AXIS is a member of a number of organizations, including CISC, CWA, and CINDE. I have been asked many times why I participate in the associations that we do. I haven’t had a concise answer, before, but I realized recently why it is that we commit to associations and participate the way we do.
Until 15 years ago I was an avid exerciser. I worked out on a regular basis and really enjoyed it. Then I had a baby, a company, and life was busy. There was NO way that I had time to exercise. Someone gave us some exercise equipment and it sat idle in the basement. My exercise videos collected dust. Then one day I realized, I was a little more jiggly then I wanted to be, my back hurt and my doctor told me that my lungs sounded like a diesel engine. I realized that I had to to make a change, just knowing these unhealthy things didn’t make me healthier. Complaining about them didn’t change anything either.
Then I realized that I had to want change more than almost anything else. I started going to the gym. I joined a gym, but I realized that I couldn’t just pay my gym membership and hope that it improved my health. I needed to actively participate at the gym. A trainer couldn’t make my back hurt less if I didn’t show up.
If you are now wondering what this has to do with the business associations that we participate in, just hold on, here it is. I realized (even before I started going to the gym) that if we didn’t participate in our associations, I couldn’t expect our business health to improve, just by paying our associations dues.
We as a company needed to be active participants in the process. The association wasn’t going to make our business stronger; the staff wasn’t going to make my bottom line hurt less. If we wanted to improve the strength of our company, we needed to invest with the association in order to become stronger, healthier and to grow our business!
If you are in the position to review the associations you are part of, I encourage you to look at which groups you are members of. Make a list, include a column for the annual fees, another for the benefits of each, and a third for how you participate. Then decide if the value is there. Is the association good for the health of your company, and mostly, how are you participating to ensure that you are strengthening your company by being part of the association?