ASCE is on an exciting journey into the future. Our destination has been defined, our roadmap is being entered into our GPS, and our itinerary is being planned. The time has come to start our engines and MOVE forward.
M Member-Driven and Member-Focused
My vision to MOVE ASCE forward includes four specific areas of action:
M: Member-Driven and Member-Focused
ASCE’s guiding principle must be the provision of first-class service to our members, which requires us to be member-driven and member-focused at all times.
Presently, many of our members are suffering from the impact of an economic recession. ASCE must do everything possible to support individual members as they struggle with current economic realities. We can start by expanding ASCE's online jobs database and customizing it for highly localized effectiveness. We can also establish a member-to-member network using current Internet-based technology to connect our members to increasingly scarce opportunities.
In addition, we must make sure that we are using ASCE resources as efficiently and economically to serve our members, especially in today’s economic climate. We must immediately conduct a thorough fiscal examination of every element of our Society to evaluate perceived benefits versus projected costs. Areas that are identified as underperforming or unproductive can then be corrected or suspended to responsibly respond to our members’ needs.
ASCE must also connect with our members through our geographic entities and institutes to span the gap between local and national roles and activities. Bridges can be built through collaboration and cross-communication between our operating units, elected leaders, committees, and staff to move toward more local control of the Society. We must enhance delivery of member service and member recognition through our Governors and the Regions. We must also better facilitate delivery of technical content by establishing significantly more Institute Chapters and improving our publication processes.
Addressing membership needs and building bridges to our members will MOVE us forward.
ASCE’s opportunities are great. We have the opportunity to better serve and engage our members (M: Members) and to take our future firmly in hand (V: Vision).
In addition, ASCE’s opportunity to take our place at the head of the table as advisors and recognized experts on infrastructure renewal and development has never been greater. We must take the lead in formulating and implementing comprehensive infrastructure policy to include systematic planning, development, maintenance, and operation to encompass the concept of sustainability. The current national emphasis on infrastructure investment provides the opportunity to build on ASCE’s 2009 Report Card on
ASCE also has the opportunity to advance our profession through our Raise the Bar initiatives including adoption of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century. We have invested tremendous human, organizational, and monetary resources to advance this initiative and have reached a pivotal point in our efforts. The intensity of our efforts must now be increased through grass roots programs geared toward local licensing boards and legislators combined with current task committees’ work in defining the “+30” educational element and the role of paraprofessionals.
Seizing these opportunities will MOVE us forward.
ASCE’s vision for the profession is contained in The Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025 (Vision 2025). Realization of Vision 2025 will require a focused effort over many years combined with the involvement of other organizations both here and abroad. ASCE’s continued role as the leader of this effort demands that we start the journey now, as outlined in The Roadmap to Achieve the Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025 (The Roadmap).
ASCE’s strategic planning process also provides a vision for our Society and the profession, albeit within a shorter time window. The flexibility of our strategic planning and strategy management process allows us to act today while the wisdom of Vision 2025 ensures that our near-term actions will have long-term benefit.
For these reasons, an arranged marriage must be made between the Strategic Planning Committee and the efforts described in The Roadmap. This would combine the relative short-term nature of our strategic planning and management process with the longer-term goals and action management plan of The Roadmap. This new organizational unit would be charged with overseeing and monitoring measurable progress toward the future. This organization would also coordinate ASCE's specific efforts in achieving meaningful steps forward, including the overall efforts of other organizations and other nations.
Embracing Vision 2025, combined with on-going strategic planning and embarking on the journey represented by The Roadmap, will MOVE us forward.
Civil Engineering IS exciting as is our future! Generating a “buzz” around the opportunities to serve our members, to advance our profession, and to improve the global quality of life makes membership in ASCE fun (yes – fun!) and rewarding.
ASCE’s Student and Younger Members exude excitement. Their culture is one of teamwork, social consciousness, connectivity, and advanced technology. They are genuinely excited about civil engineers many opportunities to make the world a better place. They enthusiastically embrace ASCE’s vision for the future with passion and excitement.
Building on this excitement for our profession requires that ASCE’s methods of communication, social and professional networking, and program development and delivery are relevant and timely. We should focus attention on creating excitement for our Annual Conference by re-engineering it into an event that members want to attend, at locations members find interesting, and with programs that provide the technical content members seek.
Excitement MOVEs us forward!
ASCE provides diverse services to a growingly diverse membership. ASCE is like a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The members, staff, and many organizational entities represent the multifaceted pieces. Vision 2025 provides the completed picture. I have the personal and professional diversity of experience to put the pieces together, interlocked and matched according to their varying interests, strengths, and contributions, to MOVE ASCE forward.
Kathy J. Caldwell, P.E., M. ASCE
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