From what I've been reading on the ASAE show blog, I would have absolutely loved Stan Slap's session on Sunday. Here's a quick snip from Kevin Holland's most recent writeup, but go read the whole post (and a couple of previous ones, here, here, and here.):
- Many associations, because we are built around the concept of consensus, fear controversy. We'd be much happier if everyone got along ... if people worked through "proper channels" rather than airing critical thoughts in public. However, if your association is not the topic of pro-and-con conversation among your constituents ... if your trade press is not analyzing your actions and measuring your success ... if you're not being criticized sometimes ... then you have to question how relevant you really are.
Passion is not blind allegiance. It's a commitment to the idea of an organization and a fervent desire to see that idea succeed.
Substitute the word company or meeting or product or project (or magazine or blog, for that matter) for "association," and it still rings true. I've felt kind of bad for taking a few swipes at ASAE for its blog this year, but it's only because I really care about it and want to see it be a success. If I didn't care, I'd ignore it instead of pore over it and pick it apart. I poke some sticks at MPI and PCMA every now and then, too, when I feel they deserve it, as well as applaud the things they do right. Because I care about what they do, how they position this industry to the rest of the world, and most importantly, their members.
Don't be afraid of criticism—embrace it. As I'd bet everyone's mom told them at some point in life: I only say this because I love you.
And please feel free to give me a (Stan) slap when you think I deserve it. I'd be honored, because it means you care about what I'm saying (and that someone's actually reading this thing!). Plus, I love a good discussion, and if everyone's coming from the same place, well, where's the fun in that?
P.S. Note to PCMA and MPI: Notice how much more play ASAE is getting than your conferences did in this space (unfortunately, I've been chained to my desk for all three this year). Not that I don't care just as much, but I had no idea what was going on until I heard about it from friends and colleagues after they got back. Please consider following ASAE's lead and doing a show blog for your meetings.