more responses to ISA's dilemma

From Nels Tyring: Dan (Miklovic -ed.) has some very good points about ISA's business. Intech is a valued asset of service to the members although it is not a member benefit. I don't see a way to change that in the present structure on in Walt's suggestion. The trade show is not worth very much, the conference less. Trying to reinvent ISA is a nice idea but the underlying problem is that of ISA Staff. There is nothing to build on. Staff is old, set in it's ways and not interested, and very resistant to in change. I would guess most of the senior staff are vested in some sort of retirement program and wouldn't be very disturbed by ISA going out of business. I don't know if anyone has talked to Rob about his reasons for leaving but I would bet that in one way or another lack of responsive Staff was a large factor. Until the senoir Staff problem is solved I don't believe any change in direction is possible. Finding the right people, and it will take several not just a new Executive Director, is not a job to be taken on by the Executive Committee or a new Executive Director as a first task while trying to do a hunderd and eighty degree turn of the Society into a largely unknown area. My original suggestion was to merge the hard assets with a living organization. There is enough money, enough real estate, enough intellectual property and enough present and potential membership to be very attactive to an organization with the initiative, goals and personnel to take advantage of these assets. The problem is where does one find the organization? I suspect that there are consultants who would salivate over the opportunity to help in this area. The Society has got plenty of hard assets and no soft ones. Inellectual insolvency is, to me, as final as financial insovency. In other words bankruptcy is the state that ISA may very well be in even with loads of cash and hard assets. Sell it or lose everything in a slow, bleeding, death. From Jim Pinto: Your "straw man proposal" is simply a patch on a patch. 1/ If ISA "sold" the name and "sold" Intech, then they'd accumulate more money to add to their $ 30m in the bank. So, what so they DO with the money?? 2/ The problem is that the power that remains in the exec. committee is transient, so each President (this year Don Zee, next year Ken Baker) feels powerless to DO anything. 3/ The solution (in my opinion) is to hire a strong Executive Director, with powers to act like a turnaround CEO, monitored but unhampered. Where can we find such a person, who will take on the daunting task? 4/ I have proposed a Change Board - chaired by Dick Morley, including Don Zee and Ken Baker, and two more people (neutral) with a charter to make changes. I am copying this email to Don Zee and Ken Baker. These are two strong, sincere people who CAN make changes if we support them. I am hoping that our involvement is supportive, not adversarial. From me: I have no desire to be adversarial with ISA...as I keep saying, like a broken record, we NEED ISA, or we will have to re-invent something to take its place.