As markets evolve and new technologies emerge, organizations require leadership that can adapt to a continually evolving landscape. Innovation, competition, and yes, even disruption will characterize every industry at some point as new technologies drive new solutions. I've seen this firsthand in my three years as CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the trade association of the payments technology industry. No component of the payments ecosystem has stood still--new competitors, new technologies, and shifting customer behaviors have all contributed to today's dynamic landscape.
When I joined ETA, I needed to ensure we were responding to the changing marketplace. Successful adaptation to change is crucial to the success of any organization. While no single plan fits every organization, here are a few best practices you can implement to create a solid foundation for successfully adapting to change.
As the payments industry is evolving, so is ETA. We are expanding our tent to include the very companies whose disruptive technologies are revolutionizing payments. As we continue to engage these new industry entrants, we are increasing member benefits through new educational opportunities and expanded networking events. This decision has been key to the payments industry embracing fintech partnerships as a means to grow and deliver more innovative solutions to the market. Enabling this kind growth is one of the most rewarding achievements of my tenure at ETA.
Attract and Retain Talent
It's imperative that any organization has a comprehensive strategy to retain talented professionals. In the past three years, we have more than doubled our staff and I'm proud to say ETA has the best professionals in the association world. Hiring the right people and engaging and retaining your employees will result in higher morale, lower employee turnover, and a much stronger organization. Great leaders that guide a company through necessary changes don't do it all by themselves. They bring their colleagues together and leverage their talents in a collaborative manner.
It's vital to be responsive to our members changing needs. In order to be successful, associations must develop, package, and deliver programs, products, and services that directly improve member profitability and productivity. For example, partnerships between established industry players and emerging technology companies have been key to driving innovation in the industry. As a result,ETA has proactively established new committees, educational programming, and networking events to engage new entrants into the industry. We constantly look for ways to engage new market opportunities on behalf of our members.
Leaders need to adapt to change on a daily basis. With a response plan in place, you can help your members/constituents anticipate disruption and seize new opportunities. Change can be a huge opportunity for growth. Face it head on and keep the company moving forward.