2011 AANS Annual Report - page 4

Sometimes overlooked in impressive
resumes of accomplishments, particularly
in organizations that “work hard to make
it look easy,” are how the ends do more
than merely justify the means. Consistently
successful results validate the means.
A review of the accomplishments
highlighted in the last several years of
AANS Annual Reports clearly illustrates
an association unquestionably committed
to creating successful change. This is not just the all too
typical organizational “change for the sake of change” which,
as American author Edward Abbey memorably wrote, is the
ideology of a cancer cell.
But neither is it merely creating the illusion of change, meant to
camouflage remaining risk-free in the safe harbor of status quo.
Too many professional membership organizations governed by
consensus decision-making seek the safety of repetition rather
than undertake the discovery of the untried.
More than five years ago, the AANS first realized it had achieved
—in half the projected time—its vital strategic goal from 2001 of
attaining robust fiscal stability through the successful funding of
the Board-designated Reserve Fund.
Since that time, the expanding catalogue of your association’s
service offerings has been on a consistently upward trajectory,
reaching into many diverse layers of innovation and technology.
Not all of those were planned far in advance; one of AANS’ great
advantages today is the nimbleness with which it can rapidly
identify and respond to its members’ needs.
But even as the specialty’s leader in offering the new and
untried, AANS never does so without being mindful that change
must be something even more fundamental than “different”; it
must be meaningful.
The most enduring impact of the recent device-driven delivery
of AANS Annual Scientific Meetings is that they were planned,
developed, and undertaken in addition to, but not at the exclusion
of, all of the additional innovative services and programs AANS
is increasingly offering its members. Today’s member services
are a direct result of the expectations AANS members tell
us they have. AANS undertakes the effort of quantifying its
members’ aggregate needs every twenty-four months, and the
evaluations of attendees of the numerous AANS educational
meetings at each learning event.
The AANS offerings you may choose from at any given moment are
a direct result of needs and trends identified through your responses
to surveys and other communications channels. The data is then
shared with AANS leaders and committees, who in turn are tasked
with transforming those needs into innovative services, which
additionally are subject to ongoing evaluation and modification.
The most recent of these accomplishments, as highlighted in
this Annual Report, are evidence of an association that remains
consistently true to its core mission: delivering meaningful, new,
and creative value for its members’ benefit. Despite fluctuations
in politics, economies, technologies, and the advantageous
cyclical changes of AANS leaders and perspectives, this
continues to be AANS’ most consistent value statement.
William A. Hewitt, former Chairman of John Deere and Co. said,
“To be a leader, you must preserve all through life the attitude of
being receptive to new ideas. The quality of leadership you give
will depend upon your ability to evaluate new ideas, to separate
change for the sake of change from change for the sake of men.”
As you read in this Annual Report of the accomplishments AANS
has realized through the dedicated efforts of members, leaders and
partners, I hope you see your own role in establishing the culture of
meaningful change in your association. No matter how innovative
the ideas, or how precise the delivery of those ideas, without
the members’ receptivity to accepting new learning styles and
technologies, change cannot evolve to growth. And change without
consequential growth would be a renunciation of AANS’ leadership
in the delivery of innovation to the advancement of your specialty.
As always, thank you for your membership in AANS.
Thomas A. Marshall
AANS Executive Director
2011 Annual Report to Membership
I can think of no better way to illustrate the real world results of the efficacy of AANS’ focus on
strategic vision than to point readers of this Annual Report to 2010-11 AANS President Dr. James
Rutka’s summary of the organization’s achievements of the past year.
To change and to improve are two different things.
~German Proverb
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