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Agitation Redux…Survey Responses…

June 1, 2011
OK, it’s been a few weeks since we’ve revisited the “Agitation can be fun” posting but it’s time to review your responses to my informal and unscientific survey about cooperative and collaborative efforts within the fraternal system.  Here goes…  Respectable showings for all the options provided.  Most encouraging is the interest in a cooperative compliance program – BECAUSE THE ALLIANCE ALREADY HAS ONE!  Interested in learning more about how you can enhance your organization’s ability to comply with an increasingly more complex regulatory environment in the most cost-effective way possible?  Contact Allison Koppel at akoppel@FraternalAlliance.org.This one shocked me.  The most radical concept – start a new insurance company! – received the most votes.  Honestly, I threw that option in there just to see how you’d respond.  And frankly, I thought you’d tell me to “take a hike.”  Sorry “Save Your Breath” supporters, the “Keep Talking” votes trump your belief that things can’t change.  And certainly “Create a Task Force” was the easy choice, but we already have the Alliance’s Membership Benefits Committee and Board – two groups of fraternal executives dedicated to making membership in the Alliance more valuable and making the future of the fraternal system more viable. Here’s my take on the results; what’s yours? These responses tell me that a majority of fraternal leaders not only understand they need to change, but believe it’s possible – and necessary – to make some big changes if the system is going to prosper.  Moreover, leaders are willing to think big. But thinking about something – a notion – and putting it into action – the motion – is sometimes difficult to achieve.  Perhaps the Alliance can facilitate this initiative.  Can we create a consolidated back office program or a new insurance company?  Certainly, but the effort could take years – years we probably don’t have.  In addition, the Alliance’s limited resources need to be focused on the three primary benefits of trade association membership – advocacy, education, and information. A better way to accomplish this might be for fraternals to create these cooperative and collaborative programs by forming alliances among themselves – I gave a few examples of how this is happening in blog postings.  The Alliance can be the cheerleader, the facilitator, the bringer-together of interested fraternal leaders and vendors, but turning concepts into realities is best done by the players on the field – that’s you. This blog can be a forum for executives to share knowledge about cooperative and collaborative efforts that work – or simply for individuals to express a “what do you think about this idea” notion.  I welcome your suggestions as to how else your trade association can drive the change that we all acknowledge is needed. Thanks for participating in the “agitation” survey. Let’s keep stirring the pot together and see what we can cook up.