ASAE releases 10th Anniversary Edition of Race for Relevance

Association professionals should be more confident in advocating for innovation moving forward

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has published the 10th Anniversary Edition of its best-selling book, Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations, which offers a bold no-nonsense look at the intense pressures that threaten associations, how they operate, and what they need to do to prosper moving forward in a post-pandemic world.

A decade after authors Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers first called for radical change in the way associations govern and operate, the authors offer an enhanced playbook, expanded thinking, and updated cases and tools for today’s business environment.

Association professionals should be more confident in advocating for innovation moving forward

Based on more than 60 years of combined experience working with more than 1,500 organisations, the authors examine five key areas where the traditional approach that organisations have taken in the past should be altered, including governance, personnel empowerment, member focus, programs and service, and technology. The book also includes worksheets, checklists, and case studies geared towards helping association leaders, staff, and volunteers to kick off thought-provoking discussions that are generally at the forefront of change.

“In order for associations to continue successfully serving the professions and industries they represent, they must continue to innovate and evolve. This book, one of ASAE’s most popular publications, has been updated to reflect where society is today and provides a strategic roadmap for years to come,” said ASAE president and CEO Susan Robertson.

The authors address not only the challenges associations face, but the bold actions they see as essential to a successful future. For example, Byers and Coerver explore shaping boards for optimal and effective decision making, focusing on member markets that can be served well, zeroing in on the products and services that reflect the organisation’s mission, and embracing a digital-first approach.

According to Byers, members also expect greater value and return for membership due to demands for their time.

“Thanks to rapid advances in technology, competition, and social networking, members have more and more choices for obtaining information. The case studies shared in the book illustrate how to be successful at adjusting to today’s climate while keeping what worked in the past,” said Byers, a former association executive, consultant, and association advisor.