Strategic Performance Advisors

Create. Innovate. Cultivate.

Phipps | Nelson - Associations & Trade

  • Associations need strategic performance solutions.
  • Associations are different than other types of organizations. That is why having special knowledge of their nature, business models and unique challenges is critically important in helping them excel and achieve the 'next level'.
  • But "knowing associations" is just a starting point. By no means is it enough. Don't rely on that as your litmus test in selecting a strategic advisor and solution provider. You just might get more of the same managerial stirring tried somewhere else before.
  • Differentiated, tested, methods and smarts are called for in today's dynamic environment.

The truth is that like in many industries, Societies, Trade and and Professional Societies are undergoing major challenges and stresses on their business model.  Competition is increasing from for-profit competitors and sometimes the whole concept of member value is becoming increasing difficult to articulate in a differentiated way. The answers and solutions that need to considered, adapted and applied exist both within the association community and outside of it. There are few practitioners who are actively engaged in looking across sectors and in the science of management, marketing, leadership, organizational design to find the best ideas and techniques.

Every association has an opportunity to do better, more and our society needs them to. They are  absolutely a backbone to our success as a society. But their models, structures are often broken, outdated and have not kept up with the times -- both the science of management and also the changing nature

But, Associations are not "problems to be solved' ... they are fantastic, uniquely valuable assets to society. They do require support, coaching, processes that consider their uniqueness. And, we at Phipps | Nelson know two key things: 1) Not all associations are alike -  they have many different business models and 2) They do benefit from new ideas, practices but these need to adjusted and tailored to the specifics of the organization, its mission, values and business model.

We can easily make a list of the typical membership programs, canned sponsorship systems or other generic management consulting advice that exist today. But more often than not, they don't get to the true heart of the matter - associations and their governance need to take their game to a new level, strategically innovate and evolve. Like being in a work-out fitness program....they need to build new muscle, get a new perspective, implement new ways of adapting and becoming more strategically agile.  For example, the Phipps | Nelson Marketing Orientation Improvement program makes so much sense for member and stakeholder-driven associations who absolutely must adopt its many proven, successful practices for overall holistic performance. 

While there are many solo consultants, small firms and experts out there working with associations, no other firm has the particularly unique expertise and experience that brings together time-tested and proprietary solutions to create holistic strategic performance improvement to differentiate, compete effectively but also to deal effectively with some of the forces in the association business model that can hold them back from achieving the true growth and latent potential they are able to unleash.  Our firm is focused on rigorous, scientifically proven techniques not just the experience of having been employed by an association and deciding then to consult.

Rob Nelson is a Certified Association Executive who has served in senior leadership roles for high respected societies. He's lived in the trenches. But, he also brings together the expertise and experience of cross-industry from Fortune 30 corporations to Start-Ups to  other not-for-profits to privately held firms and consulting.  Check out our solutions... all of which are applied and tailored to the association industry. At Phipps | Nelson we know associations.. but we know at lot more too!