Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. –Miriam Beard, business writer
This holiday season, I had the good fortune to vacation in China for 15 days, and it was an awesome experience. The highlights of my trip included walking the Great Wall, seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors, hugging a baby panda on Christmas Day and spending New Year’s Eve enjoying the spectacle of the Bund in Shanghai. These experiences, and the many terrific people I met along the way, have enriched my life and left me feeling quite enthused at the start of this New Year.
The vacation was long overdue. Since I started at ACC about six months ago, my work schedule has been pretty hard-driving and demanding: High expectations were set by myself and by others. I’ve been busy trying to take in as much new information as possible, and quickly –– all the while being able to count on one hand the number of days in a month that I was not traveling for ACC.
So, when my “me time” finally came, some friends were surprised that my first choice was to hit the road again –– this time traveling to the other side of the globe to relax. However, for me, there’s nothing quite as exciting as a travel vacation and the opportunity to experience a culture much different from my own; to see the world with only two purposes in mind –– personal enrichment and a good time. China offered both in abundance!
In China, I learned that 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, and it is one of the most celebrated and anticipated of the Chinese Lunar calendar, as the dragon is a symbol of power and wealth. Therefore, the coming year is anticipated to bring good fortune and success.
Hopefully, this served as a good omen, because upon my return to the office, my focus turned to ACC’s strategic plan, which will chart the basis for ACC’s success over the next five years. Our work on it is nearing the homestretch, with the plan in its final stages of development for presentation to the ACC board early this month. This strategic planning process has received unprecedented levels of member feedback, and thereby provided the ACC staff and board of directors with a clear understanding of the value drivers that underlie the decision to join — and remain –– a member of ACC. I am looking forward to sharing the results and findings with you all soon after the board approves the plan. In the meantime, I would like to thank the 4,130 members who completed our online strategic plan survey, the 55 members who participated in focus groups held at our Annual Meeting, and the 16 members who were kind enough to be interviewed for their thoughts on ACC’s mission, vision and current strategy.
As you can see, ACC members were quite engaged in our planning process. In addition, I personally spoke with board members and with our leadership in Europe, whose thoughts and ideas were all taken into great consideration during our planning.
ACC strives to be an organization that not only fulfills our members’ needs, but that anticipates and exceeds them. A strong strategic plan is critical in doing this. Therefore, thank you again to each and every member who took the time to respond to an email, fill out a survey, serve on a committee, or simply engage in a conversation with me.
Next month, I will continue the conversation here, highlighting in some detail parts of ACC’s strategic plan. I am anxious to share with you all the exciting things to come for your in-house association in this Year of the Dragon, and beyond.