Current topics in today's MBA programs parallel IACCA's teachings

03/30/2016 12:15 PM | Shelly Steinhoff

I learn from any situation at any moment.  It is interesting what catches my attention.  Just like on my flight to New Jersey earlier this month en route to the annual IACCA Board meeting.  Flying Delta, I read their March 2016 Sky Magazine.  I found this article affirming: Top Profs Talk Business Education From technology to globalization to the merging of business and the arts, professors from a handful of the nation’s top-rated business schools discuss current trends and topics in today’s MBA.   For over 25 years, IACCA has taught the nuanced balance between retreat leaders’ vision and commitment vs. individual needs, clarity in who we are as non-profit centers along with sound mission-based management strategies.  Now, it appears other industry leaders are following the same notes as IACCANS!  Here is how:

  • ·         The prevalent marketing strategy is to collect individuals’ preference data to guide business decisions.  Data collection can be captured technologically or extracted from traditional surveys. 

As NfP leaders, we must address personal needs within a group or communal setting.  Increasingly, we navigate the line between preparing meals for an individual’s taste while serving groups a common menu.   We work with a leader’s contract constraints while meeting the needs of privacy for guests with sleep apnea.  Regardless of group’s check in time, we often offer flexibility for late check-out to nursing mothers or when groups needs break out space.

  • ·         For profit businesses increasingly focus on ideals of purpose, values and care of the stakeholders.   Profits and finances are less likely to solely dictate decisions.

As leaders in NfP centers, we understand the need to be clear about the focus of our mission and to successfully implement that mission so our efforts reinforce the need for our existence.  We gather 501C3 identification numbers.  Our guest policies support our desired interactions and atmosphere.  We evaluate if interested groups are right for us. 

  • ·         Today’s leaders incorporate a sense of vocation into their style.  Managing change more often requires integrating shared values, strategies and activities around purpose to motivate people.

We know when people understand the “why”, the “what” becomes easier.  Conference & retreat centers attract employees who value the environment.  Employees often become unofficially “tenured” through longevity.  When the mission remains at the forefront of the work, it promotes productivity and consistently ties employee contribution to purpose.  

  • ·         Adult students are engaged, life-long learners.   They choose specific paths for action-based learning because they know what they want to do, where they want to go, and what they want to achieve.

IACCA has long known the importance of support and specialized training. Through membership networking, attendance at the Annual Fall Conference and participation in the Certification Program, we have recognized the need to dialogue about the unique nature of nonprofit conference center management.  For 60 plus years, countless professionals in our industry have benefited from these interactions, hundreds have been certified as conference center professionals, and over $22,000 has been granted in scholarships. 

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