There once was a membership organization that decided it had to go in new directions. So it went looking for new leadership.

The board found a very bright futurist, who then went about creating a vision for his profession. Never looking back, and virtually ignoring the work historically done by the organization's members, he began to quickly blaze a new trail.

It had technology underpinnings and was based on the perceived best practices of the most-forward looking professional associations, and those in the business world and on the Internet.

A number of initiatives were unveiled using modern techniques including self-assessment tolls, town meetings, focus groups, and marketplace surveys--usually of 400 individuals outside the profession that magically seemed to arrive at the desired conclusions. Members that weren't quick to offer support were called "laggards" and often felt alienated.

A lot of money was spent; however, many of the initiatives eventually failed. And despite the poor success rate, the use of technology within the profession greatly improved as a result. But, as this was happening, the marketplace, all of a sudden and in no uncertain terms, told the profession and its leadership that they were going in the wrong direction.

The leader disputed this at first and said it was a couple of bad apples that liked to shred paper and the initiatives were just ahead of their time. But, upon reflection, he and those that put him in power began to recognize otherwise.

In an effort to modernize and increase profitability, those at the very top of the organization lost sight of the need to focus on the core functions that were being performed, a key component to success in the information age. However, there is a happy ending to this story. The leadership has seen the light and is now concentrating on what made and will continue to make the membership's profession great.

To Be Continued --

Disclaimer: This fairy tale is not based on any existing organization. I should also point out that I received a "F" in high school English for an essay that I wrote claiming Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift was a true story.

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