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The dawn of a new year is always a good opportunity to evaluate and refresh business operations and processes within a company, and it’s no different for a trade association like the Direct Selling Association (DSA). The DSA Board of Directors has approved a strategic plan that will guide the association through the next five years. Special thanks to Jim Northrop for his leadership as Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee during the development of this plan.
Anyone who’s ever worked in communications for a public company will tell you stories about how they’ve spent weeks preparing for an all-important visit from Wall Street analysts. Then, when the analysts finally arrive in the lobby, they are shockingly young and inexperienced: It was less like entertaining captains of industry, and more like hosting a tour group from a business fraternity.
Take a moment to imagine a world free of hunger, pain and sickness. A world where children don’t have to suffer because they aren’t receiving healthy meals or the medical treatment needed just to fight off a common cold. Just imagine the impact of seeing children smiling and playing, instead of crying and oftentimes dying from hunger. Can you see a world that free?
Last month in this space, Neil Offen, DSA’s President, gave his analysis of the direct selling industry. He promised that I, as his successor in that office, would share my thoughts this month. I’ve worked with Neil for 25 years and generally have found his insights and observations to be spot on. But this time (in an obvious effort to be at least a little bit controversial and interesting for our readers), I am going to disagree with Neil.
As I approach retirement on June 30, 2011, I am getting more nostalgic about the 40 years I will have spent at DSA, and more analytical about the things that over these past decades have made an impression on me. I thought I’d share some thoughts and observations with you today. Next month, my successor, Joe Mariano, who becomes president and CEO of DSA on July 1, will share his vision for the industry’s future. Here are a few hypothetical questions on the industry for your consideration: