My neighbor is a spinach farmer. Because his work is so much different than mine, I ask him about it whenever I can. What I’ve learned most through our conversations is that in farming, timing is everything. This past week is a great example of that. Ordinarily my neighbor would have seeded for his spring crop last week, to ensure that the seedlings would mature enough to survive the first frost. He couldn’t do that, though, because our area received significant rain last week, softening the ground too much to accept the seeds. That meant, by his calculation, yesterday and today were the only two days available to get his spring crop planted. That his team’s plows kept running in the field until 3 am this morning demonstrated that he wasn’t taking any chances on missing that critical window.
I don’t know how much of it is true. The Times makes a compelling case. Jeff Bezos makes a compelling rebuttal.
This much I do know, for a customer, Amazon is an extraordinary company. Last week I ran out of razor blades. I didn’t have time to get to CVS—Amazon had them delivered same day by 5PM. That’s faster than I could get to the CVS a few blocks away.
But this isn’t about how Amazon treats their customers. It’s about how they treat their employees.
Technical working groups/consortia play a crucial role in the technology standards arena, but TWG progress isn’t always what it could be. The lack of strong leadership and clear procedure often makes it difficult for busy volunteers (spread across different geographies, no less) to stay organized. Meanwhile, technical working group projects may suffer from poor meeting attendance, role confusion, or chronic delays in decision making.
If you manage an association or standard-setting organization, there’s a good chance your governing board is dispersed across the country—or even across the globe. After all, most association board members are simultaneously leading separate businesses, and answering to the stakeholders in their respective offices/cities. Even the most dedicated among them would have a hard time attending all your board meetings, if participation always meant getting on a plane, losing a day’s work to travel, etc.
I love a new toy. That’s why I was so excited to get my Apple Watch last week. And as I hit the one-week mark, a few lessons have struck me:
So many of the great churches of Europe are supported by massive flying buttresses. Not much to look at themselves, they support objects of great beauty and intricacy.
Topics: Association Management Company
I was reminded today that it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Well, it’s been quite a few months. Between client meetings, new initiatives and more, we’ve been flat out.
Topics: Association Management Companies
Once in a while we encounter an organization with a structured leadership succession process that makes no sense except, perhaps, to the founders who concocted it. I like to call this the lockstep board leadership succession model.
For over a decade, I have been attending standards and technology-focused events sponsored by client associations as well as forums hosted by venerable U.S. and global standards-focused organizations. These meetings are by and large fairly homogenous gatherings of standards professionals with deep experience in standards and who are skilled at representing their companies’ interests in industry alliances and consortia. For most, it’s definitely not their first “rodeo.”