John Mancini is stepping aside as the President of AIIM to take on a new role at AIIM. That role is going to be part of offering a set of advisory services that are fairly tightly linked to the information industry and the digital disruption that AIIM has been talking about recently.
All I have to say is Good for John!
Actually, I might have a little more to say.
Good Move by John
While I was AIIM’s CIO, I got to know John a lot better than I would have otherwise. While we have not talked much since then, I think I can say that this move fits John perfectly. John’s been leading associations for a long time and this will allow John to enjoy some of the more interesting aspects of being AIIM’s president without all the headaches.
I know he finds the advisory and thought leadership fun from the glee he would visibly display when working on those tasks. I know about the headaches because I shared some, created some, and solved some headaches for him during my time there. The entire association industry has a headache because many of their once obvious benefits are less advantageous in the age of social media and meet-ups.
Given everything I know, this is a good move by John. It allows him to stay involved in an industry he deeply cares about while allowing him a chance to step back some and enjoy his family.
The Hole at AIIM
This is going to leave a hole within AIIM. John was an effective leader and was pretty good at his job. Sure he wasn’t perfect but nobody is perfect. John was willing to listen and have his mind changed when you were able to make your case. He cares about the staff at AIIM and I enjoyed working for him.
He will be hard to replace.
What makes it harder are the challenges that AIIM faces. The association space as a whole is faced with declining memberships. Associations used to thrive because they were needed to connect people and to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest happenings in the industry. Things have changed.
As you may have noticed, between twitter, blogs, and meet-ups, those needs can be readily addressed. There are multiple sites out there dedicated to every industry, trying to capture eyeballs and data to use for advertising or to sell to a vendor.
And the old trade show cash cows are dying off. AIIM sold theirs off years ago while it was still valuable and eventually replaced it with the current conference which is a lot more valuable.
What can an association that isn’t managing an accreditation or publishing academic articles do to stop people from leaving its ranks?
A question for another day.
The question is, What is next for AIIM? John and AIIM have been working to address these new challenges for years with varying degrees of success. I hope that AIIM’s Board of Directors takes the time to find someone who understands the challenges associations are facing today who can bring some fresh perspectives and steady leadership.
This decision is going to be the most important decision AIIM makes all year.