Want to be Exceptional? Here Are Seven Measures of Success.

mission. vision. values roles and responsibilities strategic planning and policy development Jan 03, 2022
Want to be Exceptional? Here Are Seven Measures of Success.


What do remarkable associations do that those others don’t?

Well, wouldn’t you know it? There is some research in this area.

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) first published their all-time bestseller 7 Measures of Success in 2006 and then updated it a few years ago. The book focuses on the criteria that define remarkable associations – and most not-for-profits for that matter.

Based on 15 years of data and original, objective research tailored to the association community's needs 7 Measures of Success provides empirical data and seven success factors common among visionary non-profits.

Turn your organization from ordinary to extraordinary and discover how to

  • inspire a customer service-oriented culture
  • align products and services with your mission
  • process feedback from members and use the data to deliver results
  • take actions that position your organization to adapt quickly

Without question, this is a must-read book for all levels of association professionals.

There are their seven measures, stated below with a few comments and observations by me.

Commitment to Purpose

  1. A Customer Service Culture— “We’re here to serve you.” How do you measure customer service and satisfaction?
  2. Alignment of Products and Services with Mission—And what is your mission? What are the products and services? Do they have value and utility?

Commitment to Analysis and Feedback

  1. Data-Driven Strategies—Remarkable organizations gather information and share and analyze data to deduce what actions the data point to taking.
  2. Dialogue and engagement—An internal conversation continually occurs among Board, senior staff and internally with staff and volunteers about the organization’s direction and priorities. How are staff and volunteers appropriately and effectively integrated in association operations?
  3. CEO as a Broker of Ideas—The executive director facilitates visionary thinking throughout the organization. The executive director leads the board as a constructive partner – the co-pilot so to speak.

Commitment to Action

  1. Organizational Adaptability—Remarkable organizations are willing to change, but they also know what not to change. It does not require a five-year committee investigation.
  2. Alliance Building—Not-for-profit organizations that are secure and confident seek partners and projects that complement their mission and purpose. Alliances and partnerships are focused, formal, mutually beneficial relationships.

The research also suggests that conventional wisdom is often wrong in organizational leadership.

So, what do you think?
When did you last have a conversation around the Board table, with your CEO and senior management, about success measures – what they are, how you measure and how you report and track?

Isn’t it time?


What are your main “pain points” dealing with measures of success?

What advice would be most helpful to you? And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.



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P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? 

Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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