Blog surfing got me to a post by Seth Godin about the difference between strategy and tactics. The gist of his message was simple but true: good strategy makes the tactics a lot easier. We often put extra attention on getting the tactics right, when that might not be the problem:
If you are tired of hammering your head against the wall, if it feels like you never are good enough, or that you're working way too hard, it doesn't mean you're a loser. It means you've got the wrong strategy.
Of course, if you've got a flawed strategy, you need to change it, and that's easier said than done. I thought this quote was useful particularly to the association world:
It takes real guts to abandon a strategy, especially if you've gotten super good at the tactics. That's precisely the reason that switching strategies is often such a good idea. Because your competition is afraid to.
I think associations, generally speaking, like to be good at the tactics, but are afraid to question the strategy.