August 3, 2018


Dear Credentialing Leaders and Association Executives,

We’ve loved you for a long time.  In fact, we have more confidence in you than you have in yourself.

We need to tell you something without offending you.  You have a blind spot and it’s killing you: you have forgotten what it was like when you first started. Once upon a time, you knew very little about certification or how to run an association. We remember because we were there. You used to care about your customers and members above all else, and they looked to you to elevate their careers and make their lives better. You were very attractive and interest in you was high.  Then you got caught up in processes and lost sight of how to create real value—how to inspire and motivate.

Even worse, there is a future fast approaching in which many of your programs will be obsolete due to the rise of artificial intelligence and other technologies that are about to radically reshape the workforce and the competency sets we need to certify.

Slippery Slope, Isn’t It?

It isn’t enough to build programs to the highest standards and then buy the most expensive technology. On the certification side, we know you wanted to create efficiency, from application to testing to certification and on to recertification, and you wanted to build customer loyalty.  On the association side you wanted much the same – to make your members lives better. So, why isn’t it working? Where is your edge? Why are your revenue projections stagnant or declining?

Who are we to know and say this?  Well, my co-collaborator Georgia Patrick and I have been in confidential contracts with you and more than 600 certification and accreditation enterprises. Some of these enterprises were the brainchild or offspring of an association. Others were independent credential commissions from the start.  We also serve the association community from which emenates the heartbeats of individuals in industries and professions all across the country. We are your trusted advisors and we know deep truths and data from within your organizations. In order to build your business, you gave us total access to all of your customers, members and prospects.

Where it Got Weird.

You gave us total access to your clients and members at the very same time you seemed to stop listening to them.  Even though you retained us to be your certification business or association consultants, we often felt like we were your nanny—the one trusted with your precious children and legacy while you spent less time thinking about them.

Because of this experience, we learned a lot that helped our clients understand that customers and members count, even more than the perfectly designed tests and processes. There is one truth that drives everything and if you don’t get it or know what to do with it, you’re screwed.  That truth is this: The only thing that is real is the individual you serve; everything else is ephemeral.

And your customers and members are in trouble. They need you more than ever. We decided we needed to begin to assemble a community that wants to get real and is willing to do what it takes to get there.

So, We Did a Thing.

There is a rabbit hole right in front of you, and we are inviting you and a few new friends to the Tea Party through this portal, into this entry point. The only question you need to answer first is whether you are going to follow the rabbit?  

Let us know if you want to see more.