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On to Plan B!
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2/27/2020 at 6:09:42 PM GMT
Posts: 23
On to Plan B!

This morning I found myself thinking that things are going to be a little harder today than most days. I see the day as it is: a day filled with challenging decisions, a good amount of work to be done, and a beautiful sun shining; a day that offers many opportunities to those who are watching for them. Whether things come easy or hard, the day is ours, and it is a gift that is not given to all. What can be done with it is in our hands!

Today, we reported to IAIP members that the proposed dues restructuring motion was not adopted. While a majority of members supported the proposal, the required two-thirds did not. One could argue the obvious defeat, or one might see success in the fact that voter turnout exceeded expectations and a majority of members supported the proposal. Still, the increased dues revenue is not an ingredient we have to work with in our recipe for association success. Like all good cooks, we must improvise or abandon the recipe.

Many members attended the Town Hall meetings and read the FAQ document we provided, so they understand that the additional revenue that would have been generated by the dues restructure was necessary to make investments in our infrastructure, to support our new Corporate Membership product and our new services - the Corporate Talent Development program and Non-Member Instructor Certification program. The failure of the proposal was not a failure in our strategies for growth. It was a rejection of our ‘application’ for financing.

What we do with this rejection is the same thing I do when I receive a communication from a potential employer with disappointing news; move on to the next opportunity! We make our way through all the opportunities that were not meant for us in order to get to the one that is. If we still believe the investments are needed, we now look to other opportunities to fund them. Perhaps some investments can be eliminated or addressed in other ways.

For instance, it’s likely we will still need an e-learning platform to support businesses purchasing our products and services. But, do we need to fund a marketing campaign to promote these products and services? Do we really need to enhance our existing platforms to drive more value to our current members?

There are other ingredients we can use to build a recipe that works for all of us. Can we use them in the right ways create a delectable result?

·         Member Fundraisers: Can IAIP members help raise the funds to invest in an e-learning platform? Members moved mountains when it came to the purchase of a building years ago. Could this be a strategy we should leverage now? What can you, as an individual member, local association, council or region do to help raise the needed funds?

·         Marketing: We recently witnessed, through the power of networking, how quickly we could fund our IAIP Awards – every award sold out within 60 days. What if members used their networks to introduce our Corporate Membership or Talent Development programs to their HR departments and business contacts? In a recent success, all it took was one member providing contact information for the head of their Human Resources department. SOLD! What if other members provided contact information for HR leaders who are looking for solutions for their employees’ talent development? What if some members helped in the introduction and used their goodwill to endorse the value of our offerings? Give us a name and phone number, introduce us yourself, help to schedule the first meeting or not… we can build on whatever our members have to offer.

·         Individual Membership: Members often speak of a time when there were tens of thousands of members. What can we do right now to bring in more members and to keep the ones we have? Are we putting in the sweat equity to build a solid foundation of education, networking and career development? Are we committing to the longevity and health of our association by making a personal commitment to continue our memberships in spite of our age, our employment, the continuation (or not) of our local association, or in spite of changes in the support we receive from employers? Are we inviting colleagues to IAIP events and making a point to attend ourselves? Are YOU registered for your Regional Conference and the 2020 Convention in Louisville, in June? We are the best marketers of our association, but building membership organically requires a dual commitment from each of us – a commitment to building and maintaining exceptional value and a commitment to showing that value to peers and colleagues.

·         Volunteerism: Members often express their desire for enhancements to the benefits they receive as members. Not all this work requires that we purchase new solutions. There is much to be achieved by the efforts of dedicated members, and this is the work of our task forces. Are you a member of an IAIP task force? It’s not too late to join the effort to build our tomorrow! Our progress is only limited by the number of volunteers who are willing to work on our initiatives.

So, it’s a day of decisions for each of us. How can we create a recipe for success? Our application for funding may have been declined, but our strategies remain sound. Opportunities are still within reach. It might take a few more of us sharing the load and the burden of building. But as IAIP members have always known, more cooks in the kitchen does NOT spoil this recipe! We have a long history of working together to achieve amazing results, and I cannot wait to see what IAIP members cook up for us this time.

The day is young and the sun is still high in the sky.

Cindy J. Prud'homme, AINS, CPIA, CIIP, CLP
International President 2019-2020
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Cell: 810-282-7089

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