S:0109 Distinction: Ownership vs. Membership

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

 

At a recent meeting of a professional association it became clear that there are many people who want to join and attend meetings. By doing so they hope to learn things that can help them in their profession. For them membership is important.

The experienced leaders of that organization — and the leaders of other organizations I have known — agree that membership is great, but when someone feels a sense of ownership, it heightens the benefit for them tremendously.

Ownership is achieved by getting involved inside the organization, generally by volunteering to work on a committee or take on some aspect of leadership. It is this involvement that shifts the member from being an attendee at “someone else’s” meeting, to feeling that it is “my” organization. They then start to influence the direction of the group, have creative input, and learn at a much deeper level than they do as simply an attendee at meetings.

 

Coaching Point: How do you assist the members of your organization to feel a sense of ownership?

 

Copyright 1997 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.