This article about thumbsucking on Psychology Today‘s site struck me as a really good analogy for many associations that are attempting to give up old, broken down programs and products.

For example, the article’s Lesson #1 states that when addictions begin, they serve a purpose, and that purpose may morph over time into something that has lost its usefulness or its value proposition.

Does that–or does that not–sound a lot like the specialized newsletter your association still produces, even though the circulation is now at 100 and the board member who insisted upon its creation has been retired for 15 years?

I thought so.

Time to break some habits around here. The downside, as Lesson #5 tells us, is that quitting “entrenched” habits is very difficult. I don’t think anyone involved in association management would dispute this. The battles one must fight to destroy the “we’ve always done it this way” monster are, to put it mildly, outrageous at times. Luckily, with patience and perseverance, you can overcome these imagined obstacles.

That or your association’s teeth are going to be severely messed up.