Today is my last day at AIIM. After today I shall cease being their Chief Information Officer (CIO) and return to the ranks of the Professional Member. As I leave, I want to make sure that I share a few important things.
Boy, did I learn things. I learned a lot about:
- The Association Business. It is a business and it has many unique aspects compared to other businesses with whom I have ever worked. Many of the unique aspects will help me look at problems in other organizations with a fresh viewpoint.
- Association Management Systems (AMS). While hand-in-hand with the former, I learned that implementing an AMS as a system isn’t that different from any other business system. Translation: It takes planning, communication, and work. I also learned why they are important pieces of software and not simply a domain-specific CRM system.
- Marketing. I thought I knew a reasonable amount about Marketing when I started at AIIM. I spent every day after that learning how much I didn’t know as I learned more and more.
That isn’t counting all the new technology tidbits and personal interaction skills I picked-up along the way. It was an intense time.
There are some great people at AIIM. I had always known about my fellow Members but I got to meet and work with some great colleagues at AIIM. They are smart, dedicated, and frankly, made me want to try harder in order to make their lives easier.
The next time you meet an employee of AIIM, thank them. They earned it in more ways than I can even begin to describe.
Quick call-out to the whole Association industry, including everyone in Association Chat. Y’all are good people.
Looking back, I accomplished a lot. There were some rough spots but I managed to help lead some change at AIIM that should benefit everyone for years to come.
- A new AMS. We went from zero to live in 16 months. When you consider I had to learn what an AMS did in that timeframe, and that it is the single most important system at AIIM, that isn’t bad.
- Focus on the Business. Prior to my arrival, requests from the business would often go into a black hole. I turned IT at AIIM into a group that put the business first. I can only hope that continues as it is easier to just do what is easy, or fun, regardless of the business priorities.
- Cloud First. When I started, the mantra was move it all to the cloud. The reality is that you can’t do that all at once. By the time I left, all new systems were cloud based and strategic systems and functions were being moved to the Cloud as resources and business needs dictated.
Email, AMS, Conference Website, Collaboration (almost completed), Phone, Marketing Automation and many other items are out of the data center.
There are many other things, but those are the biggest components of my legacy.
My next adventure, and it will be an adventure, starts tomorrow. I’ll share more about it then but until then, throw some of your wild guesses on Twitter or in the comments below. The winner won’t ever be forced to meet Peter Monks.