Implementing organizational change: A case study of a leisure professional association's structural change, to remain relevant to its members as well as in its support of the profession
James, J. Joy
Weddell, Melissa S.
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North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA), a leisure and recreation professional association, recognized its need to transition from a traditional professional association model to a new model that engaged members and professionals in the field, provided opportunities for volunteer involvement that are short and long-term, and become relevant in a fast changing world. Due to decreased time professionals have to volunteer, and competing for membership with other niche leisure professional organizations, NCRPA recognized its organizational structure needed drastic change. The main players of innovation included the NCRPA Executive Director, its Board President, and the Executive Board as well as an all-volunteer Ad Hoc committee appointed by the President. NCRPA’s strategy was to institute fundamental changes to its organizational structure and culture using the book Race for Relevance (2013) to create a new model for the organization to keep pace in today’s fast changing world. To facilitate this change, the Ad Hoc Committee utilized NCRPA’s membership and marketing plan called Project Supercharged (developed specifically for NCRPA with a consulting group), its strategic plan, and the book which proposes five “radical changes” for professional associations. After the Ad Hoc committee’s determined recommendations, they were presented and unanimously approved by the NCRPA Board in 2015. Thereafter committees were developed to determine how to implement these recommendations for 2017. While the impacts of this change are still in process, it has created both eagerness and uncertainty within its current membership. Throughout the process the committees determined how to implement the recommendations by fostering engagement and excitement in NCRPA. Implications from NCRPA’s changes include lessons learned on the process of developing an effective board, ways to engage volunteers and illuminating “out of the box” thinking to effect drastic change for a nimble organization to be responsive and engaging to its members.
Identifier (Other)DOI: 10.25316/IR-11809
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