Bob Weidner has been CEO of the Metal Service Center Institute
(MSCI) for nine years. When he was recruited for the position the
organization was in need of a turnaround. It was losing members and
people were questioning the value proposition of organization.
Today he is in the black and growing when most trade associations
are in dire straits.

Bob’s executed change on all fronts: he turned over staff,
upgraded the senior management team, changed the way the board
operates, streamlined his educational offerings, overhauled the
magazine, changed vendors for research and data, and more… all to
turn a dinosaur into a world-class operation. You can read the
details in my recent Fast Co piece, Turnaround Built on
Nonstop Unrelenting Change.

The point is, sometimes to get great results, you need to bring
fundamental and powerful adjustments to the whole system. Too many
organizations are mediocre when they could be world-class.

In today’s market, this kind of massive surge can make all the
difference. I am talking about an intensity of effort that speaks
to current pressures. Many organizations have done this to increase
penetration in difficult times.

Burger King, Hyatt and IHOP all began during the dramatic
worldwide economic downturn of 1958. FedEx, LexisNexis, and
Microsoft began operations in 1973 during the most severe recession
in the US since World War II. CNN and MTV began in the difficult
economic climate of 1980. And just recently in 2008 Hyundai surged
ahead in the US by offering insurance that covered car payments
when a customer lost their job. I give the steps to conducting a
surge in my recent article on American Express’ website, Surge Forward When
Times are Tough

Executive Seminar and Fundraiser: Driving Growth in a Sluggish

I will be sharing strategies and tactics for building and
expanding business in our challenging market at the Washington DC Board of Trade,
Thurs, Dec. 9, 7:30-10:00 am.

This executive presentation focuses on how to grow when the
market is not, drawing lessons from companies that have
successfully expanded while competitors were being

Conventional thinking says there are two ways to grow: (1)
Deliver a commodity in scale, or (2) break into new markets with
innovative high-margin offerings. But, there are other options. In
this seminar I will show you how businesses engage their customers to identify and
deliver high-value markets ripe for expansion that support and
reinforce their base offerings
– and, as usual, I will
provide many tips and techniques on how to carry this out as
immediate takeaways.

100% of proceeds will benefit Columbia Lighthouse for
the Blind
, a DC organization dedicated to helping the visually
impaired achieve independence. I serve on the Lighthouse’s advisory
board and am proud to invite you to attend in exchange for your
tax-deductible contribution. CLB’s CEO, Tony Cancelosi, will be on
hand to introduce several of their newest initiatives including a
mobile van unit and specialized support for veterans. Please read more and
RSVP here