What’s an Idea Worth?
May 12, 2015Ever attend a meeting where you just can’t wait to get home and put what you learned to use IMMEDIATELY? That’s the experience I had at last week’s Alliance Fraternal & Communications Mid-Year Meeting in San Antonio. There were so many excellent ideas shared – both from the podium and in casual conversations with members during breaks and social events – that I resorted to jotting notes down on the back of receipts just to make sure I didn’t forget them. As I’ve said frequently, the “Frat-Comm” is my favorite meeting of the year simply because it represents the future of the fraternal system. And given the quality, enthusiasm and youth of attendees, the future of fraternals is very bright indeed. Oh, by the way, this group may decide to change what our societies are called. There seems to be universal agreement that while “fraternal” means something to the senior members of our societies, it doesn’t work for anyone under 50 (or maybe even 60) any more. In fact, it may be an unnecessary impediment to make our business model – a member-owned, non-for-profit, cooperative life insurer – relevant to the next generation of members. Sound familiar? Here’s the coolest part: I don’t think this group of up-and-coming leaders is going to sit around and talk this issue to death. They want to do something about it – to create a brand for their societies and the fraternal system using words that work for people their age. Hallelujah! [caption id="attachment_2506" align="alignright" width="224"] Zach Snell, Senior Marketing Specialist for Thrivent Financial, shares the good word about Thrivent Action Teams.[/caption] It was incredibly refreshing to hear how member societies have stopped trying to “tweak” their way to success – especially when it comes to reforming the local lodge system – and are mustering the courage to start the member engagement process from scratch. It’s even more encouraging to hear how enthusiastically the members of these societies are embracing these changes! But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few of the many comments from members about the meeting: “Really great speakers this year – great energy and great info.” “Meeting was a good blend of specific programs from fellow fraternals, external presenters and Alliance activity. Nice job on the agenda.” “I’ve been to many Mid-Year Meetings and feel the content of this meeting was all valuable for the initiatives we are working on back at our society. Many take-aways to go back with us to use. Thank you!” [caption id="attachment_2511" align="alignleft" width="182"] Networking with peacocks and our peers.[/caption] “Best content ever!” Other thought-provoking ideas embraced by attendees were those supplied by new Alliance partners, including Perkspot, who recently joined our MemberPerks program. Fraternals – or whatever we call ourselves in the future – are going to successfully “grow younger” or slowly rust away. I know what course of action the folks attending the “Frat- Comm” are choosing. What path will your organization take?