The Executive - November/December 2018 - 14

By Deborah Rodney

A Tale of Three Chapters:

Rebuild, Rebrand
or Reinvent

I
SERGEY NIVENS/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

f your membership organization is comprised of multiple chapters, it's a good bet that some are more successful than
others. There can be many reasons certain chapters struggle and others soar.
Having successfully helped a number of problem chapters in different organizations overcome their particular
challenges, I'll share three separate case histories, each of which illustrates a different approach that was used effectively
to save the chapter. The names of the organizations and chapters have been changed for the sake of anonymity, but the
stories are all true.
In the first two instances, it was obvious to everyone what the issues were. The difference in the turnaround process
was the way they were handled. In the third case history, the problems were not readily apparent, so they first had to be
identified before they could be addressed and solved.

1. Reinvention and Rebranding
The mid-town chapter of a multigroup professional organization was
struggling from stagnation and lack of
diversity. The leader who started the
chapter originally had a vision for it,
and he and his charter executive board
had built the group around the type of
members that they wanted to surround
themselves with and who were,
like themselves, senior level, highly
experienced professionals.
Over time the leader got busier
and became less and less engaged,
and as a result, the members started
dropping out. The original group had
been curated so carefully that all the
members looked like one another in
age, gender, ethnicity and number of
years in their professions. Because the

14

group was so homogenous, women,
minorities and younger people didn't
want to join. And due to the geography
of the meeting location, they tended to
attract prospective members from the
exact same demographic pool. Among
the other chapters in the network, this
group developed a reputation for being
clique-y, unwelcoming and closed off.
The turnaround called for a
dramatic rebranding.
The first order of business was
replacing the leader with a younger,
more dynamic individual. He was
asked to appoint a new executive board;
three of the members would be of his
choosing and could come from the "old"
group, but we also populated the board
with three new members who were
more diverse demographically, and who

Ca lSAE's T HE E XEC U T IV E - NO V E M B E R/ DE C E M BE R 2 0 1 8

had the ability to recruit others like
themselves. They were offered a year
of free membership in exchange for
committing to help rebuild the group.
We next decided to move the
location, change the meeting date, and
change the group's name. While the
original chapter wasn't completely
disbanded (about 10 original members
decided to remain and enthusiastically
endorsed the turnaround plan), the
chapter was essentially reborn and
given a new life. In terms of attracting
new members, it was treated as if it was
a brand new group, and new members
were referred to as "charter members"
of the new entity.
The rebranding and re-populating
process took about eight months. But
within a year of forming the revitalized



The Executive - November/December 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Executive - November/December 2018

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: CalSAE Still in the Middle of Its Story By Jim Anderson, CAE
AT A GLANCE BY THE NUMBERS: Understanding Gen Z as They Enter the Workforce
AT A GLANCE BLOG SPOT: The Importance of Virtual Meetings
AT A GLANCE TECH TOOLS: Prioritize Your Association’s Technology Needs
AT A GLANCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Want Successful Marketing Campaigns? Don’t Leave Emotions at the Door
A Tale of Three Chapters: Rebuild, Rebrand or Reinvent
Don’t Let These Communication Culprits Derail Your Content
Is Your Communication Keeping Up with Leadership Evolutions?
Embrace Your Personal Brand— And Make it Work for You
DESTINATION: Wining-and-Dining in Style in Northern California
NEW MEMBERS
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Laura Calderon Rivera
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Intro
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover1
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover2
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 3
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 4
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 5
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 6
The Executive - November/December 2018 - PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: CalSAE Still in the Middle of Its Story By Jim Anderson, CAE
The Executive - November/December 2018 - AT A GLANCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 9
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Want Successful Marketing Campaigns? Don’t Leave Emotions at the Door
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 11
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 12
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 13
The Executive - November/December 2018 - A Tale of Three Chapters: Rebuild, Rebrand or Reinvent
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 15
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 16
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 17
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Don’t Let These Communication Culprits Derail Your Content
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 19
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Is Your Communication Keeping Up with Leadership Evolutions?
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 21
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 22
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 23
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Embrace Your Personal Brand— And Make it Work for You
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 25
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 26
The Executive - November/December 2018 - DESTINATION: Wining-and-Dining in Style in Northern California
The Executive - November/December 2018 - NEW MEMBERS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Laura Calderon Rivera
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover3
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover4
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