Stand by...

You're about to be redirected to

November 18, 2007

Kevin's Inc. is bleeding

With all due respect, I cannot let Kevin's assertion that a Yes vote on ASAE's bylaws decision is the responsible one go unchallenged. I am convinced that voting yes reveals your apathy for ASAE. If you are apathetic about ASAE, then just abstain like a good apathetic member, but don't vote yes.

Kevin states that, "Your power as a member (and your members’ power over your association) no longer lies in traditional old-school “things” like bylaws and prescribed leadership ladders. Your power lies in your own participation, not necessarily within the association as a structure, but within the sphere of activity in which the association also resides."

This is a half-truth.
While power within and industry and profession has become more diffuse, the fact remains that there is a continuing concentrated and strong power center enjoyed by boards of directors and the traditional structures all around the association community. These institutions may be weakening, but there is still a great deal of influence and control over an industry and its association vested in leadership and governance (including the governing documents). If associations were powerless and inconsequential, I (and most of you) would not be working for one. And as long as we have a republic in America, I don't expect that associations will ever fully lose their position in this society.

Kevin's implied advice is that if we, ASAE members, don't like the changes that ASAE implements, we should just walk out and form our own association.

No. ASAE is my association. I want to be a part of it and be involved in it. If you prefer to sit on the sidelines and let someone else make decisions for you, then go right ahead. Be a mailboxer. Better yet, resign your membership. Responsible, engaged members are what associations need. Stripping them of the right to be engaged in its governance is counter-productive.

With respect to this area, I do wish that ASAE would implement its own research: nurture a culture of dialogue and engagement (taken from 7 Measures) so that as engagement rises more members will renew (taken from The Decision to Join).

It is a sad state of affairs when an association doesn't encourage a broad swath of its members' involvement in its governance. We have an opportunity to say no to this power-grab. Engaged ASAE members should vote no on the proposed bylaws amendments. The unengaged should simply abstain, like good mailboxers, or vote with their wallets and resign.

Tagged: ; ; ;

No comments: