Growth and change are nice problems to have, especially in this economy. Yet growth and change can be very stressful as any association professional can attest to, making it also the worst problem we can have. Who among us does not also understand and believe associations are inherently about change and growth and that this should always be viewed as an opportunity to officially dedicate some serious time and energy into revamping programs and services that may need to expand, transform or go away? Painful. But true.
We have certainly been putting a lot of time and effort into that type of review at PASAE as we continue to breathe life and new direction into the association. We are growing in many different directions at once. That’s the worst problem we have now.
We have been talking with you about the need for change for a while. We have also been talking about PASAE’s renewed commitment to customer service and communication. As a leadership team, we thought we had been doing a decent job of communicating our new direction and where we believe PASAE is going.
One of the rewards of being the chairman is that you get closer to the membership and you have the opportunity to “hear” from many people. One of the most difficult aspects of being the chairman is that you get to hear from a lot of people . . . and it isn’t always what you expected.
I was reminded of that just last week when someone told me that the word on the street is people are confused about PASAE and what we are doing. Sigh. Just when you think you have it right. Bam!
Most of our activities as association professionals relate to dealing with people – members, vendors, staff, and lawmakers. You can’t really be in this business if you don’t want to deal with people. We can’t, any of us, be isolationists. Anytime you deal with people, you are going to end up being surprised because most of us, as human beings, are slightly unpredictable creatures. So as association professionals, we get to experience the highs and lows of human interaction, no matter how painful that might be. That interaction can range from honesty and selfless action to pettiness and deceit. It’s our job as association professionals to lead by always looking for the good in the other person. We may not always find that right away, but we must constantly seek and reinforce the positive. I call this taking the high road in our leadership and interaction with others.
So I am taking that road right now by admitting that PASAE needs to make sure its own members know where we are headed, why we are going there and why you need to continue to support this wonderful PASAE network. So if you missed it before or I simply didn’t get it right the first time:
- A new company, AIM, is managing PASAE. AIM is an association management firm. We don’t have a chief executive officer right now, but we have a fabulous team of staff that we are getting to know and enjoy. They are handling the details of our association—and they are doing a great job. You see them at committee meetings and at all association functions.
- Strategic direction is the board’s focus. We are having a strategic planning session this month and then we are going to share that plan with you. We are going to ask for your input. Right now, we are looking at PASAE’s structure and what may need to change. We are very stable right now.
- The newsletter is back, Advance! is returning, the membership directory is coming and we are seriously considering new programming. That will be in the strategic plan coming your way, soon. It is going to take us time to rebuild.
PASAE will continue to help you. You can find a network here of others helping others, who can give advice and who can challenge you in your job, whether it relates to dealing with people, leadership or other issues.
We are here to serve you and your entire officer and staff team is ready to answer your questions as we continue to grow and change. Together we will make PASAE a better organization for every member. PASAE is all about meeting other members, sharing the lessons we’ve learned and growing as professionals to best serve our organizations.
Thanks for challenging me and for letting me know that you were wondering and confused about what PASAE is doing. We are listening . . . and right now, we love our own worst problem: growth and change. And we welcome it after where we have been . . . and now more than ever we know what lies ahead.