The Logic of Business Associations Now Challenged by Online Groups

What is the traditional logic of business associations on how they operate? They typically have the following:

  1. They have big name organizers
  2. They screen membership
  3. They have monthly membership meetings (now webinars)
  4. They have dress codes
  5. They have big connectors
  6. They have big donors

The last few months during this pandemic have shown online Facebook groups and communities disrupting traditional business groups, wherein they have created a new logic in helping business people survive during this unprecedented pandemic. Take a look at how they operate:

  1. They are not big businesses
  2. They are inclusive and welcome everyone who needs their help tapping into a wider customer base
  3. They don’t have monthly membership meetings because they already read each other’s posts daily and interact accordingly
  4. They tap into an unoccupied white space
  5. Everyone can be a connector and give pieces of advice for crowdsourced requests
  6. They operated collectively without big donors

They have turned the traditional business association model on its head by being agile in not just responding to a major need, but also being quick and selfless in helping strangers survive their business crisis.

I have been observing two particular groups the past few months. I have seen niche groups like Fil-Chi Taoke (boss) with over 30,000 members and Fil-Chi Ho Tsia / Ho Dim (good eat / good drink) with over 50,000 members help their followers and link suppliers and customers together, creating value for each other at a time when collective leadership is most important to help each other find new value, new meaning, and new hope. I am sure there are other groups you can share with us so we can also recognize them.

I salute these online groups making a big difference to the community.

What about the associations you belong to? What would you miss if they ceased to exist today?

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