A Fantastic Voyage into Digital Transformation

A review of our Painted Picture—an aspirational view of the future that tells a story on how we will evolve and grow over the next five years.

By Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE


Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE President & CEO, Association Forum

At the most recent Association Forum board of directors meeting held in March, the board approved our strategic plan for the new fiscal year. This plan included a review of our Painted Picture—an aspirational view of the future that tells a story on how we will evolve and grow over the next five years. Here is what our future looks like:

It is the year of 2025, and Association Forum is a recognized leader in innovatively creating unique experiences that captivates and engages the association community. We have achieved unprecedented growth through being an advocate for the profession, as well as developing partnerships and alliances that are attracting the attention of constituents from various levels, including local, state and national. Our membership mirrors the diverse workforce of the future. We have an annual surplus. Our digital culture has transformed the business model to be agile, relevant and responsive. Staff resources have evolved to accelerate growth and be receptive to the new era of business. We are a welcoming environment with authentic relationships across our community.

A key driver to achieving the goals of this Painted Picture is an intentional concentration on Association Forum’s digital culture. Our members are eager for and deserve robust opportunities to access resources, content and education in ways that are convenient and personalized to their needs. We are committed to building a digital infrastructure that will support those opportunities.

For Association Forum, our ability to provide these upgrades requires an accelerated digital transformation to supplement the enhancements we have made over the past few years, including the launch of our online Learning Management System last year, a significant increase in webinars and other digital learning content, and an update to our registration systems for our signature events.

We are excited about the strategic direction the board has set through our Painted Picture. This will be a journey not a sprint. Our intent is to stay relevant and agile to address your evolving needs. We are honored to serve our community by being an incubator for ideas and innovation. We will share the story of our digital transformation journey so that you may learn from our experiences, successes and failures. We will engage you on our journey through a working case study to understand how we will align the right culture, people and processes.

I am looking forward to working with the board, staff and volunteer leaders of Association Forum as we embark on this voyage. It is an exciting time for our organization and our members as we face the continual advancement of technology that will redefine how we do business.    


About the Author

Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE President & CEO, Association Forum

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