The SLA Board recently adopted a very ambitious strategic agenda with five elements that will guide decision making by the Association’s leaders. These five strategic agenda elements are: (1) annual conference, (2) professional development, (3) creating a richer volunteer experience, (4) opening new markets, and (5) growth through diversity. By adopting this strategic agenda, SLA leaders are prepared and resolved to make decisions, solve problems, forge judgment, and plan forward.
In this Future Ready 365 Blog Post, we’re examining strategic agenda Item 4: “opening new markets.” Each element of a strategic agenda must support the organization’s mission and be results-focused. This one certainly is. Part of SLA’s mission is to strengthen its members through learning and networking initiatives. One of SLA’s historical strengths has been its ability to bring together its membership around learning opportunities and networking initiatives, whether locally, regionally or internationally based. For a number of years SLA leaders have envisioned the need to “build a bigger tent” in order to expand these opportunities and initiatives – that is, to welcome members whose role in the information industry may not be defined as traditional or whose world view may be different from that of North America. And expansion of membership is definitely something that is measurable. As your 2012 President, I have a personal stake in the success of this one, because in my vision for SLA’s future, I forecast a membership increase of 15%.
During 2012, your Association leaders will be looking at a number of issues that put focus on this vision by looking at both internal and external factors that either promote or inhibit the opening of new markets. We will examine the impact of our current fiscal structure, our governance structure, our geographic structure, our marketing structure, our technology structure, and our collaborative structure on our ability to accomplish this goal. What does our current internal and unit-related fiscal structure do to further this goal? Is our current governance structure flexible enough to work in new markets? As an international organization, are we maximizing contemporary geographic organizational structures to best serve our members and those yet to join SLA? Will our current marketing efforts reach these new markets? Are we maximizing new technologies to reach and serve these new markets? Can we leverage collaboration among SLA’s current units and with external groups and organizations to maximize our support for members in these new markets?
These are but a few of the questions that will be examined as we envision SLA’s future through the lens of strategic agenda Item 4: “Opening New Markets.”
Brent Mai is SLA’s President, 2012.