Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You're An Association - So Scale it Down a Bit

I find this bit by Eddie Izzard completely charming as well as funny - like I do most of his humor. Just for a second (and with ALL due respect) let me rewrite his script a little.

Society to Association Professional:  "What do you want to do kid, tell me your dreams....!"

Association Professional - "I want to revolutionize an industry or profession and discover things that have never been discovered!"

Society - "Look, you're an association professional - so scale it down a bit."

Association Professional - "All right, well I want to find a ton of members and help them build the best experience possible for themselves, like nobody has ever done before!"

Society - "Look, you're an association professional - so scale it down a bit." 

Association Professional - "All right, well I want to spend my life traveling to meetings, listening to people squabble and trying to get something done before I go back to my room and sob over the mini-bar."

Society - "What have you been smoking?"

Seriously though, I know how stuff like this can weigh a motivated executive, staff and volunteers down.  When it feels like every direction you turn someone is telling you to "manage your expectations," and "don't get your hopes up" and "well you could make a difference but you don't have the money."  It just gets under your skin sometimes. But now is NOT the time to believe them!  Now is NOT the time to scale it back! Let's be unbridled and passionate and idealistic. Pragmatism never actually changed anything for the better.

I don't believe our society is seeing the association community through the right lens.  I believe we have power and and a purpose beyond our individual silos. And I don't want to scale my expectations back for myself or for our community. Normally I would kick off the year with a "5 Terms for 2014" post or something similar but I couldn't write the post. I really, really tried.  But then I thought of this clip and I realized, I can't have five terms this year.  I'm obsessed with only one.  I've spent months agonizing over what my word, term or focus would be for my part of the practice this year.  And it took me until 30 seconds ago to finally hit on it.  (Better late than never.)

The term is superstructure.  And what it means will be revealed over the next few months....

Stay tuned....


  1. You're such a tease! Looking forward to reading your take on superstructure.

  2. This is hilariously on par! Awesome.

  3. Thanks Deirdre and Sarah! :D Glad you liked the post.....


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.