|"Bad Idea Jeans" - photo from NBC.com|
Years ago, there was a Saturday Night Live skit called "Bad Idea Jeans" that burned itself into my brain. To this day, whenever someone says something that hits me as a particularly unwise idea, I say "that's bad idea jeans" and most people then stare at me blankly and move on to the next thought. [Feel free to check out the skit and share in my reference for future conversations.]
Here is my list of "Bad Idea Jeans" for associations - what's on your list?
1. Creating new programs without proper preparation
This is like Real Housewife Michaele Salahi striking out with a singing career without taking singing lessons. If your association has never offered programs like online education or hybrid meetings before, recognize that there is a learning curve and it is wise to have a plan before announcing to the world that you are revolutionizing the industry. Talk to people who have done what you are trying to do well and ask them what their process is to learn from the pros fast.
2. Creating a social media plan without considering customer service
Customer service is mission critical for every organization, especially associations. If you are already thinking about your social media presence, you can't forget how your current members are being treated when they go to your website or call your organization on the phone. We always remember when we've received poor customer service and now we have a way to vent about it to everyone we know online.
If your organization has made a decision to create a new program, you must back it up with an appropriate level of resources. Saying you want to create a new podcast for the association, but without providing any funding for equipment or time will not necessarily mean the podcast won't be successful, but it won't make success any easier.
Your staff may not be keen to play association MacGyvers in order to make a new project a hit. Furthermore, if those people assigned to an underfunded project manage to make it work in spite of lack of resources, it will look bad for management that no one provided them with what most people would view as necessary tools. You don't want martyrs in your staff.
Ultimately, ideas can be golden, but sometimes they are just "bad idea jeans"-- please share what your own organization's bad idea jeans have been and when and how you realized it!