Duty of Foresight Continued

Robert Voltmann

Last month, I talked about every board’s duty of foresight and how the TIA Board is meeting this duty. This month, I’ll continue the discussion.

To begin, the TIA Board conducted a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) assessment at its meeting in April. From that exercise, staff distilled megatrends that the Board identified. During its meeting in June, the Board adopted five of these megatrends to address:

1.   How does TIA address the impacts of consolidation in the industry? This megatrend was further divided into four segments: helping members; dues and member engagement; mergers and acquisitions; and expansion.

2.   What should TIA do to help members respond to the marketplace risks they face?

3.   What should TIA do to help members leverage technology so that it is a common tool that works for all instead of being customer specific/specified? What should TIA do about the ownership of member data?

4.   How can TIA help educate members to become more efficient and control costs in order to remain profitable in a period of compressing margins?

5.   How can TIA help our members attract, train, and retain employees in an aging and changing work environment?

Added to these megatrends were seven more foundational trends that the Board seeks to address in TIA’s next strategic plan:

1.   How will TIA continue to grow and maintain strong financial performance and internal controls?

2.   How can TIA create a demand and improve TIA brand recognition among shippers?

3.   How will TIA be considered a priority organization for affiliation and leadership development by volunteers?

4.   How will TIA be considered a priority organization for affiliation and leadership development of TIA staff?

5.   How will TIA ensure staff and member confidence in TIA systems as well as maintaining an attractive, secure and efficient workspace?

6.   How can TIA maintain and improve its advocacy efforts on behalf of TIA members?

7.   How should TIA improve upon its communication with members?

The Board has assigned these megatrends and foundational trends to the TIA Foundation Board, TIA Services Board, TIA PAC Board, the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Membership Committee, Communications Committee, Technology Committee, and Shipper Committee to review available materials, review available research, and review current TIA activities. The boards and committees will then develop information, ideas, and recommendations for the TIA Board to consider at its meetings in November and next April. The goal is to adopt TIA’s strategic plan next April at the TIA Capital Ideas Conference and Exposition (April 1 – 4, 2020 in Austin, Texas).

Throughout the process, the TIA Board will be looking forward to shaping the future it desires for the industry and the association, while also putting plans in place should the future we fear or the future we dread come to pass. This is the duty of foresight, and the TIA Board is meeting this duty.

Next month, I’ll use this space to begin unpacking the megatrends