How to Understand the Reality of What Your Association Can Do

Ashley Neal
September 17, 2021
How to Understand the Reality of What Your Association Can Do

As we’ve seen with so many organizations following the COVID-19 pandemic, innovation and experimentation are now the new normal. Grand gestures and successful projects have become almost expected, leading many to believe that in order to be successful you must be the greatest. 

With these high expectations comes innovation, collaboration, and growth — but also performance anxiety and burnout, potentially leading to some teams taking fewer risks to avoid failure. To combat this, your organization should be clear about expectations, understand the reality of what your team can actually accomplish and set realistic goals for the future.

What many people fail to realize is that although the COVID-19 pandemic pushed so many individuals and organizations towards growth, innovation, and experimentation it did not provide these organizations with the means to do so. Resources are few and far between in the aftermath of COVID, and to be honest, many associations can’t compete with the likes of Amazon. 

Whether you have a smaller team, a tight budget, or are a bit newer to tackling large projects, communicating with your members and board about the reality of what your association can accomplish is more important than ever. Here’s how you do it:

Set Realistic Goals

If your one-hundred-person team is expecting to compete on the same level as a company like Amazon, you are doomed to fail. Having realistic goals and expectations starts with understanding the capabilities of your team. Going over and doing an inventory of your organization's resources, time commitments, and staffing will allow your board to make SMART goals. 

SMART goals are the specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals that help your organization stay on track for success while remaining realistic and productive. Big or small, SMART goals are the foundation of any successful organization.

As you complete your SMART goals and move forward as a whole, your organization can revisit its internal evaluation and the goals can get bigger and better. 

Accept Failure

One of the hardest parts about learning and growing as a company is the inevitable moment where an initiative or goal is not reached. The important part is your organization’s reaction to it. Failure is inevitable, it is what helps organizations and individuals grow to be more successful. 

Accepting that failure is just a part of the process allows your organization to gauge and really understand the width of their abilities. In fact, sometimes failure is more valuable than success

Knowing what your team can and can’t accomplish is the first step towards making SMART goals that can lead your organization to success. To truly understand the reality of what your organization can do, you need to know what you can’t do. 

As we move forward towards a society that pushes and pushes for greatness and innovation at every turn, it is so important to remain objective, clear-headed, and aware of the realities of what your organization can do. Knowing this will allow your organization to have a concise and resource-backed vision for success in the future.

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Ashley Neal

Ashley Neal joined the Sidecar team as Community Coordinator in March of 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut down life as we knew it. Having to adapt, overcome and predict the changes needed to survive in the new normal, Ashley now has the skills needed to juggle any obstacle thrown her way. A soon-to-be graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University in the field of Strategic Communications, Ashley spends her days balancing her work and education with her love of dogs. Taking her three dogs — Scooby, Pipsqueak and Moose — to restaurants, hiking trails, vacations and even participating in dog shows and sports is the highlight of her weekends.

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