Nothing is more important to the success of an organization than its culture, nor is anything more difficult to change. Culture affects not only what we do and how we do it, but how we think about ourselves and the story we share with others.
At the American Society of Interior Designers we have begun to reshape our story and share the plans we have for the future, working with our staff and volunteer leadership to develop specific strategies that will drive the changes needed to create ASID 2.0. Now begins the tough work of developing the attitudes, behaviors and actions needed to get us there.
The design process involves similar mechanisms, where designers survey the environment, engage stakeholders, create and communicate a vision and execute a strategy through concrete tactics. At ASID, we will accomplish change in similar fashion, aligning people and resources where they can do the most good, establishing goals and metrics to measure progress, providing resources and coaching to staff, and ensuring accountability. We also will put feedback mechanisms in place to measure our progress.
There is no doubt that change will take time. Change agents and early adopters are enticed by the prospect of change and do so quickly. But others change only if the benefits are made clear. Though no two journeys are the same, I’m always amazed by the capacity of individuals to be receptive and adapt to change. And, as a leader determined to establish a vibrant, successful culture, I intend to find the best ways to support and understand these differing attitudes toward change and move all of us in the right direction.
As the only organization that represents all aspects of the interior design profession, ASID is in a unique position to lead this industry. Our programs have the power to engage our members and interior design, broadly, in conversations that matter. From evidenced-based design and social responsibility, to well-being and sustainability, we are working always to showcase the impact of design on the human experience.
As I consider our future, I believe we have several imperatives:
- To identify core markets and understand the economic framework for change;
- To deliver customer service that goes beyond problem resolution by fostering strong relationships based on mutual value and focusing on customer experience;
- To move from involvement to engagement, thinking more about outcomes and less about activities;
- To provide the education, mentorship and infrastructure necessary to ensure our team is prepared to build ASID 2.0; and
- To maintain a dialogue with chapter leaders, our membership and the industry as a whole about our efforts.
As we work to achieve these imperatives and to deliver meaningful programs for members at their various career stages, we are fully aware that the success of these initiatives depends greatly on the culture we create — both within our offices and in the profession. We will continue to integrate the advantages of chapter connections with national reach, of small firms with big institutions, as well as the places we live with the places we work, play and heal to create a dynamic, open culture centered on customers. This hard work will, at times, require soaring inspiration. But, knowing our membership, I’m confident we will have the passion and motivation necessary to create the Society we envision.
EVP and CEO of the American Society of Interior Designers
From the CEO’s Letter in the spring 2014 ASID ICON magazine.