Dozens of VDA members who care about the future of our profession spent a recent Saturday planning the direction of our organization. Our facilitator Sarah from the Spark Mill, (http://thesparkmill.com/), guided us through a series of activities that focused on organizational introspection and idea generation. We followed a modified SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis format.
We sliced our membership into generational segments: Silents, Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and the soon to be named latest group. We imagined how each group views themselves vis-à-vis organized dentistry. And we described how they spend their time online and IRL (In Real Life). We also tried to understand what each generational member values in organized dentistry and how best to communicate that value to those unique individuals.
As is de rigueur at these things, membership was front and center. But so were external threats like challenges presented by the insurance industry, government interference and cultural changes. We were fortunate to have a wide variety of members at different career stages and from a variety of backgrounds. The gamut ran from national leaders like a former ADA President to current dental students at VCU. The VDA staff were also an integral part of the dynamic day. By the end of the day, we had not only gained an enormous amount of insight, but also had a roadmap for an action plan and we each verbalized individual commitments to foster professional and personal success.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Berman practices orthodontics in northern Virginia and is Speaker of the VDA House of Delegates. Details on the finalized plan are coming in the near future.