During today’s general session at the LeadingAge annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Larry Minnix delivered his state of the association speech with a steadfast, pull-no-punches attitude. (He clearly has other things on his mind—but more on that in a forthcoming blog.)
Despite being a time for celebration—this being the 50th anniversary of LeadingAge, the third namesake of the organization—Minnix wasted no time on pomp and instead drove at the reason why all 9,000 attendees had made the trek to their nation’s capital: pondering what they can do to not only survive in such challenging times, but to become even better at delivering aging services. And he said members must focus on these six imperatives going forward:
1. Flex the strength of your non-profit status. This item essentially set the tone for the remaining imperatives, but Minnix stressed that LeadingAge members must start “redefining [their] missions to express core values in new and innovative ways.” Which then leads to:
2. Start engaging consumers. Or, more specifically, target those families who have a generation above and below to support. He called it “consumer-centered, consumer-directed” planning—another phrase for refocusing your programs to account for a new kind of long-term care customer. (Now where have we heard that before?)
3. Cultivate talent. A no-brainer: The future success of this industry is going to depend on having the right people at all levels—from frontline to executive suite. That includes LeadingAge’s leadership academy, but especially those who feel a deep calling to this field. “You have them in every one of your organizations,” Minnix said. Retaining those individuals is therefore a priority.