Jim Pinto has spent much of the past two weeks investigating what’s happening at ISA. His latest thoughts are here. He also put together some interesting thoughts for an Automation World column that will be out in a couple of weeks. I previously wrote something here, and I also have a column in the forthcoming Automation World on the subject. One thing that amazes me is that so many people care what happens to ISA. On the other hand, why have they taken so long to wake up and smell the coffee? The Expo has been dying for eight years. There is no value proposition for major systems suppliers to exhibit.
Jim thinks that the new conference format for “Automation Week” will tank. I think this is a golden opportunity to influence the direction of industry gatherings for years to come. ISA MUST do something to get the majority of its 30,000 members to attend, though. This is a huge challenge. I’m not sure the current distributed leadership is up to it–but I hope so.
If they want my help, I’m willing to lend a hand. But I’m just a lowly member and not involved in leadership.
"But I’m just a lowly member and not involved in leadership."
You underestimate your power and importance in ISA surely. Is not he strength of ISA (and any member organisation) it’s member? Indeed you point out the fact that "so many people care what happens to ISA!" Goodwill! A priceless strength. But our society need more.
In ISA the member has a way to influence things by talking to the local section leadership and the district leadership. Indeed each local section sends a delegate to the annual delegate meeting every year and they MAY speak there. When somebody is not happy with what ISA is doing there have always been channels there to use. Lack of use of these channels does not mean they are not there.
And nowadays there are even more opportunities – like using blogs and other social media platforms. But these interventions need to be positive don’t they? (I found out about your contribution to this debate through twitter for instance.)
And ISA needs the help of members, especially members as influential as you Gary. You say "If they want my help, I’m willing to lend a hand?" That means "they" have to take the initiative. But you are "they" aren’t you. What are YOU offering? You say "ISA MUST do something…"
I’m not trying to find fault with this contribution Gary merely using it to highlight the great problem of ISA – the silence of the "lowly member!"