Benjamin Graham was a noted Columbia Business School professor, author of “The Intelligent Investor,” and developer of the approach calledValue Investing, on which Warren Buffett based his investment strategy. Ben Graham offered the following regarding cooperation and competition: “Competition creates better products, alliances create better companies.” This simple but compelling sentiment underlies in part the perspective on which the “Cooperate-to-Compete” theme, which has been incorporated into ABC’s meetings, is based. I would argue, however, there is an even more basic component to our long term success – maintaining our sense of collegiality.
Ours has been a profession steeped in the tradition of helping others, and freely sharing information has always been an important aspect of our mission. As competitive pressures mount, concerns about openly and candidly sharing information may threaten our inclination to view each other as colleagues. I encourage us to resist those feelings and remain committed to sharing the best of what we know. Certainly there are limits; organizational strategic imperatives have always been kept close to the vest and long standing anti-trust laws are clear. But helping one another navigate change, improve organizational performance, and deliver the greatest possible value to the communities we serve help us all to be successful and, in the end, create better blood centers.
ABC’s board of directors and staff remain committed to helping facilitate our collective talents in pursuit of member value. In addition to our normal schedule for the upcoming ABC Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., we will be holding ABC Break Outs with staff available to answer questions about our programs and services. These sessions will be structured informally to invite questions and open exchange about the work of ABC. We will also hold an Open Bylaws Hearing to field questions about the proposed amendment to allow hospital-based associate membership scheduled for member vote (http://bit.ly/abcamendment). Healthy alliances are based in transparency.
As we gather later this week for our Annual Meeting, I look forward to the robust exchange of ideas, perspectives, and knowledge characteristic of the ABC tradition. In short, I look forward to meeting with my colleagues.
Dave Green, Board President; firstname.lastname@example.org