Thursday, February 18, 2010
Posted by: Jim Henry, AITP Executive VP/President Elect
With today's economy the way it is, most of us are being forced to make hard business decisions. From cutting back on corporate travel to even forgoing lunch on the expense account, it's the new reality.
So, how do we justify the expense and time of being involved with AITP? For some, we simply don't. If we're not getting VALUE from our investment, now is not the time to keep that investment going. Have you had to justify to your management team why the annual dues? Why the monthly meeting fees? What about the time commitment?
I thought it would interesting to see the business case for why I'm involved with AITP. Granted, my involvement level might be at a higher level of involvement than most, but then again, maybe not.
Costs: (Based upon Anchorage Chapter) Annual Membership $130.00 Meeting Costs (11x$22) $242.00 Total $372.00
Ok, so looking back at 2009, what benefit did I gain from being with AITP?
We can count the fellowship, the networking, etc, but is my CFO really going to care about that? Maybe not. My Marketing Director and my Sales Manager probably do, but not the CFO, and that's the one most likely barking about the costs!
WOW! By taking advantage of ONLY ONE benefit, I can dollar wise justify my involvement with AITP! That's good news, right?
Ok, back to the non-tangible benefits. In my career within the IT industry, I've had to adapt. No doubt we all have. I started out MANY years back fresh out of school doing operations work. I sat in the data center, waiting to change tapes and adding green bar to the printers. It was good, honest work, but not the most exciting. Through some events, I had the opportunity to move into Systems Management. I found out very quickly that what I was taught in school did not prepare me for that position. I needed help before the new employer figured out I was in over my head!
A former co-worker of mine suggested I might want to attend a DPMA meeting with him. Why not? This was back in the day when you could still smoke in places, and I recall the venue for the DPMA meeting (Petroleum Club of Alaska) had a blue haze about 2 feet from the ceiling and a whole bunch old people hanging about. I really wondered what I had gotten myself into! The stories flew back and forth about "how things used to be" and how "the new kids don't know how good they have it". WAIT! I was here to learn about TODAY! Luckily for me, the presenter that night was talking about some new technology called networked PC's. Ah hah! This is what I came to learn about!
Roll forward a couple of years. Some of you might recall Mary Ann Enyeart from the International Directors Days. She nominated me to run for the local board of directors. Sure, why not! That was 1996. Since that first stab at leadership, I've held pretty much every position within AITP at the local level, Regional Level and now I have the pleasure to serve the Association as EVP/President Elect.
Since that first meeting, every single job I've had has been at least partially influenced by who I've met via DPMA and AITP. This may not necessarily be something the boss wants to hear, but to some degree we have to be watching out for ourselves in these tough economical times.
Ok, so we've built a clear business case financially for being active in AITP. For me, the non tangible case is even stronger, plus I've picked up on some fantastic leadership skill learning opportunities.
What's your story? Why are you involved with AITP?
Jim R. Henry AITP Association Executive Vice President / President Elect Anchorage Chapter - Past President Region 2 - Past President