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Your association needs a well-defined core ideology to grow. Here’s how to get there

by | Aug 31, 2020 | Organizational culture

An organization’s core ideology is like its constitution. It serves as a foundation that guides the organization toward future growth and helps maintain a consistent culture that upholds its mission.

Revisiting your association’s core ideology can help provide direction during company transitions, changes of leadership, a cultural transformation or uncertain times. 

Here are questions to consider when defining and implementing your organization’s core ideology:

Why does your organization exist?

Your organization’s core purpose was probably set long before you joined the team.

It should not be changed (though it can be updated) unless there has been a massive overhaul or restructuring. It should be clearly communicated on your website, marketing materials and job listings. 

In everyday operations, make sure each project and goal is clearly aligned with the purpose. If something isn’t serving your core purpose, don’t expend resources on it.

​How will your organization fulfill its purpose? 

Your organization’s core values need to be clear, unique and unambiguous. They should not be basic, common sense values like “honesty” that every organization should already incorporate into their work. 

Instead, core values should be things that set your organization apart. 

When re-defining your organization’s core values, focus on differentiation. Look to other associations in the industry or similar industries and compare your values to theirs. What can you incorporate that no one else has? If everywhere you look has similar sets of values that you cannot stray from, think about how you can implement them in better ways.

Everyday projects should adhere to your core values as well. For example, if one of your values is education, much of your work should be focused on delivering learning solutions to your customers and ensuring their success.

​Where is your organization headed? 

Your core vision is a representation of how your future will look if you fulfill your purpose and stay true to your values.

You can keep your organization on track by having disciplined execution. This involves sharp project management skills and regular check-ins to track important milestones.     

Once you have defined your organization’s core ideology, you’ll be prepared to move forward and establish a stronger organizational culture.

How can you make sure you’re implementing your organization’s core ideology? It starts with the hiring process.

When you interview potential employees, ask them whether your core purpose resonates with them, if it excites them and how they see themselves contributing to it.

For more tips on how to define your association’s core ideology (and a list of 75 questions to ask potential employees to make sure they’re a good fit) get our Cultural Transformation Toolkit. For only $9, you’ll get resources that will help you decide whether your organization’s culture is working for or against you, plus access to audio and video recordings featuring author and business coach John Spence’s tips on transforming your organization’s culture. Get the toolkit now.

Build yourself with Sidecar

If you’re ready to increase your membership organization’s revenue, connect with an entire community of purpose-driven leaders and grow yourself, we’re ready to help you do it.

Sidecar Staff

At Sidecar, we create the professional development tools a leader needs to grow their career and their purpose-driven membership organization, like associations and nonprofits. The skills you’ll learn within our growing community, interactive workshops and from our step-by-step courses will drive innovation, empower strategic thinking and institute cultural changes wherever your career takes you.

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