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Why NAIFA Needs to Update Its Bylaws

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The five-member executive committee of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors sent us this blog to explain how the committee sees the changes the committee recently proposed.

Two years ago, at the NAIFA 2015 Performance + Purpose Conference, the NAIFA National Council was introduced to NAIFA’s new chief executive officer, Kevin Mayeux. From the main stage, Mayeux delivered his first CEO report before 1,000 members. After noting NAIFA’s many accomplishments over its 125-year history of serving members and the industry, Mayeux cut to the chase: If NAIFA didn’t change, the group would eventually be out of business.

(Related: Mutuals back NAIFA state-level lobbying effort)

We’ve come a long way from two years ago. We’re poised for growth in every area. We’re expanding our services to enhance the professionalism of advisors throughout the country. We’re reaching new markets, having unparalleled impact on public policy, and deepening and enriching our relationships with companies and other key players in the insurance and financial services space.

We’re doing all of this in alignment with NAIFA 20/20, our comprehensive five-year strategic plan – which was developed by members from throughout the NAIFA federation – with bold action that promises to reinvent NAIFA as the vibrant, impactful and indispensable organization advisors and the industry need for decades to come.

This month marks completion of phase one implementation of NAIFA 20/20. Throughout the year, we held ourselves accountable, by reporting our progress to leaders, and we will continue to be transparent every step of the way.

Next month, we will begin phase two implementation of the strategic plan. This undoubtedly is the most critical stage of NAIFA 20/20.

Phase two will begin with the National Council’s support of the board of trustees’ proposal to modernize the national bylaws, based on three recommendations from NAIFA’s Quality Member Experience task force.

QME Task Force

In January 2017, the QME task force – comprised of a cross-section of NAIFA members and executives – convened over several months to examine the challenges and opportunities before our association. Its recommendations represent input from hundreds of stakeholders across the NAIFA federation, with numerous meetings and extensive feedback.

Determined man (Photo: Thinkstock)

(Photo: Thinkstock)

These three recommendations form the basis of the board’s proposal for consideration by the National Council on Sept. 10. They are:

1. Create a federation structure with chapter relationships between national, states, and strong locals, so we have fewer – but more successful – associations to pursue the NAIFA mission.

Stakeholders all agree that NAIFA needs a structure that lessens the burden of bureaucracy and allows us to be more nimble and decisive so we can respond to the industry’s increasing challenges, while embracing new opportunities. Our current governance structure holds us back.

Further, the chapter relationships between National and a smaller set of entities will ensure we work together as One NAIFA – smarter and with greater efficiency – to grow and serve our members, clients and the industry in ways we’ve never done before. Local entities – free of time-consuming governance and administrative requirements – will be strengthened in the form of local-area teams, committees or units of state chapters. With this new structure, member activity will thrive at all levels, with greater quality and accountability.

2. Establish standards for successful NAIFA associations of which we are all accountable at the national, state, and local level.

Our members have identified the standards for success; they are not standards for failure. Holding each other accountable to standards is not aimed at seeking to punish one for falling short. Rather, where standards are not met, we will work together to help each other overcome obstacles and challenges by cooperatively seeking to achieve success. Teamwork will be essential in ensuring that states, locals, and national meet the standards.

3. Move to one consistent dues amount nationwide.

Reducing the number of dues structures from 600 to one will simplify operations, reduce administrative costs and promote cohesion. It’s that simple.

As members of the executive committee, we urge members to empower NAIFA’s leaders to live up to promises made two years ago to reinvent NAIFA. NAIFA 20/20 offers the association its best opportunity to build on a legacy of accomplishment, achieve long-term success, and provide members the highest possible return on their dues investment.

It is our honor and pleasure to serve during the implementation of NAIFA 20/20. We urge the National Council to see the merits of the QME task force’s recommendations, as we do, and vote in September to move NAIFA forward in the coming years.

Success in this endeavor will ensure that, as the largest organization in our industry protecting the needs of 75 million American families, NAIFA will remain strong and effective in Washington and in every state across the country.

— Read NAIFA Beefs Up Advocacy Effortson ThinkAdvisor