The “Pfactor” and its Role in Association Change and Innovation

August 20, 2008 at 9:17 am Leave a comment

There’s a quote I recently came across in that “Wisdom” boils down to the mastery of your ego as well as the ego of others.

Many association professionals think that simply having the right answer or the most on-point innovation waiting in the wings will help advance and propel the organization forward.  Unfortunately, as many of you may have already learned, this is perhaps less than half the battle.

Presenting ideas and innovations to people can illicit a wide spectrum of responses and reactions. 

First, if you present cold, it’s an idea you brought forward regardless of supporting documentation.  If it’s your idea and other stakeholders didn’t think about it then it can consciously or subconsciously make others feel threatened for whatever reason.

Second, if people can move past the first issue, they may themselves have some variation of the idea which was not considered OR there is an angle which isn’t factored into the idea or innovation which impacts their area of responsibility.

Third, especially with Board Leaders, staff may not have achieved the level of trust and credibility which “gives you the right or expertise” to suggest such ideas and innovation. 

How do you overcome?  It comes down to what I call the Pfactor… or the “People Factor”.  You need to factor people into your innovation process from the starting point, enabling them to participate, contribute and invest themselves in the process.  Doing so covers all angles and creates a sense of ownership in all.  Some call this mass participation. 

The outcome is a well-rounded idea/innovation and a balanced decision-making process vital to getting ideas and innovation to the next step.  When this process succeeds, trust and credibility grows.

As I have learned by many wonderful teachers throughout my career, trust and credibility is not something you are annointed with… rather, it is something which develops through collaborative problem-solving process in which the needs/interests of stakeholders are combined to create solutions to clearly defined problems. 

Never forget or leave out the Pfactor as you look to move your association forward.  The reward will far exceed the innovation or change you are looking to implement.  SM

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Entry filed under: Innovation, Managing Change. Tags: , , , , .

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