Archive for the ‘Ethical Negotiations’ Category



February 5, 2010

Last month, I shared my views on our industry’s tactical trends focus; and with that mindset, I approached the sessions on trends at the State of the Industry with some trepidation.

I knew the design roundtable led by Ryan Hanson was positioned to focus on strategic meeting/event design trends – providing his audience was interested. But a quick survey of the attendees clearly indicated they were looking for more of what’s new in colors, décor and other accoutrements. Fortunately, offline, Ryan shared new and interesting perspectives from national industry people I did not know – Mary Boone and Jay Smethurst – and I went away with some great food for thought.

My original mindset reinforced, I took in catering trends and then moved on to Kris Young’s “Crafting More Strategic Meetings.” Here we had a good discussion on the use of events to advance one’s business strategy and in the course of the roundtable, we touched on changing demographics, a new approach and look to general sessions, the misuse of ROI as a term for cost-savings, and much more. The table was not physically full, but we all left full of new insights-and a great handout positioning Meetings and Events as Strategy.

So somewhat stimulated, I progressed to the Closing Session and the reason I had come to the State of the Industry in the first place….a longtime colleague, Joan Eisenstodt, was addressing the group with “Where we go from here: Future Trends”. After following Joan’s column in a major national trade magazine since the late 70s, I first attended one of her seminars in New York in the mid 1980s and left in awe. For more than 25 years since, when I have a chance, I make a point of listening to what she has to say about who we are and where we are going. Tuesday, as usual, Joan was all I expected – and more.

Ethics…Confidential assets…Climate change…Social responsibility…Changing demographics…World economy…Terrorism and other risks…Technology…and Education, Training and Professional Development Delivery-The nine future trends she addressed should not be a surprise to anyone. What lies ahead is more than GREEN and VIRTUAL. These trends are challenges faced by all of us in all industries and countries around the world.

But as we focused on the list, Joan pushed us to the next step. Knowing what is coming, she asked us to think of core competencies we each would need to manage those trends, and how we would acquire them. “Some joined this industry because they loved people and travel and were good at details or sales/marketing. Future competencies will be different.” That was an attention-getter!

I think most of us in the room struggled to respond so she shared some tips. Learn to improvise and think on your feet. Gain an understanding of the adult learning model and how it is changing. Read the American Disability Act and understand it thoroughly. Find legal expertise. Find technical expertise. What you are good at today will not help you be good tomorrow.

Then, as time ran out, she reminded us to access the many resources she had shared with us, including the World Future Society at and closed by holding up a book I immediately recognized….DRIVE by Daniel Pink! Amen, Joan. Thank you for the jolt to move us in the right direction. You made the time I invested on Tuesday more than worthwhile.



February 4, 2010

Yesterday because Joan Eisenstodt was the Guest Speaker, I once again found myself at Meetings, Minnesota’s Hospitality Journal’s annual event, the State of the Industry. Thanks to AVEX, the presentation of survey results was improved immensely. But certainly, the most worthwhile elements were those that involved Joan.

I attended her breakout on Ethics and to my amazement, so much of the input from the audience was couched in a discussion that reflected the impact of the down economy on ethics – with many in the room seeming to feel it is ok for ethical principles to change in hard times.

I certainly understand lack of work and income creates desperation, but it does not give one permission to put one’s values in the closet until times improve. I so wanted to add my own two cents and direct people to John Maxwell’s “There’s No Such Thing as Business Ethics” or Minnesota’s own Bill George’s “Authentic Leadership” but knowing I am fairly passionate about ethics and its role in our industry, I held back as I tried to process what I would share so as not to look too judgmental. Fortunately for all of us, Joan was able to redirect the discussion back to the topic – Ethical Negotiations in a Changing Economy – and how an understanding of pressures on both sides can assist one in MAINTAINING ethical negotiations. And thanks to those in the audience that tracked with that, shared good input and action steps that contributed to the good discussion that ensued.

More to follow on the Closing Session “Where We Go From Here: Future Trends”. It was right on!