ADA’s Mission-Driven, Member-Centered Approach Requires Ongoing Dialogue

Author: Nancy N. Green, Au.D.

Two of the most important components of successful audiology practice management are planning and measurement—planning to identify what goals should be achieved and why, followed by measurement to evaluate how progress toward those business and professional objectives is going and where improvements should be made. This type of continuous planning and assessment cycle is equally critical for professional associations. In the case of ADA, it is the life-blood of the organization.

Unlike many professional associations, ADA employs a “bottom-up” approach to organizational management, which ensures that ADA’s mission is guided by the input and needs of its members and the professional audiology community. This member-centered approach requires a continued dialogue between our volunteer leaders, members and staff to ensure that members are informed, goals are articulated and feedback is received and applied. ADA encourages its members to take an active role in providing feedback, input and insight throughout the strategic decision-making process so that ADA leaders can fully consider the current professional landscape, meet the needs, and exercise the collective will of our members.

At ADA, strategic planning is the beginning, not the end of the discussion.

This month, the ADA Board of Directors will undertake a thoughtful evaluation of progress on key organizational initiatives through our annual strategic planning retreat. ADA exists to ensure practitioner ownership of the profession of audiology through the advancement of autonomous practice models, and to advance practitioner excellence, high ethical standards, professional autonomy and sound business practices in the provision of quality Audiologic Care.

ADA seeks to accomplish these things by providing access to information, education and relationships that reflect and support best clinical and business practices, so that ADA members will have the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to achieve ownership positions in professional practices.

We do this by developing a strategic plan around the mission that includes specific goals and objectives under the following supporting segments:
  • Advocacy
  • Awareness
  • Education
  • Benefits, Products & Services
  • Engagement & Networking
ADA Member Needs Assessment data provides near-term feedback that is incorporated into the final strategic plan.

The fruit of ADA’s strategic planning process will be a draft strategic plan. The draft plan will be vetted against quantitative member feedback and input received from the ADA Member Needs Assessment Survey. Please be on the lookout for the survey, which will be distributed electronically to members during July. ADA’s leadership team relies on this information to direct its strategic efforts and it is critical that each member complete the survey in a timely manner.

The Member Needs Assessment Survey is your opportunity to shape ADA’s future by sharing your suggestions for future ADA products and initiatives and by providing candid feedback regarding the value of programs and services that ADA currently provides.

Members provide long-term guidance by participating in ADA elections.

Finally, as you read this issue of Audiology Practices, please pay close attention to the 2013 ADA Candidate information. The slate of candidates, chosen by the Nominating Committee, was selected based on experience, education, character and perceived ability to successfully advance the goals of ADA and its members.

ADA’s transparent election process provides an opportunity for additional candidates to be nominated by the membership, beyond those that were identified by the Nominating Committee. Please review the ADA bylaws at for information and requirements for open nominations. Official ballots will be released in August. Your participation in ADA’s election process will have a significant impact on ADA’s leadership and direction over the next several years.

ADA members are encouraged to speak up on a regular basis!

Strategic planning, member surveys and elections are just some of the ways that members can provide feedback and input on ADA initiatives. Other vehicles for voicing your opinion include contacting ADA board members and/or headquarters (we promise you’ll get a timely response), joining a committee of interest to help steer ADA services, posting questions to the listserv, writing letters to the editor and attending the annual Membership Business Meeting, held in conjunction with the ADA Convention.

Whatever your chosen method of communication or vehicle of delivery—please make sure that you are part of the ongoing dialogue that will determine ADA’s direction now and in the future!