by Kevin Helm, CAE, KCSAE President
On behalf of the Kansas City Society of Association Executives leadership, I would like to thank all of you for your commitment to this great group of association professionals throughout the pandemic.
It's certainly been a unique year -- I wouldn’t have guessed we’d all have become virtual meeting experts (can we add that to our resumes?).
This time last year, Callie Castro, CAE, Past-President, was writing “in the midst of a colossal upheaval of society…” This year, I’m very pleased to be writing to you as we are returning to a (somewhat) normal state of affairs, albeit with a whole new skill set and the opportunity for new innovations.
In graduate school, I had the opportunity to take a great course on creativity. One lesson I remember was that creativity doesn’t necessary mean invention. Creativity, more often, comes in the form of small innovations done on a consistent basis. According to Peter Drucker in his book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, there are seven sources of innovation:
- The unexpected– The unexpected success, failure or outside event.
- The incongruity– between reality as it actually is and reality as it is assumed to be or as it “ought to be.”
- Innovation based on process need
- Changes in industry structure or market structure that catch everyone unawares.
- Demographics— population changes
- Changes in perception, mood and meaning
- New knowledge, both scientific and nonscientific.
The first four purportedly lie within the organization while the last three involve changes outside the organization or industry. I would suggest all seven are results of the past year’s upheaval and present all of us with new possibilities for innovations in our organization and industry. How will we respond?
For KCSAE leadership, the pandemic afforded us several opportunities to examine how we approach the needs of the Kansas City association community. We’ve taken a fresh look at the strategic plan and made some tweaks; as with you and your organization, we have introduced virtual meetings and speakers and have learned many lessons along the way on how to conduct these meetings in an effective manner while sharing those ideas with colleagues; we’re looking at how to thrive in a new meeting venue landscape; and last and most importantly, we’ve created an amazing line up of programs for the year.
To start things off right, we’re getting back to normal and invite you to re-engage with KCSAE with your local association colleagues at the Annual Celebration on September 14 at the Grand Street Café Plaza. It’s sure to be a great time getting reacquainted in person and talking face to face!
And don’t forget to participate in the silent auction -- always a signature part of the event and a source of friendly competition! The celebration also includes deserved recognition for a challenging year, recognition of our newest CAEs, introduction of the new board, and best of all, awards that recognize an Emerging Leader, Allied Member, Professional Excellence, and a Distinguished Executive.
I’m personally very grateful for the opportunity to serve KCSAE in this role over the past year and would encourage each and every one of you to explore how you can contribute to KCSAE’s success and innovations in 2021. I look forward to seeing you in person this year!