Embracing the Power of Pessimism and Learning
Excessive and unfounded optimism is not the best way to prepare for the pandemic-related challenges that associations will face in the months and years ahead.
An alternative and more appropriate mindset for these uncertain times is “short-term pessimism with long-term learning,” said Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, executive advisor for Foresight First LLC, during the Association Forum webinar, “Developing Your Association’s COVID-19 Scenarios of the Future.”
Short-term pessimism means coming to terms with the fact that things will never go back to pre-pandemic “normal” again and there will be no business-as-usual going forward. As for taking the long view, association decision-makers must let go of their deep-seated orthodox beliefs — beliefs that some associations have already had to reevaluate. Examples include:
- Associations need bureaucracy to get their work done.
- Associations need to have large in-person conventions.
- Boards and task forces must meet face-to-face.
Said De Cagna, “The COVID-19 pandemic is an inflection point for the entire world, but the reinvention of associations won’t happen on its own; it will require an intentional and sustained learning effort.”
PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE. Learn more about cultivating a future-focused mindset and hear all of De Cagna’s valuable advice in Forum’s Online Learning library.