Expecting and Inspecting. If an organization is to grow and become an asset for its members it must follow some basic rules of operation. An organization such as GLTPA/FISTA can be a catalyst to create a leadership culture in an industry such as forest products, but it must also create a culture of expecting and inspecting results. The organizational culture must also have a scoreboard in order to measure its results. The structure of GLTPA/FISTA is set to do just that.
The boards of directors are established to set expectations for the respective organizations and a staff is designed to meet the expectations for the highest customer satisfaction which, in the case of nonprofit organizations such as GLTPA/FISTA, is that of the members. Delegation of tasks is essential for large scale results, but the board also has the responsibility of inspecting the scoreboard. It should be noted that organizations often fail because leaders, in this case board members, delegate both the assignment and the inspection of the scoreboard. We can all agree it’s a tough thing for a person to accurately study their own scoreboard so as not to spin the data into a fantasy story that over time could turn into a nightmare.
Great leadership of organizations is less about how effective a person is at accomplishing a task and more about who the leaders are and the culture they create. Leaders create a culture; culture creates results. In GLTPA/FISTA’s case, this is a culture of forestry entrepreneurs. The results can be good or bad depending on whether the culture aligns with a game plan to produce the desired results. The leaders of GLTPA/FISTA have begun development of a vision led culture for forestry to help drive and focus the forestry communities’ behavior to better control our future existence.
As a side note, it seems prudent to mention the fact that community led cultures, which best describes how the GLTPA/FISTA boards function, will always out-perform bureaucratic led cultures. Author Gary Hamel describes the difference: “When it comes to mobilizing human capability, communities outperform bureaucracies…In a bureaucracy, the basis for exchange is contractual-you get paid for what is assigned to you. In a community, exchange is voluntary-you give your labor for the chance to make a difference, or exercise your talents. In a bureaucracy you are a factor of production. In a community you are a partner in a cause. In a bureaucracy, “loyalty” is a product of economic dependency. In a community, dedication and commitment are based on one’s affiliation with the group’s aims and goals.”
As we move into the New Year the Board of Directors will be implementing changes to better serve the membership of GLTPA/FISTA in order to align the game plan with the vision of future growth. At the December 2011 Board meeting the following decisions were discussed and will be implemented.
It is part of the GLTPA/FISTA vision to serve and represent the members at every level of expertise. Major emphasis in 2012 will be placed on raising association funds through a variety of methods including increased vendor and member participation at the Logging Congress and Equipment Expo. The board has authorized the purchase of another company vehicle to insure that our new sales and marketing coordinator, Dana Blado, has the tools needed to be out making contacts for increased booth sales for logging congress. Dana will be working closely with events coordinator Aaron Niemanto make the 2012 Logging Congress and Equipment Expo, which will be held Oshkosh at the EAAgrounds next September, an exceptional event for all. Although the Board of Directors feel the opportunity for growth is unlimited at this new venue, they also understand in these days of electronic communications personal contact is needed for show promotion.
The GLTPA Board will also be meeting with the Michigan Association of Timbermen to discuss areas that the two associations can work closer on. The spring member meeting, which will be held in Michigan this year, may provide an opportunity share talents for increased member and vendor benefits. With that we will also be working with the Roddis Foundation to secure a prominent keynote speaker for the spring meeting. Stay tuned for more details as the date and place will be firmed up in early 2012.
Another issue discussed at the December Board meeting is to give more attention is the GLTPApolitical conduit. GLTPA President Denny Olson will be appointing a committee to promote the conduit and build funds for future political events. The conduit is another tool we use to get time with legislators on key issues for members.
FISTA is currently in the process of getting the 2012 training schedule ready for printing. Ben Parsons, new FISTA Training coordinator has been working relentlessly to come up with new class offerings for 2012 that will meet the new four hour Continuing Education training standard. Based on the current SIC budget we will be offering the four hour classes and please keep in mind that your opinions on the quality of training is very important. We greatly appreciate any feedback you have that can help us better meet your needs.
Michael Gerber, author of the best seller called The E Myth, wrote, “People want to work for people who have created a clearly defined structure in the world. A structure through which they can test themselves and be tested. Such a structure is called a game. And there is nothing more exciting than a well-conceived game. Just as every game has well defined “rules for engagement” as well as rules for how to score points and win the game, so must a business (or organization) define the game properly.” He also wrote; “Part of what’s missing is a game worth playing. What most people need, then, is a place of community that has purpose, order and meaning. A place in which being human is a prerequisite, but acting human is essential. The game creates a sense of community, a team, as people focus together on achieving worthwhile results, producing meaning in their lives and satisfaction for their customers, in this case the members.”
It is quite clear the GLTPA/FISTA Boards recognize we are in a game worth playing. The game is continuation of a forest products industry for future generations. It is also clear the Boards have begun to define the “rules of engagement”. In other words, the organizations Boards have begun a process to regain control of forest products industries destiny by creating a proactive community which all forestry leaders should be part of. Every member of the forest products community can and should be a leader, part of the team that focuses together to achieve worthwhile results protecting our rural style of life. What greater purpose can this organization have than to protect the ability of its members to maintain their way of living?
Until Next Month.
Henry Schienebeck is the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA), which is headquartered in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and represents over 1000 timber industry professionals in Wisconsin and Michigan. He is also the Editor for the Great Lakes TPAmagazine. Henry’s understanding of industry issues comes from 37 years in the forest products industry as an owner/operator of a trucking business and a logging operation. For more information please contact Henry at 715-282-5828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.