Embracing the Power of Pessimism and Learning

It’s time to accept that the old “normal” isn’t coming back.

By the FORUM Magazine editors

FRM JulAug Pulse Pessimism

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.

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Written by the FORUM Magazine editors

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