This month's article has been a very difficult one to write. The problem is that I really wanted to write about the ongoing federal budget debate. I thought a good column topic would be "How to Solve All of the Country's Issues." The solution is that Congress should act like professional site selectors. After all, site selectors evaluate tax structure, business regulation, infrastructure and the education system during the normal course of business. It seems to me that site selectors are the perfect group needed to strike a balance between taxes and spending.
As it turns out, it is very hard to recommend specific solutions that are not too politically leaning to the right or left. It is also virtually impossible to solve our government's problems in 500 words or less — something we should all remember next time we hear an elected official's sound bite. Thus, I have no alternative but to move directly to the point. Our legislators must do the right thing: Be responsible and do the job for which you were hired. The solution to all problems is somewhere in the middle, so move there and quickly.
Recently, I had the good fortune to spend three days with some very responsible professionals. The IAMC board and committee chairs met in January. During the meetings we conducted the normal board activities. We listened to committee reports, dissected the past years' financial results and reviewed new business proposals. Nothing happened that you would not observe at any board meeting.
The most interesting part of the board meeting was on day one, when we held the strategic planning session for 2012. One of the first things that struck me when I looked out over the room was who was not there. For the first time ever we had none of the IAMC founding fathers in the room. Remember, IAMC is just now entering year nine of its existence. A normal board term is three years, which can extend to five years if you end up becoming chairperson. The math works out, but it still surprised me to realize that the organization is now being governed by people who joined, not founded, IAMC.
That original board of directors built a sturdy foundation for IAMC. During our first eight years the organization has grown in membership and financial stability. Our founding fathers put into action a conservative budgeting system for both growth and expenses. The good news is that the growth has been better than budgeted and, after eight years of operation, IAMC is in excellent financial standing.
Moving forward we plan to invest more into the Professional Forums to increase the return to our members. Notice I said, "invest" and not "spend." There is a clear difference, and the board is focusing on the investment back into the organization. We will continue to plan conservatively.
One of the more interesting outcomes from the board meeting is to create a task force to project a view of how the organization will look 10 years from now. Will the membership composition change? If so, what will that membership require and in what type of delivery format? I look forward to that report, and I sincerely hope that the IAMC Chairperson in 2020 prepares a plan for 2030.