June 30, 2013

Before and After

Before there was a headquarters in DC or some other big city
Before there was a staff and an org chart and a policy manual
Before there were copiers and computers
Before there was a magazine, a website, and a PAC
Before there were budgets and bills, dues and donations
Before there were webinars and e-learning courses
Before there was an annual meeting, a trade show, and sponsorship packages
Before there were sections, or chapters, or councils, or components
Before there was a strategic plan, a BHAG, or a set of key result areas

Before there was any of this that we now associate with an association, 
there was something much simpler, much truer, and much more important:

There were people who shared a common interest 
and cared about connecting with like-minded people.

In the end, that’s all that is required for an association to succeed.

Spirited people once joined together to create
Spectators now gather to consumer or critique

Such a shame that the essential spark that started it all
is now so often in danger of being extinguished 
by all that came afterwards.

Perhaps the future for associations
May best be found in their original beginnings.

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