The Season of Change

By Meredith Hayes Gordon, AIA Minnesota President

Our annual conference is upon us, and as we prepare for the annual meeting I am reminded of all the hard work our organization has taken on in 2017. It has been a year of both accomplishments and challenges as we worked to develop an implementation plan for our new strategic direction. I feel fortunate to have worked with a group of leaders who bring a high level of passion and integrity to all of that work.

Together, we have thoughtfully analyzed our resources in collaboration with AIA MN staff to understand how our programs and activities relate to our mission and core values. Misalignments revealed themselves through this process. We developed an implementation plan that charts a course for realignment to ensure those member assets are being used to further the things that we collectively agree are important. There have been difficult conversations, but I have been inspired by the respect and empathy displayed throughout this work.

The primary outcome of these efforts is change. The American inventor Charles Kettering said, “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” Yes, change will be difficult. But the prospect of having greater impact on what we value most is well worth the effort to advance our mission.

Our full implementation plan will be shared at the annual meeting on November 14th. It includes adapting existing programs to be more inclusive of all members. It includes exciting new goals for the work of our Space Exploration Task Force. It includes a multi-year plan for changes to our magazine. It includes a new kind of leadership program. It includes a restructuring of a number of committees to become knowledge communities. It includes renewed outreach efforts to connect with members in greater Minnesota. It includes new resources for our work with K-12 schools. I look forward to sharing even more details at the meeting.

At last year’s conference I was excited and encouraged by the strategic direction that we all created together. I felt a renewed sense of purpose in my work with our organization because I had a vision for what could be. Throughout this year I have been inspired by the work of our staff, my fellow board members, and by all of you as we tackle the reality of transforming our work to align with that strategic vision. Together we have envisioned, we have planned and we will succeed in pursuing a lasting impact to further our mission.

View the full November issue of Matrix.