What if ISA...

June 8, 2005
The biggest problem ISA leadership faces is the alligator problem. You know it..."It's hard to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp when you are up to your ass in alligators." I have a great deal of sympathy for Don Zee and the other members of the Executive Committee, Executive Board and Activity Boards, who have been up to their collective ass, and sometimes up to their eyeballs, for about five years now. It has been extremely difficult to decide what to do first, when the whole...
The biggest problem ISA leadership faces is the alligator problem. You know it..."It's hard to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp when you are up to your ass in alligators." I have a great deal of sympathy for Don Zee and the other members of the Executive Committee, Executive Board and Activity Boards, who have been up to their collective ass, and sometimes up to their eyeballs, for about five years now. It has been extremely difficult to decide what to do first, when the whole house of cards has been collapsing. But what if ISA decided to get simpler? Supposing ISA sold the show, in return for a royalty for using the name. Supposing ISA sold InTech in return for a royalty for using the name. Supposing ISA took a look at a new business model. Suppose it went like this: "First we find out what activities create the most value for the automation professional (note, I did not say the member). Then we figure out how to pay for doing those things." This is vastly different than the historical, and current, ISA business model, which is: "We are in these businesses to generate a surplus (they can't say 'make a profit') and this surplus gives us the money to provide value to the membership." See the difference? One of the biggest differences in the two models is that my suggestion forces ISA to look outward at the vast majority of automation professionals that apparently don't see enough value in ISA to join. InTech has about 65,000 subscribers; ISA has less than 30,000 members. There's something wrong with this picture. Especially since survey after survey has shown that InTech is mentioned the most frequently as the most significant member benefit. ISA needs to consider what membership means, and what value it provides. What do you think? If you agree with me, tell me. If not, tell me. If you have another idea, put it out there, and send it to Don Zee at [email protected]. We need ISA.

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