The two-year itch, continued

RSS

Last week, an editorial I wrote for MeetingsNet Extra, about PCMA's going through CEOs like a kid with a bag of Oreos, got a lot of responses. I was a little bemused by the explanations we were given for the latest ouster of David Kushner, and asked for a little more transparency on PCMA's part when communicating the reasons for the changes. Gregg Talley, PCMA's chair, wrote that, among other things, "the change from our longtime CEO was the result of several years of political change due to who sat on the Board and who controlled the organization. No surprise, it’s the members, and they were certainly aware of what they wanted. Talk about accountability!" (For his full response, click here.)

But this is a bit at odds with the other e-mails I received. Here are a few excerpts:

    "Good for you for writing what everyone else is thinking about PCMA. I read about the change of command in 4 different newsletters and you were the only one who called it for what it appears to be."

    "Huge congratulations for 'telling it like it should be told.' Sure, I had a feeling this was not a happy mutual decision, but the issue seemed to be avoided in all PCMA communications."

    "I agree with you and applaud you for asking for integrity. Hopefully with your article and continued probing we will find out the real truth and set Deborah Sexton up for success rather than another short term failure."

    "Any time a manager of a sports team is fired or resigns, the press learns what happened and writes about it, including salary levels. It would make for better community relations if corporations and associations played by the same rules. We don't need to know the juicy details, but honesty, integrity, and some semblance of accurate explanation would be appreciated."

So while Talley is saying, "this is normal," we don't really believe it, for reasons I outlined in last week's editorial. This distrust between an association and its members is pretty common--I'm really not just picking on PCMA here, they're just the latest example of how an unexpected move on the association management's part, inadequately explained (though Talley's latest comments are the best I've heard yet), increases that level of distrust. And, I've heard from some, the fact that this must have been in the works at this year's annual meeting but was not discussed by the leaders, was grist for a rumor mill that churned out all kinds of innuendoes and what-ifs.

Meetings are one of the few opportunities members have to really get to know their leadership, an opportunity that’s all too often served with just a few speeches and a couple of lopes around the floor. It’s a wasted opportunity for association leaders who want to foster greater trust, and a greater sense of community. Having a terminal CEO glad-handing members who know (and they always do--this stuff gets out a lot faster than the association leadership seems to think) that his days are numbered, plastering on a smiley-face and pretending nothing’s going on, doesn't inspire trust. It does the exact opposite, which may be part of the reason people feel there's more to the story than we're being told.

Last week, an editorial I wrote for MeetingsNet Extra, about PCMA's going through CEOs like a kid with a bag of Oreos, got a lot of responses. I was a little bemused by the explanations we were given for the latest ouster of David Kushner, and asked for a little more transparency on PCMA's part when communicating the reasons for the changes. Gregg Talley, PCMA's chair, wrote that, among other things, "the change from our longtime CEO was the result of several years of political change due to who sat on the Board and who controlled the organization. No surprise, it’s the members, and they were certainly aware of what they wanted. Talk about accountability!" (For his full response, click here.)

But this is a bit at odds with the other e-mails I received. Here are a few excerpts:

    "Good for you for writing what everyone else is thinking about PCMA. I read about the change of command in 4 different newsletters and you were the only one who called it for what it appears to be."

    "Huge congratulations for 'telling it like it should be told.' Sure, I had a feeling this was not a happy mutual decision, but the issue seemed to be avoided in all PCMA communications."

    "I agree with you and applaud you for asking for integrity. Hopefully with your article and continued probing we will find out the real truth and set Deborah Sexton up for success rather than another short term failure."

    "Any time a manager of a sports team is fired or resigns, the press learns what happened and writes about it, including salary levels. It would make for better community relations if corporations and associations played by the same rules. We don't need to know the juicy details, but honesty, integrity, and some semblance of accurate explanation would be appreciated."

So while Talley is saying, "this is normal," we don't really believe it, for reasons I outlined in last week's editorial. This distrust between an association and its members is pretty common--I'm really not just picking on PCMA here, they're just the latest example of how an unexpected move on the association management's part, inadequately explained (though Talley's latest comments are the best I've heard yet), increases that level of distrust. And, I've heard from some, the fact that this must have been in the works at this year's annual meeting but was not discussed by the leaders, was grist for a rumor mill that churned out all kinds of innuendoes and what-ifs.

Meetings are one of the few opportunities members have to really get to know their leadership, an opportunity that’s all too often served with just a few speeches and a couple of lopes around the floor. It’s a wasted opportunity for association leaders who want to foster greater trust, and a greater sense of community. Having a terminal CEO glad-handing members who know (and they always do--this stuff gets out a lot faster than the association leadership seems to think) that his days are numbered, plastering on a smiley-face and pretending nothing’s going on, doesn't inspire trust. It does the exact opposite, which may be part of the reason people feel there's more to the story than we're being told.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's face2face?

An eclectic mix of news about meetings and events, hospitality, and business travel, along with helpful hints and the occasional rant.

Blog Archive

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×