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How to Get Association Board Buy-In for Organization Transformation

How to Get Association Board Buy-In for Organization Transformation

Previous, we discussed 5 Benefits of Working With a Business Transformation Consultant. But for associations that have already made the decision that this is the best course of action for them… there’s one key question. 

“How do I get buy-in from my association board?”

Getting association board buy-in for organizational transformation is a challenging but essential task. That’s why, to help, we’ve listed some key strategies to increase your chances of getting ‘the board on board’. 

1 - Start With Market Research and Analysis  Priorities

Before proposing any major changes to your board, invest time in understanding what your market needs from you. Start by assessing your prospect’s needs, and learn how you can close the gap to that need through organizational transformation. 

A key element of this is understanding your value proposition, and whether it has changed. From there, you can assess where your board stands on the same topic. Understanding your board's desires will be critical in ensuring they believe the facts presented to them. A value proposition audit is always a good place to start. 

This understanding will allow you to frame your association’s transformation in terms that align with the board's broader goals and objectives, making it easier for them to see its value.

2 - Clearly Communicate the Need for Transformation

To win the board's support, you need to present a compelling argument for why the transformation is necessary. Use empirical data, industry trends, member feedback, and competitor analysis to demonstrate the urgency for change. Explain how staying with the status quo may lead to inefficiencies, unmet member needs, or strategic disadvantages, and show how the proposed transformation can counter these risks.

Most importantly, leverage data you collect from your membership to gain a thorough understanding of what you need to change to realize future business growth. Data is absolutely key to not only growing your membership base, but delighting your existing members. 



DOWNLOAD - Leverage Association Data to Drive Membership Growth

3 - Develop a Clear Transformation Plan to Show Stakeholders

Create a comprehensive, realistic plan that outlines the transformation journey. This should include specific goals, timeline, steps, Key Success Factors (KSFs), resource allocation, and the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder. A detailed plan not only provides a roadmap for the transformation, but also demonstrates your preparedness and commitment to the process, which can instill confidence in the board.

4 - Highlight the Benefits of Organizational Transformation

Once you have a clear plan, it’s critical that your board has a clear understanding of the benefits a transformation would bring. This could include improved operational efficiency, an improved marketing strategy, cost savings, enhanced member services, greater market relevance, or stronger alignment with the organization's mission. 

Use projections, benchmarks, and case studies to make the benefits tangible and relatable to the board's priorities. These will be your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and they show how successful your organization transformation is. 

5 - Address Risks and Concerns

Change always involves risk, and it's crucial that you proactively address the potential pitfalls. Conduct a risk assessment and share it with the board, detailing the likely challenges, their potential impact, and your strategies to mitigate or manage them. Your willingness to acknowledge and plan for the potential hurdles will increase the board's confidence in your leadership and the transformation plan.

6 - Engage the Board Throughout the Process

Transparency and regular communication are crucial in maintaining the board's trust and support throughout the transformation process. Provide clear, concise updates on the progress made, challenges encountered, and adjustments to the plan. Celebrate milestones and learnings, and keep the board engaged in the transformation journey.

In addition, asking for their input and feedback, inviting them to be part of task forces or working groups, and leveraging their expertise in strategic decisions can increase the board’s sense of ownership and commitment to the transformation. 

Need help ensuring your organizational transformation goes seamlessly, enabling your association to grow its membership base? Get in touch with the Halmyre team of marketing and transformation experts today.

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Christine Saunders, CM
About Christine Saunders, CM
Halmyre President Christine Saunders is a marketing consultant to service-based organizations, a strategic advisor to marketing executives and leaders, an entrepreneur and a hobby farmer. Prior to founding Halmyre in 2014, Christine owned a traditional integrated marketing and communications agency specializing in financial services, public services and not-for-profits. Her education is in politics, ethics and philosophy, and she is a proud Maritimer despite living in Upper Canada today.