Business Leaders: How to maintain relevance and survive in a competitive environment.

 Jul 12, 2017 12:00 PM AEST 

Are these your challenges?



Keeping and maintaining membership when there is so much competition for membership dollars.

Making events, professional development, and membership services relevant and new for members, year after year.

Growing expectations with limited staff and resources.

Engage and satisfy members in a meaningful way.

Changing government policy.

Volatile funding methods.

A concerned and demanding Board.

Staying on top of industry innovation, changes, and challenges.

Honing business acumen to ensure an enduring business model.

Advocacy in a crowded and fast-paced political environment.

Staying sane and resilient without burning out under pressure.

Pressure of a high profile role where failure is highly visible and your professional reputation is always on the line.

Finding it's lonely at the top - who do you turn to for advice and a sounding board?


Association executives know industry disruption can happen; none think it will happen to them. Staying on top of trends is one thing; knowing how to make sense of what is going on, and taking preventative action is the key to being proactive and not reactive. This will position as you as not only being relevant, but pivotal to your members and industry sector’s future.

This strategic thinking happens with all the business as usual pressures: ensuring a robust business model, satisfied stakeholders, happy staff, and effective advocacy.

What's really going on?

Many association executives are stuck in survival or transactional leadership, where the focus is on either interventions to keep the doors open, or strategy to service immediate stakeholder needs. To move towards development or transformation, executives need to avoid key mistakes and implement a few key leadership thinking strategies.

What we’ll cover on this webcast:

Client service trends you need to know and address.

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 11.59.26 am.png

3 critical mistakes to avoid when it comes to leading an industry association.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.22.31 am.png

How to reduce the likelihood and impact of strategy mistakes.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.44.50 am.png

Simple ways to stay ahead of trends affecting your sector.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.03.12 am.png

How to get long-term support and develop your leadership thinking capacity.

Zoë Routh is the founder of Inner Compass and is one of Australia’s top leadership experts who has worked with individuals and teams internationally, and in Australia, since 1987. From the wild rivers of northern Ontario to the remote regions of Australia, Zoë has spent the last thirty years obsessed with showing big thinkers with big hearts how to make a big difference. Her high impact leadership learning adventures take place indoors and outdoors in spectacular settings.

She is the author of 'Composure - How centered leaders make the biggest impact', and'Moments - Leadership when it matters most.’ 


Zoë has held leadership roles in several associations including:

Chair of the Outdoor Council of Australia, President of the Chamber of Women in Business, Board member of the Arts and Recreation Industry Advisory Council. She has worked with several industry associations including The Winemakers Federation, the Rice Growers Association, Western Australia Fishing Industry Council, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, National Association of Women in Construction, AgForce Queensland, and Dairy Australia. She knows first hand the depth and breadth of challenges facing complex industries, and how to navigate them well.

Read Zoë's bio here.

Alex Ogg
Zoë also has that unique ability to instigate critical change of thought patterns within a business or organisation.
— Alex Ogg, Operations Manager, Western Australia Fishing Industry Council
Zoë has worked with the FGD Group on many occasions over the last five or so years. She has helped us with change management when the firm was moving from traditional offices and paper based to activity based and paperless. I thoroughly recommend Zoë in all areas she works in.
— Jim Dunn, Managing Director, Farrar Gesini Dunn
Zoë completed an insightful review of our portfolio of investment in leadership programs for capacity building within the Australian Her professional experience in coaching and leadership development and strong connection with rural industries and communities equipped her to provide us with both powerful and practical recommendations for how we can better leverage, map and measure the impact of our investments. Thanks Zoë for your great work.
— Bruce Finney, Executive Director, Cotton Research & Development Corporation

ACT Department of Environment

Ag Force Queensland

Alpine Valley Community Leadership Program

Australian National Audit Office

Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre

Australian Rural Leadership Foundation

Australian Pork Limited

Australian Public Service Commission

Australian Tax Office


Charles Sturt University

Cotton Research and Development Corporation

Dairy Australia

Dialog Information Technology

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

DPR Accountants and Advisers

Farrar Gesini Dunn Lawyers

Grains Research and Development Corporation



National Association of Women In Construction

Reef Ecologic


Sugar Research Australia

Sydney Fish Market

Tradies ACT

University of Canberra

Women Lawyers Association ACT

Western Australia Fishing Industry Council