Not Your Father’s Association
My house wasn’t built all at once. About 40 percent of it was constructed in 1954. My father, a restless remodeler, added a garage, which he later transformed into a den. A few years later, he built a replacement garage … which he again converted into a larger den.
My wife and I inherited the property two years ago and, true to my father’s vision of continuous expansion, we added a wing that doubled the size and necessitated many changes to the yard and earlier structures.
I was 8 years old when my parents and I originally moved in. The huge open yard was an ideal place to play football with my neighborhood friends. But my wife and I don’t play football, and we prefer to sit in the shade of a large covered deck rather than mow a big lawn.
We demolished the small bathroom and laundry Dad built. Often, it felt uncomfortable dismantling work he had lovingly performed. While demolishing one wall, I found a piece of drywall Dad had signed and dated to commemorate his last bit of remodeling in 1979. Despite my sentimental attachment to the old place, we kept moving ahead, comforting ourselves with the knowledge that Dad would approve.
We turned the tiny original living and dining rooms into a single, much larger room by removing a wall. Of course, one room had a hardwood floor, the other vinyl. So, we pulled up the vinyl, replaced it with hardwood, and sanded and stained everything to match. That flooring then had to be blended with the wood floor in the new addition so that everything would appear seamless. Our ultimate goal was not to create a house with an addition but an integrated whole—in short, a home.
Associations are a lot like houses. No matter how solid the foundation, no matter how well designed and constructed, they must grow to meet the changing needs of the people they serve.
At FPA, we’ve been doing a lot of thoughtful examination of how this association—your association—must change to keep up with the times. In some cases, an addition is called for—such as expanding our options for delivering virtual content to our members. Other times, what were once perceived as benefits are now less valuable, much like Dad’s little washroom. In other instances, we only need to remodel, polishing existing programs and services in a way that makes them new again and helps them blend seamlessly into the overall member experience.
We’ll be rolling out some of these enhancements over the next few months in response to what you’ve told us about the content and services you require. And if you haven’t registered yet for FPA Experience 2013, I promise, this is one annual conference you do not want to miss. FPA won’t be satisfied with a collection of yesterday’s member benefits, no matter how successful. The ultimate goal is to build a thriving, supportive organization that financial planners can call home.