Do we expect too much from our trade associations?
Patrick Hindert raises some interesting points in his discussion of healthcare reform in a generally well written article posted on the S2KM blog. The good however, is tainted by Hindert's customary bashing of the settlement industry trade associations educational programs following his return from some other trade association's conference.
From the tame "While the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP) and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are providing their members with detailed analyses of health care reform, the structured settlement industry has not yet addressed this historic legislation in their educational programs" Hindert then suggests the following reasons:
- Product focus instead of customer focus;
- Circumscribed scope of knowledge;
- Limited strategic thinking or analysis;
- Retrospective and inside-the-box orientation;
- Protect and preserve mentality.
While I admire Hindert for his self confessed mind expansion, perhaps he has too great an expectation of the settlement industry's trade associations. This author admits that at times his own expectation of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association has been well above what has actually been delivered. Yet, in common with Hindert, I have not depended on the industry's trade associations to help me achieve my knowledge leadership goals. Nor have I depended on them to stay ahead of and keep me apprised of new ideas and information that impacts my business. They are just one important ingredient in the mix and serve a role, a very limited but critical one.
Judging by the number of calls I receive from competitors and industry colleagues about technical issues and information i live in comfort that I am not alone.
There are a number of innovations coming into the fore in the next few months. Were it not for industry discourse among the industry's knowledge leaders or prospective knowledge leaders, these innnovations would not be happening. The LBN/Brook Hollow taxable damages educational seminar in Scottsdale, Arizona April 12-13 (which I will be attending) is a perfect example of an alternative.