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ASAE Releases Book Providing Associations with Strategies for New Normal

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- How can associations compete effectively in a "new normal" characterized by complex challenges in the marketplace, member preferences, technology, and other areas? Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations, available from ASAE's publishing arm, Association Management Press, equips association executives and volunteers with strategic yet practical guidance for focusing, delivering value, and eschewing distractions in the real and very dynamic environment in which they operate.  


Authors Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers , CAE, who wrote the predecessor bestseller Race for Relevance, point out that for organizations to be successful, their strategies have to align with industry and market conditions as well as internal functions and capabilities. Too often in trying to create a winning value proposition, associations attempt to be too many things to too many people, which reduces the organization's significance and risks irrelevance. It's critical for associations to pick the right priority in order to move forward.

"Tradition—not strategy – is the master of most associations," said co-author Harrison Coerver . "In today's competitive environment, many associations are trying to do too much while facing single-minded competitors. And, on top of that, a lot of resources are wasted and under-utilized in associations, making them overweight and out of shape while vying with lean competitors. Associations need to 'Wake up and smell the competition.' We outline five strategies that lead a relevant association to successfully compete in the new normal."

The five strategies are as follows:

  • Build on strength
  • Concentrate resources
  • Integrate programs and services
  • Align people and processes for efficiency
  • Purposefully abandon services and activities

"Each of these five strategies is powerful in and of itself. When you combine them, you create a powerful combination that addresses the issue of sustainability for associations. You can't continue to lose members and operate with less revenue indefinitely. If your organization has been challenged in any way, before, during, or after the recent recession, these strategies offer a way to create or maintain relevance for your members, both today and into the future," says co-author Mary Byers .

Road to Relevance gives a framework for identifying what's most significant and meaningful that you can offer your members. It includes case studies, adaptable examples, and thought-provoking questions designed to be used by both seasoned professionals and tomorrow's leaders.

Coerver is president of Harrison Coerver & Associates, a management consulting firm specializing in strategy and planning for trade associations, professional societies and other tax-exempt organizations. Byers, formerly an association executive, is now a consultant and professional speaker, who helps organizations on a variety of topics including developing leadership potential, creating harmony in work teams, developing strategic plans, and initiating and managing tough conversations. Together, Coerver and Byers have worked with more than 1,400 trade and professional associations.

Road to Relevance is available for $23.95 to ASAE members and $29.95 to nonmembers. For more information, and to purchase your copy, visit ASAE's book store.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

SOURCE American Society of Association Executives
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