn’t allow them to react to the situation, because the structure lacked agility. This is the lesson for associations – you need to work on your agility, because it is not something you can do during a crisis. “Boards and committees are often the bottleneck in associations, especially during a crisis when members might be busy with other things. What really makes a difference is to work on leaner governance. Having smooth governance in ‘normal times’ is the first tool in critical moments – so you don’t have to restructure the way you operate because you are already ready. “We have to accept that boards are volunteers, and it is up to us (executives) to establish a nomination process where what is expected of board members is clear and rules are clear. And then there are strategies you can implement that make your board feel part of the journey, not just there as a vanity position, but they can actually make a difference.”


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