How do you make a 63-year-old organisation even better? That’s the challenge for ASIS International as it continues an effort to be more transparent and inclusive, and to adapt to 21st century work environments.

Transforming the focus of ASIS International

“ASIS International is undergoing a tremendous amount of transition and reexamination, creating a lot of opportunities,” says Amy Fischer, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. There’s a new CEO and there has been shuffling on the executive leadership team, all directed toward fine-tuning how the organisation can fulfill its role in the profession. “How can we achieve our mission? We are reexamining and reevaluating our programmes from the ground up. Our reinvestment in the annual seminar and exhibits are just the beginning. We will be rolling out new programmes in the next 18 months.”

The new strategies come with the complete support of the ASIS International Board of Directors. Since the summer of 2015, the board has taken a stronger role, working with staff to develop a more member-centric plan that has transformed the focus of the organisation. “Every programme area is being looked at and evaluated,” says Fischer. “We are looking to improve the value proposition for members, to ensure they are reaping the value of their membership dollars.”

“Every day is a new adventure,” adds Peggy O’Connor, ASIS International’s Director of Communications. “I have been here 10 years, and the change I have seen in the last year has been exciting. Members feel that this is their association. People are excited about what we are doing.” Staff has been moved, changed and restructured.

Emphasis on virtual and e-learning

“We have a great partnership with our board,” says Peter O’Neil, CEO of ASIS International, who joined the organisation at the beginning of 2016. “We are looking at the operation through a mobile-first, digital and agile lens that lets us be more responsive. I have served five other associations, and I have never experienced a more committed membership. Commitment is high at other organisations, but I have never seen this kind of commitment. Members are behind us and want nothing more than for their professional society to succeed.”

“We are looking to improve the value proposition for members, to ensure they are reaping the value of their membership dollars”

Among the changes will be greater emphasis on virtual and e-learning. The association will also work to help young, non-security professionals see a career path in security. To that end, the association will be taking a hard look at new membership models.

New entry-level certification programme

ASIS International will also be considering a new entry-level certification programme for new professionals who come into security from law enforcement, the military or other fields. Launching a new certification takes about two years, and the organisation is currently six months or so into it.

Another challenge is ASIS International’s dependence on volunteers; today’s security professionals struggle to find time to devote to the organisation. A new approach will likely engage “micro-volunteers,” allowing members to be involved without devoting as much time.

A new ASIS International website will be launched in 2017 Q4, providing association management as well as learning management tools. New virtual learning initiatives, such as live streaming of annual meeting presentations, will be part of the investment.

The changes to the 2017 Annual Meeting and Seminars will be just the beginning of additional evolution of the association’s largest yearly event. “2018 will be a whole new and exciting world,” says O’Neil.