It’s time to stop excusing association professionals

It's time to stop excusing association professionals

I worked in associations for nearly 10 years, and have worked with associations for over 25 years now. And over that time, I've heard some variation of the following thought (I've even expressed it myself): "You can’t expect the membership director to learn how to use the AMS; she's not a technology expert. She needs to spend her time selling and serving members."

(You could complete that sentence with any other non-IT position in the association.)

I think 25 or 30 years ago, maybe this sentiment made sense. But here we are in 2023, where the average smartphone has more computing power than the computers that put the first man on the moon, and we're still saying "Yes, but our staff shouldn't be expected to learn how to use the AMS."

It strikes me that this is not that far from saying "You can't expect my car mechanic to know how to use these computer diagnostic devices, he needs to focus on fixing the car."

The fact is, for many positions in the association, the AMS is one of the most important tools in the staff person's toolkit. And too many of us are still saying "Yes, but my staff can't be expected to learn how to use that tool."

So stop excusing them, explain to them they need to use the most important tools for their job, and give them the time and training to use those tools effectively.

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