Monday, February 28, 2011

My Brothers and I

I had a great visit today with the Iowa Society of Association Executives. Many great conversations during the day, but partcularly enjoyed a conversation at lunch with the CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. Among other topics, we discussed the great relationship between the National Restaurant Association
and the state restaurant associations. Two key take-aways from the conversation:

1) NRA involved state associations in its strategic planning process as key players at the table.

2) Staff leaders of the NRA and the independent council of state restaurant execs have quarterly conference calls to keep lines of communications open.

Together, these form a relationship that allows the organizations to work in concert when needed - while also allowing each the freedom to act with independence and autonomy at other times. Makes me think of a middle eastern saying I read during graduate studies:

Me against my brothers.
My brothers and I against my cousins.
My cousins and I against the world.

Change sometimes is best achieved through coalitions. Since you never know whom might be the best ally to overcome a future challenge, it's a smart idea to build the capacity to form alliances with even the most unlikely of partners.


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