The New World Facing Association Leaders

Source : Boardroom

Author: Dean A. West

Dean A. West, FASAE; President of Association Laboratory Inc., reviews various factors influencing association strategies, and makes the case for organizations worldwide to be particularly nimble and adaptable.

In the business community a Black Swan is an event or occurrence that deviates beyond what we expect. Something that would be extremely difficult to predict. A surprise beyond our comprehension.

On 12 March 2020, I arrived at an association congress in San Diego, California USA to lead a strategic planning exercise. Eight hundred kilometers north of San Diego, in the state’s capitol of Sacramento, Governor Gavin Newsome spoke at a press conference. His comments, quickly referred to as the Newsome 250 Policy, encouraged cancelling meetings with more than 250 attendees.

The event was cancelled that day, and more than 400 attendees were told to stay home.

What began as a strategic planning exercise for 30 people now included only nine. In a huge, empty ballroom at the Paradise Point Hotel in San Diego, a group of association leaders thought about what to do next.

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