One definition of inertia is "to remain unchanged."

My sense is that many association processes, projects, or programs are the result of inertia.

That is, the process, project, or program was begun with all the best intentions, but years later, it continues because no one has really asked the question: "Should we still be doing this?"

Actual examples from my client work:

  • The association still prints a directory even though there is an online directory that is easier to use and more up-to-date. ("We always print a directory.")
  • The association still collects scads of demographic data about members during the join process, even though that data is never actually used for anything. ("We always collect this data during the join process.")
  • The association manually moves data from one part of the database to another even though the data is no longer used for anything. ("I was taught to do this seven years ago but never knew what it was used for.")

Do any of these sound familiar? Look around your organization and ask yourself "Does what we're doing still make sense to do, or are we simply doing it because of inertia?"

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