I was recently asked to participate in a discussion with a group of fellow members of a professional organization. The goal of the discussion was to generate some ideas for how the organization could add members. To help inspire us to discuss our views, we were asked a series of questions, such as:
For all three of these questions I had another series of questions. The first being why? Then what is it for? And who is it for? Without first knowing the answer to these questions, it's hard to answer the others ones.
Let's start with What are some ways to grow our membership?
First, I need to know why you want to grow your membership? Is it to generate more revenue? Is the mission of the organization to generate revenue or to provide experiences?
Next, what is it for? What is membership for? Before we know what membership is for, then who is membership for, we can't talk about ways to grow our membership.
The same goes for the other questions. First, I need to know why, then what, then who.
Let's get really, really specific. Because otherwise, we are designing experiences for the average person, and I'll bet anything that the organization isn't for an average person.
So the next time you get asked a question, consider if you know the answers to the why?, what is it for? and who is it for? And if you don't, ask.