Glass crystal ball on brass stand uid 1
Remember the crystal ball? It was thought to give clairvoyance or clear vision especially into the future.  Today’s smartphone may well be a modern-day crystal ball.

Take a quick look at the icons and related apps on your iPhone or HTC.  Album, calculator, calendar, camcorder, camera, clock much less browser, messaging tools, and so much more in the palm of your hand. For many years, these items and tools were only available as separate tangible objects; think of the original day planner (a loose-leaf binder with page refills) or the alarm clock or the handheld calculator. These were indispensible and millions of people used them everyday. Now all of these tools are in your smartphone. There is diminishing need to purchase these separate objects. Demand will decline for these items; perhaps sooner rather than later production will cease.

So what does this mean to the association community?

It means that thriving organizations are taking deliberate steps, making plans, designing blueprints for virtual association programs and services. Such associations analyze current programs and services in light of digital tools. They ask key questions and deliberately seek answers.

  • Which services can be/must be transitioned to virtual platforms?
  • Which digital tools are members using most? Include this item on your next member survey (online please).
  • Who is the social media/digital champion on your staff? Is it an individual or a team?
  • How does the boss react to interactive? Is s/he a neophyte user but (hopefully) a visionary leader?
  • Where is your organization on the Groundswell Consumer Profile?
  • Better yet — where are your members?

If they are early adopters and creators then it speaks volumes about your association’s future — clairvoyance personified.