Addressing the Broken Leg: Focusing on Solutions and Meeting Member Needs

Imagine going to the doctor with a broken leg, only to have them steer the conversation toward your eating habits. While it’s true that addressing weight issues could have broader health benefits and potentially reduce the risk of future injuries, the immediate concern at hand is a broken leg that requires focused and immediate treatment. Changing your eating habits might improve your overall health, but it won’t magically fix your leg.

As leaders of associations and non-profit organizations, it’s important for us to understand what would make our members’ experience more valuable. If they’re seeking a solution for their “broken leg,” so to speak, our focus should be on identifying the obstacles they face and providing effective solutions. Applying a mere “band-aid approach” won’t cut it. Instead, we need to determine what outcomes our members or constituents desire. Armed with this knowledge, we can create goals, programs, and products that align with their wants and needs.

Therapists in any field excel at this approach. They not only ask, “What’s the problem?” but also inquire about the desired abilities or outcomes. With the end goal in mind, they craft a comprehensive treatment plan. Similarly, by understanding our members’ problems and what they hope to achieve once those problems are solved, we can design a tailored plan of action.

As organizational leaders, it is crucial that we understand and address the needs of our members or constituents and take appropriate steps to provide them with suitable solutions. Attempting to address supplementary issues before fulfilling the primary objective is akin to doing nothing at all—it’s like placing a band-aid on a broken leg!

Let’s ensure we meet people where they are by actively seeking out their individual needs and formulating plans for lasting change. Association and non-profit leaders should strive to understand what would truly make their memberships valuable by listening to the desired outcomes and delivering solutions that help members achieve success. With this approach, we are able to focus on providing programs or products that address individual needs genuinely rather than offering superficial solutions. This avoids focusing on unrelated interventions, like suggesting dietary changes during an appointment for a broken leg.

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