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Daring Ventures.

In Orlando in August Tom Peters was a pacing, perspiring, inspiring, passionate, irreverent evangelist. He was excited. Striding the floor of the auditorium during the opening general session of ASAE's more than 6,000-strong annual meeting, loudly proclaiming "how sweet it is" to be alive amidst the challenges and changes and opportunities propelling us toward 2001, Peters preached the gospel of the new economy. That he delivered idea after idea in double time was metaphor for the business place we inhabit and the tone and content of the meeting in Orlando. A few of Peters's choicest remarks:

* The organization of the future will be lean, linked, electronic, and malleable.

* We're living in an age of rule breakers who are redefining our economy.

* Lead your members. There's nothing so important as listening to your customer, with the possible exception of not listening to your customer. Focus on those customers who are creating the structures that will constitute our new economy.

* Use the Web and e-commerce to reinvent everything.

* Act now. Act fast. Keep acting. Only inspired risk taking and entrepreneurial leadership will prevail.

Although nearly two months have passed since Peters's talk, I'm again reminded of it as I review the content of this issue of ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT and consider the extent to which that content was shaped by many of the new-economy characteristics he outlined: things like speed, redefining the rules, risk taking, reinvention via the Web ... daring ventures, all. Take the cover story, for example. Associate Editor Carole Schweitzer began her research for what became "Building on New Foundations" by wondering what implications the wealth of newly minted millionaires might have for philanthropy. What she found was not only the increased fund-raising and grant-getting opportunities represented by an increasing pool of potential donors, but a significantly changing philanthropic model with venture philanthropists and new expectations for thinking bigger and getting faster results at the center of the movement. As National Society of Fund Raising Executives President and CEO Paulette Maehara, who was interviewed for the article, explains, "Many of these [high-tech] donors view philanthropy not so much as a gift, but an investment. They want to see exactly how their money is being used and are expecting the charity to have concrete goals it can achieve. I think this new perspective will ultimately be positive for charities and giving, but we need to know more about expectations, habits, and the 'why' of giving." The article is particularly insightful--don't miss it.

The challenges posed in the new economy and the 21st-century working environment--not to mention some perennial issues--are evident in "No Easy Answers." Several of the up-and-comers who participated in ASAE's most recent Future Leaders Conference grappled with some of the questions that came out during the conference. Among them: How do you recruit, develop, and retain quality staff? Amidst the everyday demands of our workdays, how can we make sure we're engaging in strategic thinking and alignment of values and behaviors? The questions are compelling and the insights offered by the future leaders who agreed to answer for publication are equally so.

We've packed lots more into this magazine. It's nigh impossible to publish an issue without discussing the Web. This month, two articles--"Wooing Voters on the Web" and "Processing Abstract Submissions Online"--outline practical uses of the Web. "Insurance Checkup," as the title suggests, is a tool you can use to assess the state of your association's insurance coverages. And, finally, "Lighten Up" taps into the collective brainpower of five individuals for their varied takes on how to conquer overload and relieve stress while keeping pace and actually getting ahead. Probably the most familiar of these folks is humorist Dave Barry, who among other admonitions advises to "disguise yourself as a filing cabinet" and "learn to work from under your desk."

Barry was certainly kidding when he made those statements, but I don't think Tom Peters was when he closed his presentation with this quote from race car driver Mario Andretti: "If things seem under control, you're just not going fast enough."

KEITH C. SKILLMAN

Editor
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Title Annotation:Tom Peters speaks to executives about management
Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Words:679
Previous Article:CEO TO CEO.
Next Article:Changing the Channels on Education Delivery.
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