If all goes according to plan, by year-end 2010 GAMA International will have nearly doubled its current membership. The new inductees will also reflect a wider diversity of field leaders and many more young managers. GAMA’s executive leadership detailed these ambitious objectives during a press briefing at the organization’s annual LAMP conference here last week. The event, which boasted an attendance topping 2,200, also served a showcase for new programs that GAMA is banking on to fulfill its three-year strategic plan.
“These initiatives aim in part to reach out to the next generation of field leadership,” said GAMA International CEO Jeffrey Hughes. “Our efforts also bring to bear the fact that building a leading organization cannot be done by one individual. Thus our focus is on generating content for leadership teams and on delivering professional development products to enhance field leadership.”
GAMA Vice President Linda Witham added, “We’re positioning LAMP as a place where leadership teams can go to learn together. This will be a huge focus of next year’s conference in Atlanta.”
Capping GAMA’s re-branding efforts at LAMP was the unveiling of a new corporate logo and accompanying tagline, “Building the Leaders Who Build the Financial Services Industry.” The corporate makeover and programs debuted at LAMP aim to boost GAMA’s membership rolls to 10,000 from the current 5,500.
To that end, the organization is seeking to attract whole advisor teams: managers involved in the recruiting, development and retaining of life insurance and financial service professionals. Historically, GAMA’s membership consisted chiefly of general agents and managers at the top of the agency pyramid. Hughes said GAMA’s expanding outreach efforts reflect also the changing roles of agency managers.
“Front-line leaders are now expected to do the job that the managing partner or general agent used to do,” said Hughes. “The managing partners and general agents are moving into coaching and consultative roles. And so they need to bring their front-line leaders to a level of competency around the core skills of management and leadership.”
GAMA’s expanded mission was reflected in new content during the four-day conference, including several sessions that dovetailed thematically with the latest research from the GAMA Foundation. Among the sessions were 2 devoted to building high-performance advisor teams; a workshop on creating an organization to last in the 21st century; and, to appeal to this year’s international contingent, a session featuring Greek and Spanish interpretation (“Building the Right Culture for Your Agency.”)