The end of August always signaled the time when we would go shopping for school supplies, putting us on notice that the summer was over and marking the beginning of the new school year. This was historically the time we geared up for another year of studies, rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.
At the AACD, this is both correct and incorrect. The Board of Directors (BOD) and the committees that serve the BOD, have held an unprecedented number of meetings and activity in order to fulfill their directives this summer, and so we have not seen any "summer holiday" from the work we are doing on behalf of the Academy. This is a testament to the dedication these people have to their fiduciary responsibilities to the membership whom we represent and to the challenge we have undertaken to seriously look at the trends in our profession, to discover areas where our programs can be improved, and what new programs can be created. This activity includes a good hard look at our economic model and how the current and future trends will affect our Academy.
Where the new year of school analogy holds true, is that in a couple of weeks the BOD meets again both by conference call in early September, as well as our annual fall meeting at AACD's Madison, Wisconsin, headquarters. This is when the most important task of determining the "so what do we do about it?" plan. It is time to look at the future of our Academy and how to stay relevant for years to come. To look at our direction and to develop a ten-year strategic plan. To create a direction that we can follow; all leadership rowing in the same direction with internal strength to face the challenges ahead.
The first few months have been about strengthening the Academy internally, and we have done that through a series of changes that has brought all the leadership rowing in the same direction! We have made some changes in the way we do things and have begun to systematize previously haphazard methodology. These past few months have been about gathering information, researching and studying the trends we are seeing that affect the AACD and our profession.
The next few months will be devoted to determining what we should do in order to proactively deal with those trends instead of being forced to react to them at the last minute, which most often has a negative result by dealing from a weakened position. I have all the confidence we will be able to get this job done, that this year will be not only successful but groundbreaking, because this year especially, we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time, to deal with the challenges we face.
The next Board meeting is less than two weeks away. But tweekend, I am going shopping for school supplies!