Open Mike: Blogging with Mike Hughes

by James Cameron on 20 July 2010


Today we bring you another edition of the world-renowned Open Mike blog, by STC President Michael Hughes. Open Mike is a monthly blog post where Mike talks about many of the issues facing STC, the Board, and him as President of the Society. It’s a way to further his goal of transparency, with a fun comic in every edition to boot!

evolution of questions

No particular tie-in between this month’s comic and the theme of this month’s blog—I was hungry when I did it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

We had a productive board meeting on 13 July. Steve Jong, the chair of the Certification Committee, presented that committee’s business plan to the board. The board had already accepted and approved the proposal that the task force presented at the April board meeting. This was the more polished version that accommodated input Steve had gotten and taken back to the committee. The more I get involved with certification the more excited I get that it presents many opportunities both to advance the profession and to increase the influence STC can have in defining what it means to be a professional in our field.

The board also discussed the issue that has been on the table since May, namely, whether to change the bylaws to allow student members to vote at the Society level. It was one of the issues that members had raised on the Ning website. We reviewed the results of the knowledge-based governance survey we had sent out. (The results are posted at Of those responding, less than half felt that student members should have the same voting rights as regular members at the Society level. But a majority did favor at least letting them vote in Society-wide elections. There were 264 comments offered and many indicated that members had read the supporting materials—I was very encouraged by the level of engagement and I also noted there were high levels of passion on both sides of the question. In the end, the board decided to keep the bylaws as they are, holding that student membership is a limited membership at the Society level because student members are still transitioning into and learning about the profession. Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts and opinions with us.

And we are at that time of year when the board’s focus is on budget! We kicked off the process by reviewing a working spreadsheet that let us model different assumptions, such as renewal rates, new member acquisitions, expenses, etc., and then see right away what impact they had on the bottom line. No surprises but it reinforced with me what a HUGE impact the renewal rate can have on being in the red or in the black.

The spirit of change that dominated the Dallas conference is pushing us forward. This is the year we have to transform our society and raise the value proposition. It’s very important that we plan and budget for Regeneration STC.

On a personal note, I also think it is the year we have to change our persona. We have to establish a web presence that not only delivers value, but which carries a wow! factor we just haven’t had. Then we can aggressively market ourselves into new areas and get those membership numbers up to where they can sustain a dynamic, resourceful society.

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