Let’s Get Newtonian With Engagement

By / Apr 9, 2018 (bilhagolan/iStock/Getty Images Plus) 

A member engagement expert applies three fundamental laws of physics to everyone’s favorite association topic.

Here at Associations Now, we’ve highlighted lots of ways to think about membership. But a Newtonian approach to member engagement—as in Isaac Newton? That’s a new one.

Kudos to Rhinocorn Consulting’s Ben Bisbee, writing at the Wild Apricot Blog, who has a creative take on how Newton’s three laws of motion can be applied to member engagement:

  1. “An individual tends to not engage unless acted upon by someone engaging them.”
  2. “An individual will continue to engage or grow their engagement when a nonprofit continues to engage or advances the engagement.”
  3. “When your nonprofit is matching the engagement of the stakeholder, your organization is met with equal relationship engagement.”

“Just as Newton’s laws of motion define the relationship between a body and the forces acting upon it, Newtonian Engagement does the same for the [member] relationship development and design,” Bisbee writes. “Having a need, options, or an opportunity does not automatically create motion, movement, or friction. The same is true with engagement.” He adds that organizations need to “invest strategically in the design of their engagement dynamics.”

Whether or not you agree with that analysis, one thing is for sure: It’s a fresh way of thinking about one of the most important issues facing associations.

From Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

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