To Maximize CSA’s Success, Your Feedback is Essential

by
  • Butler, David, CSA Executive Director
| Dec 05, 2016

dbutlerTomorrow, you’ll receive an email inviting you to participate in CSA’s annual membership survey.  I encourage you please to invest 10 minutes or so to provide CSA leadership and staff with your perspective.

The survey is divided into three sections: 

  • Open-ended questions to identify what is most important to you in the areas of public policy, practice management and education;
  • A section to identify specific member benefits, products and services that you, your family, and your practice may want or need;
  • A section to provide us with information about you, so we can better understand your responses and those of your peers.

surveyCSA’s leaders will review survey results and use your responses to plan our activities and objectives for 2017 and beyond, in order to serve you and to advance the practice of anesthesiology in California.

For the last two years, CSA’s executive leadership and staff have attended an Executive Symposium, hosted by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The two-day session is intended to provide staff and volunteer leaders with strategies and tools to develop high-performing organizations that effectively advance the needs of members, the organization, and the profession over time.

According to ASAE, the key to sustained organizational success is establishing a long-term strategic plan, in combination with an annual work plan, both of which are tied to the operating budget and a set of clear, tangible objectives.  This strategic plan forms the basis of a thoughtful performance evaluation of the association executive, the board of directors and other volunteer leaders at the committee and task force levels.

Another characteristic of highly performing originations is a clear division of labor between the board of directors and the staff, led by the executive director. The board of directors maintains its focus on the horizon, providing strategic direction for the organization, ensuring appropriate financial, staff and volunteer resources, and providing regular and meaningful evaluation and adjustments. 

The board manages only one staff member, the executive director, who is responsible for the execution of the plan, supervising the staff, and working in partnership with board members and other volunteer leaders.

The starting point for the strategic plan and the annual work plan must be grounded in the reality of the current environment, and in the perspective and priorities of the members themselves. This is why your feedback and your participation in the annual membership survey is so important.

feedbackIn January, CSA’s board of directors will convene in Sacramento for its annual strategic planning session. There, your board of directors, comprised of CSA officers and your 15 district directors, will assess the current and future landscape impacting the field of anesthesiology from a public policy and practice management perspective. We will also assess the specific needs of CSA members, based in large part on the results of the membership survey, to identify and deliver a set of specific, tangible objectives and benefits that provide you and your practice with a clear return on your investment.

In 1840, following a nine month visit to America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America, in which he described the formation of associations as a uniquely American enterprise that was not only critical to the success of the experiment of democratic government, but also served to provide for the well-being of all of its citizens in accordance with a sense of equality that was previously unknown (Tocqueville 1840).

"In the United States, as soon as several inhabitants have taken an opinion or an idea they wish to promote in society, they seek each other out and unite together once they have made contact. From that moment, they are no longer isolated but have become a power seen from afar whose activities serve as an example and whose words are heeded."

As your executive director, I am proud to be an association management professional and am gratified to work with a talented and dedicated group of physician leaders who, in the words of de Tocqueville, “have become a power seen from afar whose activities serve as an example and whose words are heeded.”

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