Oct 29, 2012

How Would You Feel If You Were 115 Years Old?

By Mike Colgan, PICPA Executive Director and CEO

The PICPA is in its 115th year, and it’s been quite a successful run of providing outstanding service and value to our ever-increasing membership. We have been fortunate over those years to have many members who have volunteered to lead the organization and provide value to other members through active participation in our committee and leadership opportunities. However, as we progress through our 116th year, it is critical that the PICPA look at the changing profession and measure our ability to continue to attract volunteer members as we have in the past. PICPA leadership has decided to review our governance and structure model to determine its ongoing effectiveness in the changing profession in which you operate, as well as to be sure that we are providing engagement, or volunteer opportunities, to all of our members across multiple generations.

Bob Jazwinski, PICPA president, recently formed a Governance & Structure Task Force, and the PICPA engaged an outside consultant to review our governance model and ability to attract and engage members in volunteer opportunities. I recently attended a presentation titled “The End of Membership As We Know It,” which directly related to some issues the task force is addressing. The program focused on the changing needs of the current workforce and, from an association perspective, how to engage and provide value to individuals with vastly different needs.

Multiple generations are in the profession today. Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) are approaching retirement, Generation X (born 1965-1981) make up most of middle management, and Generation Y (born 1982-1995) are in the earlier stages of their careers. Research suggests that each generation is looking for something different from the PICPA. Boomers like opportunities to lead and leave a legacy, Gen Xers want to further their careers and peer relationships, while Gen Yers want opportunities to learn and gain access to new skills and information.

These generations also have different styles when it comes to volunteering. Boomers want to lead and manage others. They like to hold meetings and discuss strategy. Generation X wants autonomy and hates being micromanaged. They dislike wasting time. Generation Y want and expect immediate feedback and increasing responsibility.

The challenge for the PICPA in our 116th year is not to think and act our age, but rather to constantly embrace changing demographics and adapt to reach as many members as possible with a value equation they can relate to. Because of the differences between the multiple generations that comprise our membership and their needs, the task force has a mammoth charge – help PICPA continue to adapt and find the best way to engage members who want to help PICPA be the best it can be, and continue our legacy of providing outstanding value to all members.

In the next week or so you will receive a survey from the consultant to our task force, McKinley Advisors. This survey will be the key component to help our task force accomplish its objective related to volunteer engagement. Please take a few minutes to provide us with what we think is PICPA’s most valuable resource: your input. Your opinions will help us keep PICPA feeling much younger than our 116 years would suggest.

Update: View PICPA's newly structured governance model.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.