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April 10, 2006

Graham: Enough Generational Lip Service

There's a nice introduction to the current issue of Associations Now from ASAE's CEO, John Graham called Generations to Go.

He writes that if an association has only a few board and committee volunteers in their twenties and thirties, that the associations should know they have a problem. Well, then, it would appear that ASAE has a problem, and I would guess that John Graham isn't the only one working at ASAE who knows about it.

Turn to page six of your just-delivered ASAE & The Center Membership Directory and Buyer's Guide to see what John is talking about. That's one fine looking board of directors, but (with apologies to anyone who actually is) I don't see a single person who appears to be under forty. The Center's board has at least one member who is under forty, I believe.

It seems ASAE knows it's time for them to start getting serious about generational issues. ASAE & The Center have done many wonderful things for its younger members, like offering a superior Future Leaders Conference, an outstanding Banff Scholarship for Emerging Leaders, and setting up an online learning community for emerging leaders. These are all fantastic programs, and I am both grateful and honored to have participated in all of them. But, in my opinion, ASAE hasn't done a whole lot to really involve the younger generations in their governance.

This must change. As John Graham goes on to say...

"And trust me, at ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership we recognize as among our highest priorities both the need for transformation in this area and the opportunity it represents."
Here's hoping that this transformation happens sooner rather than later. It's going to take more than this column in Associations Now, though.

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