The Future of Membership
A cohort experience for association membership leaders to reimagine membership for young professionals.
Organizations we have collaborated with
Young professionals are not sticking around
Young professionals join professional associations less often and engage less deeply. These trends are well-established and consistent across all professions.
Association leaders can be tempted to believe, "When they grow up, they'll realize how important the association is, and do the right thing and join." But all of our research and years of evidence say this isn't going to happen.
We need to reimagine membership to meet the needs, context, and expectations of young professionals.
This cohort was excellent – timely, relevant, practical, and needed. Highland delivered actionable research, methodologies, and resources for developing value propositions, products, and services that younger generations will value in a format that fosters participation and collaboration across industry verticals and peer groups. I highly recommend their work and this experience.
Heather Weddle, CAE
Head of Global Membership, CFA Institute
Clarify macro trends and unique circumstances
Sharpen your point of view
Explore proven methods from innovation for breaking down and solving complex challenges
Learn from leading Millennial & GenZ researchers
Engage with leaders of membership orgs succeeding with young professionals
Dialogue with other forward-thinking, specialized leaders of membership in professional associations
Tap into the learnings, ideas, and successes of others
October 4 & 5, 2023 • In-person session
The cohort begins with two days together in Chicago, from 1pm Wednesday until 4:30pm Thursday.
Participants and their teams will meet other leaders and engage in highly interactive reflection, sharing, and discussions to frame the challenge, explore its complexity, share past attempts and current efforts across organizations, and set the foundation for the weeks to come.
We'll also dive into the key principles of uncovering the unmet and under-met needs of young professionals in your industry using the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) framework, created by Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School.
Finally, we'll explore reliable methods for rapidly co-creating and evaluating value propositions and new products and services with young professionals using techniques from the world of innovation.
All cohort members share a relaxed dinner at Roanoke in Chicago on Wednesday evening.
October 12, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Explore the macro trends behind young professionals' dwindling engagement with professional associations with Tim Elmore, a pre-eminent researcher, speaker, and expert on Gen Z and Millennial behaviors and mindsets.
Understanding What Young Professionals Need
October 19, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Engage in real-time interviews with young professionals, applying a JTBD method to identify needs throughout their journey from student to early career professional.
Creating New Value Propositions and Products with Young Professionals
October 26, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Engage in real-time sessions with young professionals, applying co-creation and rapid feedback techniques to shape value propositions and services more tightly aligned to young professional's needs, context, and expectations.
Planning for the Future: Next Steps for Your Team & Organization
November 8 & 9, 2023 • In-person session
The cohort closes with another two days in Chicago, from 1pm Wednesday to 4:30pm Thursday.
Blending practical planning with collaboration and creativity, we'll reflect and share on learning and insights from The Future of Membership cohort. You and your team will be able to create concrete plans to advance the capability and commitment of your organization to reimagine membership for young professionals, while receiving advice and feedback from other leaders and Highland's principals.
Cost & Details
$9,500 per organization for a team of up to four participants. Teams typically include leaders of membership and marketing functions.
Private Slack community
Remote session recordings
All cohort materials, including Highland's guides for Jobs-To-Be-Done research and co-creation with young professionals
The cohort is limited to eight participating association teams. Applications are evaluated and accepted based on the association's industry, participating leaders, and membership goals.