January 11, 2019 Message to Members


In December, I talked about the importance of marking and celebrating your accomplishments when you reflect on 2018. In this first message of 2019, I’d like to continue that thread with a focus on what you learned last year and how you will intentionally carry that learning forward.

Some pieces of learning are bold and declarative but others are less conspicuous, that little kernel of knowledge or subtle occurrence that seems unremarkable at the time but that you later realize has triggered a profound shift in your thinking. 

As I find myself part of a new work environment and with the exposure to other groups and organizations in our sector, I’ve been mindful of what makes associations like ours tick. Organizations pursue their goals using established practices and procedures that guide staff and maintain direction: think ‘strategic plans’ and ‘mission statements’, those visioning tools that are critical to keeping the ship on course. These mechanisms provide the framework for an organization to both measure its progress and be successful.

A key observation for me has been the critical role that relationships play within that framework. When organizations are successful in building sincere mutual trust and respectful relationships, they flourish. If the culture of the organization is genuine, that success doesn’t crumble with the natural passage of leaders and teams as they pursue new challenges or retire. An organization whose leaders, staff and support teams can understand the vision, and truly share and appreciate both the work and each other, has honed a culture built on shared purpose and authentic relationships. Organizations – and the leaders who are responsible for them – find the greatest success when they can achieve this harmony.

This piece of learning has simmered for me over the holidays as I thought about the internal and external relationships that we hold, the ones that have achieved that perfect balance and the ones that are still on a path of discovery.  I hope that this reflection will help me to attain harmony in working with the many teams in my life, and that you can find your own harmony for 2019 by setting a few key intentions based on last year’s learning. I’d love to hear your thoughts: share your greatest 2018 takeaway with us on Twitter @bcpvpa.

Take Care,