How to Sustain a Movement – Starting with You!
Before speaking directly on what membership in the Canadian Academy of Audiology (CAA) means to our profession, I’d like to invite you to watch the brief 3-minute talk below by David Sivers, entitled “How to Start a Movement”. In the video, David illustrates the key role a leader – and more importantly their followers – play in creating something new and unique:
I want to focus on two specific ideas presented in the talk above. The first being “new followers emulate other followers, not the leader.” In this sense, it is obvious to most how important the leader was in taking the initial risk or action, but it was the first few followers who gave strength and support to the actual movement, which in turn attracted more followers. The second concept I want to note is the “tipping point” presented in the video when it became increasingly easier for followers to join the group rather than to stay on the sidelines (“as more people join in, it becomes less risky”).
How can we translate these principles into a discussion around CAA membership and its benefits? We can start by taking the key lesson presented in the video, specifically: the importance of having the courage to follow and the ability to nurture your other followers as equals, so the focus is on the movement, not on the leader. In this light, it becomes apparent that CAA and its leadership is only as strong as its members. CAA is truly a team with strength and adaptability to meet the scope of needs of its team members.
Since its founding in 1996, CAA has promoted the importance of audiologists at the national level and has provided its members with opportunities for collaboration, education, research, advocacy and creating awareness. For over 20 years, CAA has delivered an internationally recognized annual conference, generated a well-respected online journal and offered members significant tools to promote awareness of audiology in order to market their audiology practice. It is no accident that CAA has since grown to have its highest level of membership in the organization’s history and record breaking attendance at its 2017 conference. The list of benefits to the broad scope of Audiology professionals, researchers, educators and students is worth reviewing (Table 1).
One of the unique characteristics of CAA is its substantial number of committed Audiologists who participate on the volunteer working Board of Directors and the Committees which contribute significantly to the products and services supported by our administration team. The ‘engagement’ of so many Audiologists from diverse backgrounds allows us to enrich the benefits to members. Given the varied efforts of CAA, it is integral for the organization to continue growing in order to meet the needs of both current and potential members. As a board member and committee chair, I’m often tasked with determining how membership benefits are meeting the needs of current members and how to improve them if not. Further, we are always looking for additional benefits we can create to better serve our members and to entice non-members to join.
We want both new and potential members to think about what CAA means to them and their audiological practice. We want your opinions on what is working well and what still needs some adjusting. We want CAA to be a responsive and responsible organization when spending your fees on advocacy campaigns, advertising and tools to help you succeed. I invite you to participate in our membership survey by clicking this link or the banner ad at the top of the page.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!