One of the key elements of blockchain networks is the network. This technology is a system-level technology. What that means is that its true power lies in the network effect, in the system. Any one application can have positive (or negative, or both) impacts, but disruptive change will come about as different applications begin to interact with each other.
In a practical sense, to quote Blockchain for Associations: Separating the Hype from the Promise, that means:
…blockchain-related changes that come to your particular profession or industry are likely to happen not at all and then all at once…
If you do only ONE thing as a result of the white paper and this blog series, it should be to educate your senior paid and volunteer leadership. When the time comes that the network effect hits the profession or industry your association serves, you will need to be nimble enough to make rapid decisions. You can’t wait until then to start your educational process.
Where do you start?
Of course, I’m going to say: download the whitepaper, read it, assign your board to read it, make it an agenda item at your next board meeting, assign senior staff to read it, and make it an agenda item at your next senior staff meeting. Remember, it’s completely free, and you won’t be asked for any information or put on a mailing list.
The whitepaper itself includes advice for next steps after that, ranging from more detailed takes on everything I’ve covered in the past few posts to a substantial reference list to discussion questions to inform your conversations with your paid and volunteer leaders to information about where you can set up sandboxes.
I’ll close with one more quote:
Blockchain is likely to disrupt association operations, just as the arrival of the internet and social media did. Does that necessarily mean that blockchain will put associations out of business? Well, no.
However, it is going to change some fundamental things about the way we operate, and now is the time to start educating yourself as to how.