by William J. Hass , TMA Chairman
Jan 1, 1994
Much has been accomplished in 1993 and the prior years since the founding of TMA. Membership now exceeds 1,200 with associates around the globe. We have developed a common vision to become the leading association of professionals that assist businesses in managing and leading dramatic change. We have developed programs and strategies to deliver increased value to our members through leadership, educational and networking opportunities.
We have a bimonthly newsletter that now circulates to more than 20,000 professionals who have indicated an interest in the TMA and the turnaround profession. We have a first class Annual Directory that has been distributed to more than 2,000 users and providers of turnaround services.
We have founded a sister organization, the ACTP, to provide for accreditation of professionals with experience in the practice of turnaround management. We have a 12-month calendar of more than 60 planned meetings sponsored by 11 supporting chapters (including Canada), and we are looking at three prospective new chapters, in St. Louis, San Francisco and Cleveland.
We have additional member benefits such as insurance and educational opportunities and more publicity planned for 1994.
These successes would not have been possible without the work of hundreds of involved professionals both at the national and local level. As you read this newsletter, you should have received your 1994 dues invoice requesting your participation in one or more of our national committees. If you would like to participate, call me or one of the other committee chairmen.
There are many ways to get involved with the TMA. The upcoming Spring Leadership conference (March 10-12) at Sawgrass, in Jacksonville, Fla., is an excellent way to get more out of the TMA.
Revolutionary Priorities for 1994
To survive and prosper in the age of radical change that characterizes the 1990s, we must focus on key priorities. Four of these are focused on the four major business revolutions that are upon us as discussed in the December 13th issue of Fortune magazine.
Understand and Retain Profitable Members (Globalization)
If we view the TMA as a "client organization," viability, survival and eventual growth will come from understanding and retaining profitable members (customers.) We need a better understanding of why people join the TMA, but then fail to renew. During the past five years, we have had more than 2,500 individual members move through our organization. Increasing our renewal rate is crucial to survival.
I have asked our TMA administrative staff to establish a personal "total quality" program to better serve member needs. Communication with chapter boards and committee chairmen will be monitored and receive the highest priority.
Although we must focus on the successes of our chapters, the importance of a "global" presence is critical in today's shrinking world. We currently have more than 160 members living and working in other countries. There is interest for chapters in Ireland, Australia, Mexico and in Europe. I have asked Melanie Cohen to continue to act as our international liaison because of her fine job in working with our Canadian affiliates. These international members, and the numbers are still growing, will give our membership an international base of contacts and begin to expand the TMA's global network.
Build Cohesive Trusting Teams of Leaders at Board, Chapter and Committee Chairmen Levels
Continuity of leadership has been a challenge at the TMA because of our rapid start-up and demanding membership profile. We recognize that the talent of our membership is unparalleled at other associations. But we have to work together and avoid the "crisis" mentality we all too often deal with.
In all associations, there are competitive members. But we must see each other as learning sources, as mentors and friends, so that we can build the integrity of the organization as a whole.
ACTP and TMA must work together on educational and other programs to build the credibility of the turnaround profession. Building trust among a group of potential competitors is a challenge we must all understand and accept because with greater public awareness we will all benefit. We can increase the markets for all of our services if we work together.
Under the new management paradigm, we must learn to work together in empowered teams that are held accountable for their results. We must share information and take risks to provide new benefits, and value to our members. TMA Vice Chairman John Collard and TMA Treasurer Randy Patterson will be following up with all of our chapters and committees to ensure that teams are functioning and accountable. Each chapter and committee is responsible for feature reports in future issues of this newsletter.
Use Technology to Create the Virtual Association (Technology)
We need to create new ways to be more productive and share information and ideas. If you grew up in the "punch-card" days like me, you are finding the "information age" finally beginning to fulfill some of its promises made 10 or 20 years ago.
If part of the TMA's mission is to serve as a forum for exchange of information, we must begin to consider new forms of technology such as "networking," electronic bulletin boards and such.
I want to reformulate our chapter and board voice-mail system. The Association of Automotive Parts Manufacturers initiated standards for Electronic Data Interchange for its members many years ago. Imagine what common standards might mean to our "knowledge" regarding successful industry turnarounds and/or ways to effectively link our chapters and members electronically. We will provide the electronic mail box numbers to further speed communications.
I will continue to encourage the use of technology throughout the organization. For example, I will encourage our chapter president's council to discuss and encourage the use of hot lines, compatible software and a "standard desktop publishing package" for our local chapter newsletters. Establishing a common professional look and database will not only save time and money it will improve the quality of our publications. For example, all articles and ideas for this newsletter should be transmitted to our Baltimore-based Editor, Carolyn Davis Cockey, via electronic mail on Compuserve or Prodigy.
My vision is that we use technology to network our chapters, and using common software and common database programs to minimize administrative support needs. However, this will take time. Tech-oriented members please offer your services to Glen Marder at 313-358-4420.
Become Fiscally Fit (Accountability)
TMA has been "investing" to create sufficient member benefits to grow the organization to a critical mass of local chapters and national members. At this point, we continue to need the support of "annual sponsors" and specific contributors. Each committee in the year ahead will be asked to contribute to improving the economic base of the TMA in the year ahead so that TMA can support itself in 1995. All members are encouraged to donate their time toward these key priorities. Sponsorships and advertising revenues are critical to our future viability.
We must get active and control our destiny. Call me at 312-879-2040, John Collard or a committee chairperson if you want to help build the TMA.