Anyone up for a change?

Meeting professionals who are tired of hitting resistance when trying to institute something new—-whether it be a new site selection process, a more interactive meeting format, or even a new perspective on the strategic value of meetings to an organization’s goals—-may want to check out a new association called the Society for Leadership of Change. Even though it just was founded in January, it’s already pushing the envelope when it comes to the association world. After searching far and wide to ensure no competing organization existed, the founders decided to create their own competitor, the The Society for the Status Quo. While the SLC "provides a forum for leaders and leaders-in-training to network and share best practices in the area of leading change," according to a press release, the SSQ "provides a forum for individuals who are sick and tired of trying to keep up with all the new change techniques and best practice buzzwords." Even the website design is hackneyed and old, in a very funny way, IMHO.

"We thought it would be a fun way to provoke people into thinking about why change is necessary in so many areas, and why it’s important to try to lead change," says SLC founder and president of CEO Assistance Inc. Randy Kesterson. The SLC recognizes the importance of meeting professionals in the change process of both associations and corporations, because meetings are the medium through which new information is disseminated—where the seeds for change often are planted.

While there are no plans yet for a large national meeting, Kesterson says that the SLC plans to hold a series of change-expert-led webinars and audioconferences to provide access to leadership experts and to contribute their own insights into the emerging area of change leadership. It also plans to hold a membership meeting next spring in North Carolina. To keep it accessible to those on all levels of an organization, membership dues will be just $60 per year, and the education also will be modestly priced. Kesterson also says there may be informal regional meetings in the future if people want to get together and share best practices face to face.

The association also plans to develop a certification program for change leaders, similar in concept to the Convention Industry Council’s Certified Meeting Professional designation for meeting planners. Unlike the CMP, which is industry-specific, the SLC deliberately didn’t want to focus on any specific industry or leadership level in its certification program or its educational offerings. According to a statement on the SLC Web site, "The Society for Leadership of Change will become the community for everyone who seeks to improve as a leader of change within an organization. We will establish a central information source and network for change leaders, and enhance the interactions among leaders, by providing a forum for open communication and idea exchange."

I've already joined up--heck, for $60, I can't lose. And I have a really good feeling about this one...

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