March 20, 2015

The Core, and The Core, and The Core

In early Spring of 1962, General Douglas MacArthur gave his last speech to the cadets at West Point. The speech was a tribute to our military and the general concluded with these lasting visions; "Today marks my final roll call with you, but I want you to know that when I cross the river my last conscious thoughts will be of The Corps, and The Corps, and The Corps." 
The General's passion was the importance of The Corps and he emphasized it as such. It was given to hopefully have the next generation of our military understand the true meaning of their mission so that they can deliver the message to the next, and so on.

I would like to borrow his focused importance and take poetic license with his passionate reminder and apply it to our association.

The Core, and The Core, and The Core. 

What is the core of our association? Why should building industry participants cross the threshold from outside to inside? There are multiple reasons or desires. Some are even reasonable desires.

What are the reasons for joining or maintaining membership?

  • Opportunities - every non builder would like the opportunity to sell to builders and the reason most join is to build their book of business, if not today within the week. There will be opportunities but no guarantees.
  • Networking -  meeting like minded industry professionals
  • Education - Builders join to learn more about their business, whether it's about codes or best practices, education will be readily available at all three levels of membership.
  • Insurance - There are quite a few small businesses that need insurance at reasonable prices. There are some associations that, through a collective, offer insurance, whether it be health, workers' compensation and any other needed insurance that a company would require to supply or construct a home.
  • Someone told you to join - could be a builder making sure that their vendors are members. Could be a lumber company who insists that their window manufacturer join. Regardless, these are now members who have limited choice in the matter.
All or parts of the above may be applied to all your members. No matter what the need of the potential member, or current member, The Core will need to be highlighted somewhere. So, let's start here and I would hope that, as General MacArthur did 53 years ago, a strong reminder is heeded...

"The Core, and The Core, and The Core" is the ultimate reason we are in business within the building industry. The Core is advocacy. None of the above happens without advocacy.
  • limited to no opportunities for business. Without advocacy, environmentalists win, no growthers win, NIMBYs win and anybody else who is against home building. Why? without advocacy we as an industry have no voice in our state capitals or in Washington, DC.
  • If that's the case, no reason for industry education
  • no need to meet new folks
  • you still might need insurance but it will be extremely high because the association itself won't be needed.
  • There won't be much leverage to make someone join if the industry is not healthy.  

Advocacy, Advocacy, Advocacy is THE core of our association. It would be like a brand new car with no engine; nice to look at but just one big paper weight.

My advice to you is to remember the real reason, the core reason,  we have the home builder associations. Everything else is just features of your membership with varying degrees of benefit. The benefit is the core; advocacy.

 submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

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