It's a sad day that SCIP has to merge with the F&S Institute. However i'm not surprised that it's come to this. It was on the cards for years. I joined SCIP in 1996 and when i joined there were over 7k members. Many of those who were members when i joined are still involved in CI in one respect or another but gave up on the society for lots of reasons. For example, the doubling of membership costs a few years ago, at about the same time the CI Review was axed; the autocratic approach to international chapters that killed the UK chapter until it was ably revived recently by Andrew Beuschgens (who is a real star for doing this); the over-manning of the Alexandria office - too many directors and not enough commercial intelligence; the killing of JCIM; the ignorance of competitors such as the SLA (a few months ago i was asked to prove that SLA had certified CI courses by a SCIP staff member - who hadn't checked the SLA web-site); failure to follow-up members not renewing - such exit interviews should be standard; mal-administration - with inflation of membership numbers and some financial shenanigans a few years ago; glib explanations why membership was falling - and a refusal to address the issues..... I could go on!
Personally I doubt SCIP will retain its independence and will be swallowed up – until a phoenix arises and a new society restarts by other people. I also can’t understand the rationale for merging with the F&S Institute. This seems to have nothing to do with SCIP or anything connected to CI. This comes from David Frigstad’s Linked In profile (and similar stuff is on pages about the institute on F&S’s web-site).
Frost & Sullivan Institute: We are creating a foundation to support research into human and planet health. These research programs will support non-profits world wide better allocate their funds and create more effective strategies. The goal is to accelerate the progress on both fronts: human and planet.
Also on the frost site.
( http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/about-us.pag) FROST & SULLIVAN INSTITUTE
A non-profit institute dedicated to providing research into planet health. The Institue leverages all of Frost & Sullivan's extensive research databases, brand name, and 360 degree visionary model to bring new insight, influence and strategy to global health.
The institute has no assets, no web-page and from what I can see, all SCIP is getting is cash injection. What we've not been told is what the F&S Institute will expect for it's gold. So for me, this is a non-starter and a better approach would have been to change the whole model SCIP operates under. For example, get rid of the Alexandria staff and outsource to one of those organizations that manage membership societies; become virtual - eliminating the paper trail; emphasize volunteerism to a much greater extent.... I'm sure that approaches like this would work - except they require competitive intelligence to know how to do it, and an entrepreneurial spirit and marketing nous that appears lacking.
I have to believe that the SCIP Board of Directors reviewed many different options to ensure the future of SCIP. Including the ones that you have outlined above. These are smart people that have the best interests of the SCIP members and the CI profession at heart.
Moving forward in any endeavor requires the acceptance of change and this is one that is a long time in coming and has the potential to make a real difference if SCIP and its membership embrace it and wait to see how it evolves. There is probably a great opportunity for SCIP members to become involved in shaping the future of the organization and increasing the value of SCIP membership and CI to a broader audience.
Like the other commenters, I'll be voting yes and will be intrigued to see what the resulting organization looks like. The one thing that isn't here is "what will it look like afterwards".
I had gotten on SCIP recently about changes I thought were needed, and got a probably well-deserved reputation as a disturber. But what do you do when you see someone painting themselves into a corner? tell them they need a bigger paintbrush?
A while back I noted a comment from Arik Johnson ... I think it was a Tweet. He indicated he thought SLA had about the right positioning on CI with their CI forum....or words to that effect.
If you look at the communication in the CI community here on NING, and compare it to the "discussion boards" set up by SCIP on their website last year...the difference is stark. And this community was largely set up for free, yet you have a vibrant discussion arena. For some initiatives, SCIP just didn't "get it". That could be failure to see....or failure to react. Either way....a very difficult situation.
It will be interesting to see where this leads...assuming the vote comes out in favor. I don't know what they need....a majority of members.... a majority of those voting.... I think we really have no viable alternative before us.
I too will be voting yes for the takeover (I don't believe there really is such a thing as a merger where funds are involved!) and acknowledge that SCIP as we used to know it, will no longer exist. Time has come to move on and change. It would be interesting to understand how the new organisation will run and what new or existing services it will provide.
SCIP did not change voluntarily so it is being forced to do so by economic circumstances. Yes, we all saw it coming yet the reaction was to either raise prices (ie membership) or cut costs. Interesting isn't it, particularly when we have another discussion forum going on, on this site, about competitive stupidity!!
We have all commented about how companies don't do CI properly to grow revenues, understand the changing environment, etc - hello????? Remember the expression "Physician heal thy self!". I guess we did not take our own medicine.
I am sure the Boards elected by us over time have evaluated numerous alternatives. Board members have been made up of some people I really respect and who have done much for the discipline over time.
This is what we are faced with now - a takeover or the complete disappearance of a dedicated, long standing CI association.
Taken completely by surprise ain't in it! This is one out of the blue for me. I received a series of emails about one hour ago and was in total ignorance until that time. I agree wholeheartedly with Babette - we seem to have been sleeping gently for a few years, and failing to employ the basic tenets of CI. That said, I would much prefer to see SCIP remain in existence in some form or other than go under, so - somewhat reluctantly - I will be voting in favour of the 'take-over'.
I'm sorry that you feel so surprised. Some of us have been nudging, writing, speaking, and arguing some of these points with different SCIP directors for years. And a frustrating business it has been, with SCIP exhibiting all those characteristics of 'shoot the messenger', NIH, not listening, not seeing, not thinking, that we are all so aware of when trying to implement CI in (our and others') organizations.
For me, the (mis) handling of JCIM last year (a three-month cessation?!) was the last straw - but the signs have been there for years, and SCIP's unwillingness to look at its own competitive environment has been astounding.
I'll be voting YES although I'm sad it comes to this cash infusion by F&S, but yet I am grateful and hopeful that F&S will bring about new opportunities for the profession. We have seen the writing on the wall for a number of years now as CI is such a narrow niche. I am reminded about some of the responses in Bill Fiora's post, "Are we in a rut?" Perhaps F&S, with its good marketing, will broader our reach for CI, something we have strived for, for years.
I would love to hear what F&S has in mind, their vision for SCIP. What's the value proposition for F&S to merge with SCIP?
Dylan said the times they are a'changing... and this is a change that can potentially blow a breath of fresh air and hope into the CI community and SCIP as an association. I'm supportive of this recommended change, particularly in light of the unpalatable alternative (-s) and a realization that SCIP's business model, as it was and has been constituted, was ill-prepared to deal with the adverse economic context the association finds itself (and many of its peer associations) in.
F&S have a long-standing relationship with the CI community and at least a few of their key people have moved from that base on to bigger and (apparently) more lucrative things. I have participated in a fair number of successful F&S CI-themed events in various places around the globe through the years to know that they have a depth of management and marketing expertise that can potentially assist SCIP's achievement of its core objectives.
As I have long been on the record saying, I remain far more interested in driving the automobile by peering out the front windshield than doing it by looking at the journey through the rear-view mirror. Even those individuals in the Ning community who aren't members of SCIP can recognize the "tipping point" nature of this confluence of events. If the new F&S/SCIP combination is going to work for CI and the entire community who has a stake in the discipline, it will be up to everyone who has a stake in this to step up, be counted, and do what they can.
SCIP members should show their elected Board and the dedicated staff members their confidence by supporting the proposal. As in all things, time will be the best judge of the correctness of that position, but we ought to give it a chance and try to help it succeed. I'm hoping for better times ahead for SCIP and for the larger CI community of which the association has been the critical institutional force... let's give SCIP/F&S a chance.
Although I commented earlier, I still had a couple of questions. They don't really change my YES vote.
But most corporate mergers I've ever seen get some kind of disclosure. I think SCIP and F&S owe the membership more disclosure than this. What will F&S's emphasis be? And what kind of money was needed for the salvage operation?
I don't believe we will get this kind of information. If you're asking the members to continue to give their support, to stand by SCIP, and to advocate that companies need to have SCIP membership for their professional CI people, then the members deserve to know the basics. Otherwise, I'd guess many would be inclined to NOT put a losing proposition forward to their management.
As I mentioned to one member via Twitter earlier this evening, "This feels a lot like owning a Chrysler that needs major warranty service".
So...to the SCIP leadership: "Fine...you got my yes vote. Now convince me your stock is worth buying!" cause we still have to face our companies and our clients and convince them that this is a winning proposition. People don't like hooking up with a loser. Convince us.