[Editor’s note: This is the edited text of a presentation that Joe Esposito gave as a keynote at the PSP conference in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 3, 2016. The slides for the presentation are embedded at the end of the text. […]
Looking to the future, do membership organizations still fit in? How can they maintain and extend their relevance?
Is there hope for scholarly societies? Where once perhaps membership benefits from publications were key, now the emphasis will move to the character of academic life and independence from commercial forces. This post aims to engage the reader in thinking through what it means to be a member of a scholarly society
Strategy can mean many things to many people. Why is strategy important? How do you go about developing strategy? Chef Robert Harington discusses how, in his view, societies should approach strategic development in context of building a sustainable publishing future.
Given the pace of technological change, new sources of professional information and community, the increasing competition for attention, shifting demographics, and an uncertain economy, an effective strategy is more important than ever. While most commercial organizations have developed strategic frameworks, and many now have leadership roles dedicated to strategy, not-for-profit organizations tend to focus less on these activities. While some of this “strategy gap” may be due to relative resource scarcity and its associated time pressures , there are also structural and governance issues at play, particularly in the case of professional associations. These challenges are not insurmountable, however. Professional associations can close the strategy gap by incorporating this series of steps into their strategy development and implementation processes.
The governance of not-for-profit publishing entities plays a large role in those entities’ success or failure.