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When Uberization COLLIDES With Associations

Like two super heros in the galactic society of super powers, “uberization” is now colliding with

associations and the memberships they represent like never before. The uberization of every industry will take twists and turns with three dynamic shifts changing business models and brands that have been around for decades.

Change is not coming…it's already happening as we speak, and at a rapid pace like never before. The question for every association is, “Are you and your members prepared for the rate and pace of change?” Key questions to ask are:

-Do you and your members understand the three forces causing rapid change?

-Do you know why uberization is happening?

-Do you know where it happens the most in every company?

-Does your association excel at the keys to maximizing value in an uberization economy?

The rate of change in the next 3 years will be more than we have seen in the last decade by far. Technology developments, demographic shifts, and changing consumer buying habits are pushing the innovative forces in every company to keep pace with market demands. The adapters will excel and thrive…the slow-to-move will struggle and see challenges.

It is critical that associations have the following 4-elements in alignment with a mission to stay ahead of the uberization curve:


Every motion a board or member makes will either put your association and their company

ahead or behind the rate of change that is here to stay. Your board needs to be looking at the right market data, have great analysis of the data, and make decisions in a timely fashion to see a positive impact on their industry. Failure to act or continuing to table discussions could put your members at risk of being left behind.


In the economy of uberization, it is not good enough to have 6-months of operating expenses in reserves. In an age where research and development plays such a critical role to keeping members competitive, it is crucial every association continue to grow their reserves so your board has the funding to take risks on program development for the benefit of members. Association budgets need to be laser focused on ensuring every dollar is used to create maximum member value in programs and services that help members compete in today’s fast paced marketplace.


Associations need to make sure they are using staff and volunteer time wisely to complete projects and actions in a timely fashion, thus giving members what they need to be competitive. I can assure you that the three forces driving change in your member companies aren’t asleep at night. They are working 24/7 guaranteeing change will happen. You can’t stop it. You can only get ahead of it and ride it like a big wave in the ocean. Are you leveraging the time you have with staff and volunteers so that you are ahead of the wave and not drowning in its wake?


It is important for you to make sure you have the right people with the right expertise serving on your industry projects and committees, driving innovation for the future. You can’t allow “old thinking” to dominate your discussions. Ideas have to focus on meeting the demands of your members/customers in the future, how your business model can adapt technology to remove friction, stress, and anxiety in your customer experience, and continuing to look at “What’s Next” in your business model.

You can no longer talk about change coming to your association or memberships. It is to stay. Uberization is colliding with associations! The question is, “ARE YOU READY?”

Tom Morrison is a nationally sought after speaker on understanding “uberization” and association strategies focused on maximizing value and membership engagement. To inquire about Tom speaking as a keynote at your next conference or leadership retreat in 2016-2017, CLICK HERE.

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