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How to F.A.S.T. Track Your Association to Stay Relevant, Effective and Agile

How to F.A.S.T. Track Your Association to Stay Relevant, Effective and Agile | MCI Group | EN

Calendar icon August, 06 2020

The global pandemic and digital revolution have fundamentally changed engagement strategies and transformed business models. How should associations interact with their members? How can organisations remain relevant in the digital age? How can they enhance the value of their community with virtual events?

nikki walkerNikki Walker, our Global Vice President Association Management & Consulting, presents the revolutionary consulting programme F.A.S.T.© by MCI, which helps associations answer these questions. 

Can you describe F.A.S.T.?

Walker: F.A.S.T. is all about helping associations thrive in the new world, literally put it is Future-proof Association Strategic Transformation. F.A.S.T. is a proprietary methodology developed by a global team of MCI association consultants based on 30 years of knowledge and expertise, providing strategy and management solutions to associations across all sectors worldwide. With F.A.S.T., we guide association leaders to rethink their fundamentals – from the value proposition, engagement and membership model to revenue strategy, digital agility and relevance – to ensure a competitive advantage and thrive.  

Why did you develop F.A.S.T.? 

Walker: Many associations are struggling to embrace the digital revolution and changing stakeholder needs. Some have difficulty engaging with the younger generation or remaining relevant. Top that with the impact of COVID-19 and the loss of revenues from cancelling or transforming their annual meeting or conference - associations urgently need to redesign their strategic direction, virtual engagement and way of working. We created F.A.S.T to partner with association leaders to address these issues now, in a highly focused virtual strategic planning format.  

Who is the target audience? 

Walker: F.A.S.T exposes associations to transformative strategies, effective business models and tried-and-tested best practices.  Any association wanting to conduct a 360-degree review, fast track their digital transformation or reengineer their member engagement or revenue generation strategies will benefit. Whether the association is already in transition, more traditionalist or futurist, the F.A.S.T. programme will allow them to stay ahead. It’s all about agility and future relevance.

How do you foresee F.A.S.T. improving associations’ performance? 

Walker: Our tried-and-tested methodology enables organisations to provide more meaningful engagement and value for their members, customers and stakeholders, ensure future-proof and sustainable revenue growth and at the same time maintain relevance for their community. With the consulting programme being virtual, associations can get help now when they most need it and receive a very structured future roadmap and actionable plan.  

I believe if associations don’t actively embrace change, they may find members dues, programme revenues and sponsor contributions being shifted towards competitors with a more compelling and relevant value proposition.

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Can you explain F.A.S.T. using three words? 

Walker: Evaluate. Rethink. Thrive.

What is F.A.S.T. comprised of?

Walker: It's a fast, collaborative 12-week virtual transformation programme facilitated by MCI’s consultants.  Core to its success is the association’s Transformation Task Force (comprised of association leaders, senior staff, and strategic advisors) who co-create a Transformation Roadmap and Must-Win battles for the association to execute. 

The programme involves three steps: 

  1. Evaluate: MCI conducts a needs assessment and gap analysis by gathering input from members, customers and industry partners, and leader interviews. We also review the association’s financials, product performance and previous strategic plans.
  2. Rethink: the association Transformation Task Force (TTF) participates in four virtual modules with MCI’s consultants to review and discuss state-of-the-art Body of Knowledge about trends, digitization, competencies, new ways of working, and data & AI-driven business models so as to prioritize innovation, relevance and member value.
  3. Thrive: the TTF and MCI’s consultants meet at a two-day face-to-face retreat (or four half-day virtual sessions) to co-create the organisation’s transformation roadmap. In this last phase, the association identifies its Must-Win-Battles to drive value creation and growth.

 

What can F.A.S.T. provide associations that other methodologies cannot? 

Walker: 

  • Speed: Other methodologies are great, but ours allows associations to be future-ready in just 12 weeks.
  • Customisation: Each association benefits from unique resources and reading materials based on their specific needs.
  • 100% Remoteness: The programme is virtual strategic planning at a distance. This is unique and designed to help associations in the current environment.  As soon as travel permits, we will revert to the face-to-face retreat in step three.

Learn more about the programme and discover your readiness to future-proof your organisation by taking the assessment at fastbymci.com.

 

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