Navigating Change in Times of Crisis
2020 INTA President
“We can really be proud of all that we’ve achieved. By being adaptable, innovative, and true to who we are as an organization, we’ve navigated the unprecedented health crisis and the challenges imposed upon us by social distancing measures.”
Welcome to the 2020 Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting. On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you for your continued support of INTA and for joining us for this historic event: our Association’s first-ever fully virtual Meeting.
No doubt, 2020 is one for the history books. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives and our work in so many ways. While the same can be said for our Association, we’ve shown tremendous leadership this year, and our community remains strong.
INTA is a member-run organization, and our member volunteers are the leaders within our Association. Last week, they came together for committee and project team meetings to reflect on the progress made this year, plan for the year ahead, and advance the Association’s mission and strategic objectives. On Friday, at the start of the Leadership Meeting educational program, we took a moment to recognize our achievements in 2020, and to thank our 3,360 dedicated volunteers for their hard work and contributions this year. It has not been easy.
Despite the difficulties we've faced, we can really be proud of all that we’ve achieved. By being adaptable, innovative, and true to who we are as an organization, we’ve navigated the unprecedented health crisis and the challenges imposed upon us by social distancing measures.
Change is not always easy, and this year we’ve had to make—or simply accept—so much change. I want to share with you here a few ways that INTA has navigated change in a time of crisis.
“No doubt, holding a fully virtual meeting is a remarkable change for us. Yet, here we are, together, as a community, in an engaging, innovative, safe, and secure space.”
The first is changing by choice. Many forward-looking organizations recognize that there are changes they can make in how they operate, and they choose to change before they’re forced to change. INTA was fortunate to have implemented several changes before COVID-19—changes that helped us greatly over the last few months.
Most notably, we included “Embracing Innovation and Change” as one of only three strategic pillars in our 2018–2021 Strategic Plan. Already two years into this Strategic Plan, we began 2020 with the right mindset, especially in terms of choosing to change.
And, in fulfilling this objective, we’ve undertaken several projects that have helped improve our work during these times. An excellent example of this is our digital transformation project and new website. This was possible because we chose to change.
The second way we’ve navigated change this year: we let our values guide us through change. Two guiding principles informed the most important decisions we had to make around how to host an Annual Meeting in 2020: first, the health and safety of our members and other registrants is always our top priority. And second, INTA is first and foremost a community.
No doubt, holding a fully virtual meeting is a remarkable change for us. Yet, here we are, together, as a community, in an engaging, innovative, safe, and secure space. We’re here today because we were guided by our values through the difficult decisions we had to make.
“Our leadership in 2020, in the face of unparalleled adversity, fills me with confidence and optimism for the year ahead and beyond.”
Finally, we didn’t change course, we changed to stay on course. INTA is a mission-driven organization with a clear Strategic Plan. It’s our North Star. We’ve had to make several changes this year in response to the pandemic. However, we’ve never steered off course. Instead, we’ve made changes that have allowed us to remain mission-focused.
We’ve accomplished so much despite the disruption, all achieved in line with the objectives set out for us in our Strategic Plan and because of our dedicated volunteers and staff.
Our leadership in 2020, in the face of unparalleled adversity, fills me with confidence and optimism for the year ahead and beyond.
We have an excellent program ahead of us this week, full of opportunities to reflect, learn, engage, and prepare for the future. Likewise, we have an amazing range of new features for networking and doing business. And we have the much-awaited opportunity to connect again as a community. The Annual Meeting is usually the busiest week in our calendars, and this year is no different.
Thank you again for joining us this week. I wish you all a productive and enjoyable meeting, and continued good health.
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Join us for the Opening Ceremonies and Keynotes: Monday, November 16, 9:30 am–11:00 am (EST)
Monday, November 16, 2020