Is it time to bring back the big table for ABC Member Meetings? ABC’s history is rooted in a time when business was conducted with every ABC member CEO seated at a large rectangular table. The story goes that the table got bigger and bigger. Eventually a new leadership paradigm was necessary, and our current governance model with a board of directors was born.
Publicly held companies and many private and non-profits use boards of directors to efficiently run organizations. In our case, these groups of individuals from within the association are elected by the members to oversee ABC on their behalf. They, in turn, delegate much of their authority to ABC management to perform many of the essential functions of the organization. The board of directors governance model has many advantages, including the ability to draw on seasoned and charismatic leaders from within the association to make decisions and lead necessary change.
But is something lost when our CEOs and member voting representatives are relegated to classroom-style seating as we conduct the important business of our association? There is a psychology to seating configurations. Classroom style seating can be a more passive experience for participants. Round table seating is said to be difficult for decision-making with no apparent leader. Long narrow rectangular tables are known to create small group conversations and cliques. A large open rectangular table may be the best configuration for engagement of equals in thoughtful conversation and decision-making.
We think it is time to bring back the table to showcase ABC’s achievements and demonstrate member value to each and every CEO and member voting representative. ABC’s board of directors established a strategic plan that has served as a blueprint for action. So much has been accomplished toward achieving our strategic objectives of Advocacy Excellence, Data Driven Excellence, Association Model Redesign, Education and Competency Development, and Governance Excellence. We want to tell you all about it at the “big table.” At the same time we also want to use this opportunity to eliminate ghosts, dispel myths, and highlight legends within ABC.
CEOs and member voting representatives, mark your calendars for the March 22 ABC Member Meeting in our nation’s capital. Plan to take your rightful seat among colleagues at the table to actively engage in the important business of the association. Sit face-to-face to collectively solve the problems facing the blood banking industry and your association. It is your future!
Christine Zambricki, DNAP, CRNA, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer;CZambricki@americasblood.org