ASM Futures Project


About
Timeline
Futures Project Group Roster
Origins of the Project

 


ABOUT

The ASM Futures Project is a multistage planning process that is designed to be data-driven, inclusive and deliberative. The purpose of the project is to update the Society’s strategic plan and examine governance structures and processes - taking a look at the future direction of ASM, the governance, alignment of resources, activities supported by these resources, and the new capacities that the organization will need to develop. The process requires a different type of planning than what has been done in the past and broad input from a diversity of stakeholders.

The main questions to be addressed are:

  • What areas should ASM focus on in order to remain the preeminent scientific society in microbiology in the future; and
  • How could ASM be structured and conduct business in order to better achieve our strategic goals?

This project will create a new strategic plan for the Society that will go to the Council Policy Committee (CPC) for approval and recommendations for changes in the Society's Bylaws and Constitution that will go to the members for approval.

There are a number of opportunities for members and other stakeholders to provide input throughout the process. We welcome questions and feedback at any time through email asmfuture@asmusa.org.

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TIMELINE

The project has a series of milestones for data gathering; collaborative work between ASM officers, members, staff and outside experts; and progress reports. Through this process, all members will have an opportunity to provide input on the plan. The timeline is outlined through the General Meeting. Depending on the input received during the General Meeting, additional milestones will be outlined through the end of 2015.

futures-graphic

Plan for Planning: October 2013 - May 2014
In October 2013, the Officers met with and hired Cygnet Strategy, LLC, a consulting company who many in the leadership team have worked with over the previous two years to facilitate strategic planning for the Society They have assisted in projects such as the Meetings Board Strategic Plan, the Communications Committee Strategic Plan, the Co-Location Task Force and the Officers' Planning to Define the Role of the New ED/CEO..

In May 2014, a core group of elected officers met at the General Meeting in Boston to kick-off the ASM Futures Project. Dr. Joseph Campos, ASM Secretary, gave a presentation to Council describing the project and the next steps.

Data Collection: July - early October, 2014
The consultants collected data to inform the process including:

  • A review of all program strategic plans
  • 45 telephone interviews with a sampling of stakeholders including national, branch, and division leaders, fellows, international members, early and mid career scientists, CPC members and staff
  • Two guided group discussions with members from India and from China, which were held during ICAAC
  • The interviews conducted for planning by both the Communications and Meetings Departments were reviewed for information appropriate for the organization's wide planning effort
  • A facilitated session with the Officers and members of CPC related to the role of the new ED/CEO was held in September
  • A member survey sent to a random sample of 3,848 members of whom 491 responded

This data gathering revealed several themes, including the importance of advancing the science of microbiology and engaging with diverse stakeholders from around the world.

Initial Planning: Late October - December, 2014
On October 25th, the Council Policy Committee (CPC) held a strategic discussion with the consultants to define some of the major challenges facing ASM. Immediately after the CPC meeting a two-day retreat was held with the Futures Project Group (see roster below).They met to examine the strategic direction of ASM. The questions they focused on were:

  • Are the six strategic issues defined by the CPC in April 2013 still the right ones? Is anything critical missing?
  • What goals are needed to address these areas?
  • What are the objectives needed to fulfill the goals?
  • What are the implications of this strategic direction for governance?

Discussions during this retreat highlighted the need for a streamlined mission statement and goals that better addressed the issues raised during the data-gathering phase. It also confirmed the concerns raised in the strategic issues regarding the cumbersome nature of governance (see the Origins section for additional details).

Survey on Governance and Program Assessment: January 2015
In order to begin to examine the ways to make governance more responsive, inclusive, and transparent, a survey was sent to current Council members to gain a better understanding of their perceptions. The survey had a response rate of 63%. The survey results indicated that Councilors feel that there is a need for greater transparency, broader diversity of participation and increased nimbleness in the Society's governance.

A program assessment meeting was held January 29-30 to compare major ASM initiatives against the developing strategic directions with the intent to inform the planning process of any gaps in the portfolio and the degree to which current initiatives are aligned with the proposed new directions.

Planning and Governance Meeting: February, 2015
On February 7th - 8th, the Futures Project Group met for the second time. During the course of the meeting the group came to general consensus on a revised mission statement and four strategic goals for the Society. This strategic plan will be presented to the CPC in April. They also began an exploration of governance issues.

Developing Recommendations: March - April, 2015
On March 9th - 10th, a tactical meeting was held to outline potential strategies that can support the developing strategic plan.

On March 26th - 27th, the Futures Project Group met to develop recommendations for governance changes.

At the April 18th CPC meeting, the Futures Project Group will update the CPC on progress and will request approval of the strategic plan.

Input on Recommendations: 2015 General Meeting
There will be multiple opportunities for members to learn more about the strategic plan and to provide input into the recommendations on changes to governance during the 2015 General Meeting. The ASM Booth will feature information on the Project, the consultants will conduct focus groups with the attendees at GM, the Future's Project Group will conduct town halls with members and there will be a session with Council to gather input.

After June 2015
The next steps will be determined based on the feedback received from members and Councilors. The Futures Group may need to gather additional information or revise their recommendations leading up to a vote by the Council on the governance changes.

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THE FUTURES PROJECT GROUP ROSTER

The Futures Project Group represents a diverse cross section of ASM's members, staff and stakeholders. They are charged with creating recommendations for the strategic plan and governance changes.

ASM Members
Joseph M. Campos (Chair), Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
ASM Secretary
Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

Magdia de Jesus, Wadsworth Center, Albany, New York
President – First Postdoc Chapter
Membership Benefits Task Force
Howard Hughes Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow

Victor DiRita, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Chair, Membership Board
Editor, Journal of Bacteria
Div. B "Microbial Pathogenesis"

Timothy Donohue, University of Wisconsin-Madison
ASM President
Div. H "Genetics & Molecular Biology"

Lynn Enquist, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
ASM President-Elect
Div. S "DNA Viruses"

Caroline S. Harwood, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Chair, ASM Press Committee
Div. K "Microbial Physiology & Metabolism"

David C. Hooper, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Chair, Meetings Board
Past President
Div. A "Antimicrobial Chemotherapy"

Christina A. Kellogg, United States Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal & Marine Science Center, Florida
CPC At-Large, Branches
Div. N "Microbial Ecology"

Judy Lovchik, Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis
CPC, At-Large, Branches
Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

Fawzi Mahomoodally, University of Mauritius
Young Ambassador to the Mauritius
Young Leaders Circle
Div. Y "Public Health"

Jeffery Miller, University of California, Los Angeles
ASM Past President

Aaron Mitchell, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Editor in Chief, Eukaryotic Cell
Div. F "Medical Mycology"

Susan Sharp, Kaiser Permanente, Portland, Oregon
ASM, President-Elect Elect
Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

Steven Specter, University of South Florida Medical Center, Tampa
Chair, International Board
Div. V "Clinical & Diagnostic Immunology"

James M. Tiedje, Michigan State University, East Lansing
ASM Treasurer
Div. N "Microbial Ecology"

Ron Xavier, AgResearch, Hopkirk Research Institute, New Zealand
Young Ambassador to New Zealand
Young Leaders Circle
Div. P "Food Microbiology"

Marylynn Yates, University of California, Riverside
CPC, At-Large Divisions
Div. Q "Env. & General Applied Microbiology

Mimi Yen, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University
President, Boston Student Chapter
Young Leaders Circle
Div. M "Bacteriophage"

Outside Stakeholders
Jon Kaye
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Palo Alto, CA
Div. N "Microbial Ecology"

Michele Stevens

3M Healthcare, Saint Paul, Minnesota

ASM Staff
Amy Chang
Director, Education
Div. W "Microbiology Education"

Charlotte Daniels
Manager, Leadership Services

Chris DeCesaris
Director, Finance

Connie Herndon
Director, Strategic Alliances

Cassandra Mette
Administrative Assistant

Nancy A. Sansalone
Interim Executive Director

Kim Shankle
Director, HR and Administration

Erika Shugart
Director, Communications and Marketing Strategy

Consultants/Facilitators
Cate Bower and Marybeth Fidler, Cygnet Strategy LLC

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ORIGINS

The ASM Futures Project has its origins in April 2013, when the CPC approved a mission statement and six strategic issues and goals. This mission, issues and goals were presented to the Council in May 2013 and President Jeff Miller shared information about them to the membership during the State of the Society at the 2013 General Meeting.

The following six strategic issues and goals were the starting point for the ASM Futures Project.

Governance and program structure is cumbersome
Goal: The Board of Directors needs to be fluid, nimble and adaptable to the quickly changing landscape. Program activities should also be more collaborative and better integrated.

ASM image & content are not reflecting new era science
Goal: ASM needs to change its image in order to capture the new science in the eyes of the younger scientists.

Public ignorance of Microbiology
Goal: The Society needs to continue to educate the public as well as convince Congress to invest more of the nation's limited discretionary funding in research and to invest in a manner that maximizes return.

The future of ASM as a membership organization is dependent upon the involvement of the members
Goal: Work to convey the value proposition of the ASM to members and the public. Consistently determine and satisfy members' needs and objectives for education, training, networking, recognition, credentials, and career advancement.

Increased expenses may not be offset by increased revenues
Goal: Prudent financial planning in this economic environment is required for ASM to prepare for a new normal, "increased expenses/decreased revenues" scenario.

Relationships with other societies are not strategically managed
Goal: Investigate mergers and acquisitions in order to broaden the breadth of science represented by the Society and to market to the public at large. Develop the necessary guidelines to handle these transactions and protect the interests of the Society.

We welcome questions and feedback at any time through email: asmfuture@asmusa.org.

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ASM Futures Project (2)


Overview

Futures Project Group Roster
Program Assessment/Tactical Workgroup Roster
Part I: ASM Draft Strategic Plan 2016-2021
Part II: Overview of Governance Thinking

 


OVERVIEW

The ASM Futures Project was launched in May of 2014 to address the questions:

  • Where will ASM need to focus in order to remain the preeminent scientific society in microbiology in the future?
  • And how could ASM be structured and do business in order to better achieve its strategic goals?

The project was designed by the ASM officers, with input from the senior staff, and in conjunction with Cygnet Strategy LLC in response to a series of strategic drivers of both strategic direction and strengthening governance:

  • The changing environment surrounding microbiology, the diversification of those in the field and the transition of the field to the broader context of microbial sciences
  • The shifting needs and wants of the next generation of members and potential members
  • The continuing and increasing challenge of ensuring ASM’s relevance to its current and future constituents
  • The changing of the guard in staff leadership, both with the ED position and senior staff  
  • The increased need for greater integration within ASM, both within the staffing and volunteer structures and in presenting an integrated ASM ‘brand’ to the marketplace
  • Increased pressure on volunteer time, leading to a desire for more diversification in means and methods of involvement and engagement
  • Inherent Conflicts of Interest in some aspects of existing governance structures and processes
  • The desire to complete the work of taskforces appointed to consider strategic planning and governance in 2013

Starting Point for the ASM Futures Project

The ASM Futures Project has its origins in April 2013, when the CPC approved a mission statement and six strategic issues and goals. This mission, issues and goals were presented to the Council in May 2013 and President Jeff Miller shared information about them to the membership during the State of the Society at the 2013 General Meeting.

The following six strategic issues and goals were the starting point for the ASM Futures Project.

Governance and program structure is cumbersome
Goal: The Board of Directors needs to be fluid, nimble and adaptable to the quickly changing landscape. Program activities should also be more collaborative and better integrated.

ASM image & content are not reflecting new era science
Goal: ASM needs to change its image in order to capture the new science in the eyes of the younger scientists.

Public ignorance of Microbiology
Goal: The Society needs to continue to educate the public as well as convince Congress to invest more of the nation's limited discretionary funding in research and to invest in a manner that maximizes return.

The future of ASM as a membership organization is dependent upon the involvement of the members
Goal: Work to convey the value proposition of the ASM to members and the public. Consistently determine and satisfy members' needs and objectives for education, training, networking, recognition, credentials, and career advancement.

Increased expenses may not be offset by increased revenues
Goal: Prudent financial planning in this economic environment is required for ASM to prepare for a new normal, "increased expenses/decreased revenues" scenario.

Relationships with other societies are not strategically managed
Goal: Investigate mergers and acquisitions in order to broaden the breadth of science represented by the Society and to market to the public at large. Develop the necessary guidelines to handle these transactions and protect the interests of the Society.

An ASM Futures Project Group was appointed to explore both the strategic direction of ASM in the form of a new strategic plan and the structure and processes for how the work of the plan is accomplished. The Futures Project Froup was comprised of key ASM member leaders (including a invitation to provide representation from every ASM Board), early-career and post docs, plus senior staff. Their work focused first on establishing strategic direction and then considering what kind of governance structures and processes would be needed to achieve the desired direction.

The Futures Project Group Roster appears at the end of this section.

Data Collection for Strategic Planning Effort

Their deliberations were informed by significant data collected prior to beginning the planning process including:

  • Twenty-eight (28) telephone interviews with a sampling of stakeholders including national, branch, and division leaders, Fellows, international members, early and mid-career scientists, CPC members and staff were conducted by Cygnet Strategy, LLC (Cygnet) during July and August of 2014.
  • Two small focus group discussions were held at the 2014 ICAAC, which allowed ASM to learn more about perspectives in India and Taiwan.
  • A facilitated session with the Officers and members of CPC related to the role of the new ED/CEO was held in September.
  • A survey testing headlines from the data collection was sent to a random sample of 3,848 ASM members in early October, producing 491 responses, which resulted in responses that can be projected with a ±95% degree of certainty.
  • A survey sent to all ASM Council members established a baseline of opinion on governance.  55 individuals responded (63%).  The survey tested key governance practices in three main areas: 1) governance structure and process, 2) engagement and representation, and 3) Council and Council role.
  • Forty-nine (49) interviews conducted for planning by both the Communications Department and the Meetings Department were reviewed for information appropriate for the enterprise wide efforts as were twenty-seven (27) interviews conducted in preparation for the CEO search.
  • The strategic plans from ASM departments were reviewed.

Eight big ideas emerged from this data which became the starting point for significant dialogue over a series of meetings. Those big ideas were:

  1. Need to Establish a Unified ASM Brand          
  2. Desire for Increased Advocacy
  3. Importance of Inclusion of Next Generation Scientists         
  4. Becoming a Truly Global Organization
  5. Enhanced Public Awareness of the Microbial Sciences        
  6. Reinforce and Strengthen Value of ASM Engagement
  7. Advancing the Microbial Sciences                   
  8. Strengthening Governance

The Process of Developing the Draft Plan and Governance Thinking

In October, the Council Policy Committee (CPC) held a strategic discussion to define some of the major challenges facing ASM. Immediately after the CPC meeting a two-day retreat was held with the Futures Project Group (see Roster below). They met to examine the strategic direction of ASM. The questions they focused on were:

  • Are the six strategic issues defined by the CPC in April 2013 still the right ones? Is anything critical missing?
  • What goals are needed to address these areas?
  • What are the objectives needed to fulfill the goals?
  • What are the implications of this strategic direction for governance?

Discussions during this retreat highlighted the need for a streamlined mission statement and goals that better addressed the issues raised during the data-gathering phase. It also confirmed the concerns raised in the earlier strategic issues regarding the cumbersome nature of governance.

All data was compiled into a report and presented to the Futures Project Group prior to its first meeting in October 2014.

The draft plan language and context that emerged from that meeting were tested in late 2014 via survey with the Futures Project Group, CPC members and senior staff.

In order to begin to examine the ways to make governance more responsive, inclusive, and transparent, a survey was sent to current Council members to gain a better understanding of their perceptions. The survey had a response rate of 63%. The survey results indicated that Councilors feel that there is a need for greater transparency, broader diversity of participation and increased agility in the Society's governance.

In January 2015 an assessment of major ASM programs was conducted by a group of senior staff and Futures Project Group members, evaluating existing programs against the emerging strategic direction of the plan.  

A second meeting of the Futures Project Group was held in February 2015, where the plan language and direction were refined and the governance discussions begun.

In late February, a meeting of Board/Committee Chairs and senior staff to refine the thinking about the future of ASM Microbe was held. The concept for a co-location of the GM and ICAAC had emerged from the Meetings Department planning and further evolved from a co-located meeting to ASM MICROBE, the flagship meeting serving all of microbial science.

This was followed in early March by a Tactical Meeting to identify gaps between the current program offerings and what will be needed to achieve the goals, to identify strategies (practical actions) needed to implement the priorities in the draft plan and to identify possible metrics by which to measure success. The draft of the ASM Strategic Plan resulting from these meetings is being presented to CPC on April 18 for approval.

In late March the second governance focused meeting of the Futures Project Group occurred, resulting in a set of ideas scheduled for further exploration and discussion by CPC in April. At the ASM General Meeting in New Orleans meetings are planned with members and with the Council to discuss further and receive feedback. The Futures Project Group is currently scheduled to meet in July to work with input from these different sources to refine initial recommendations and to create a transition team to move these ideas to strengthen governance forward. 

There are a number of opportunities for members and other stakeholders to provide input throughout the process. We welcome questions and feedback at any time through email asmfuture@asmusa.org.

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THE FUTURES PROJECT GROUP ROSTER

The Futures Project Group represents a diverse cross section of ASM's members, staff and stakeholders. They are charged with creating recommendations for the strategic plan and governance changes.

 

ASMFutures-3
Pictured L to R, first row: Lynn Enquist., Ron Xavier, Amy Chang, Nancy Sansalone, Magdia de Jesus, Cate Bower, Judy Lovchik. Second row: Joseph M. Campos, Mimi Yen, Marylynn Yates, Steven Specter, David C. Hooper, Marybeth Fidler, Cassandra Mette. Back row: Victor DiRitia, Kim Shankle, Erika Shugart, James M. Tiedje, Timothy Donahue, Connie Herndon, Chris DeCesaris, John Kaye, Charlotte Daniels, Fawzi Mahomoodally.

 

ASM Members
Joseph M. Campos (Chair), Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
ASM Secretary
Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

Magdia de Jesus, Wadsworth Center, Albany, New York
President – First Postdoc Chapter
Membership Benefits Task Force
Howard Hughes Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow

Victor DiRita, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Chair, Membership Board
Editor, Journal of Bacteria
Div. B "Microbial Pathogenesis"

Timothy Donohue, University of Wisconsin-Madison
ASM President
Div. H "Genetics & Molecular Biology"

Lynn Enquist, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
ASM President-Elect
Former Editor in Chief, Journal of Virology
Div. S "DNA Viruses"

Caroline S. Harwood, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Chair, ASM Press Committee
Div. K "Microbial Physiology & Metabolism"

David C. Hooper, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Chair, Meetings Board
Past President
Div. A "Antimicrobial Chemotherapy"

Christina A. Kellogg, United States Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal & Marine Science Center, Florida
CPC At-Large, Branches
Div. N "Microbial Ecology"

Judy Lovchik, Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis
CPC, At-Large, Branches
Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

Fawzi Mahomoodally, University of Mauritius
Young Ambassador to the Mauritius
Young Leaders Circle
Div. Y "Public Health"

Jeffery Miller, University of California, Los Angeles
ASM Past President

Aaron Mitchell, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Editor in Chief, Eukaryotic Cell
Div. F "Medical Mycology"

Susan Sharp, Kaiser Permanente, Portland, Oregon
ASM, President-Elect Elect
Chair, Committee on Laboratory Practices 
Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

Steven Specter, University of South Florida Medical Center, Tampa
Chair, International Board
Chair, Clinical Virology Symposium
Div. V "Clinical & Diagnostic Immunology"

James M. Tiedje, Michigan State University, East Lansing
ASM Treasurer
Past President
Div. N "Microbial Ecology"

Ron Xavier, AgResearch, Hopkirk Research Institute, New Zealand
Young Ambassador to New Zealand
Young Leaders Circle
Div. P "Food Microbiology"

Marylynn Yates, University of California, Riverside
CPC, At-Large Divisions
Div. Q "Env. & General Applied Microbiology

Mimi Yen, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University
President, Boston Student Chapter
Young Leaders Circle
Div. M "Bacteriophage"

Other Stakeholders
Jon Kaye
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Palo Alto, CA
Div. N "Microbial Ecology"

Michele Steven
3M Healthcare, Saint Paul, Minnesota

ASM Staff

Amy Chang, Director, Education
Div. W "Microbiology Education"

Charlotte Daniels, Manager, Leadership Services

Chris DeCesaris, Director, Finance

Connie Herndon, Director, Strategic Alliances

Cassandra Mette, Administrative Assistant

Nancy A. Sansalone, Interim Executive Director

Kim Shankle, Director, HR and Administration

Erika Shugart, Director, Communications and Marketing Strategy

Consultants/Facilitators
Cate Bower and Marybeth Fidler, Cygnet Strategy LLC

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THE PROGRAM ASSESSMENT/TACTICAL WORKGROUP ROSTER

The Program Assessment/Tactical Workgroup represents all Boards and Committees of CPC, plus At-Large Council members and senior staff. They were charged with creating a draft mission and goals and objectives.  The strategic plan resulting from these meetings is being presented to CPC on April 18 for approval.

Joseph M. Campos, ASM Secretary
Amy Chang, Director, Education
Christine Charlip, Director, ASM Press
Charlotte Daniels, Manager, Leadership Services
Chris DeCesaris, Director, Finance
Victor DiRita, Chair, Membership Board
Timothy Donohue, ASM President
Lynn Enquist, ASM President-Elect
Barbara Goldman, Director, Journals
Connie Herndon, Director, Strategic Alliances
David C. Hooper, Chair, Meeting Board
Thomas Lyons, Director, Information Technology
Peggy McNult, Director, Professional Practice
Cassandra Mette, Administrative Assistant
John Meyers, Director, Membership
Marina Moses, Director, American Academy for Microbiology
Kirsten Olean, Director, Meetings
Jason Rao, Director, International Affairs
Nancy A. Sansalone, Interim Executive Director
Kim Shankle, Director, HR and Administration
Janet Shoemaker, Director, Public and Scientific Affairs
Erika Shugart, Director, Communications and Marketing Strategy
Marylynn Yates, CPC, At-Large Divisions

Consultants/Facilitators
Cate Bower and Marybeth Fidler, Cygnet Strategy LLC

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PART 1: ASM DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2021

A strategic plan is considered a draft until adopted by the CPC. This draft plan encompasses the following key plan elements which emerged from the discussions:

  • Core Purpose/Mission
  • Vivid Description of ASM’s Future
  • Outcome Focused Goals
  • Objectives to achieve those goals

Strategies and tactics are not presented as part of the plan being submitted for approval, because  strategies change frequently throughout the planning cycle as the environment shifts. Along, with metrics, they are typically approved as part of the budget cycle for each year of the plan’s implementation.

 


10-30 Year Planning Horizon

~ Core Purpose & Envisioned Future ~


 

The Core Purpose is the organization’s reason for being anddescribes a consistent identity that transcends all changes related to its relevant environment.

Draft Core Purpose of ASM

To promote & advance the microbial sciences

The Vivid Description describes what would constitute success 10-20 years from now.

Draft Vivid Description

  • ASM is the go to source for microbial science resources.
  • It has the technological infrastructure to deliver to and receive content from diverse audiences.
  • It is an inclusive organization that engages all people interested in the microbial sciences.
  • It is both proactive and responsive to microbial issues important to society.
  • It operates in a transparent manner with an agile governance system responsive and accountable to members and stakeholders.

3-5 Year Planning Horizon

~ Outcome-Focused Goals and objectives ~


The following thinking represents the organization’s goals for the next 3-5 years.  These Goals are outcome-oriented statements that represent what will constitute ASM’s future success. The achievement of each goal will move the organization towards the realization of its Envisioned Future. The Objectives reflect the broad range of direction that will be undertaken to change the existing conditions in order to achieve the goal – they drive Strategies -- the type of work and initiatives that will need to be undertaken to achieve the goal.

 

Goals

Visionary Society

ASM’s culture of scholarship and innovation advances the microbial sciences.

 

Science Learning Organization

ASM both educates and learns from stakeholders to ensure the growth and the advancement of the microbial sciences.

 

Value to Stakeholders

ASM is an inclusive organization, engaging with and responding to the needs of its diverse constituencies.

 

Organizational Excellence

ASM is a vibrant, responsive and transparent organization.

 

Goals and Objectives  and Initial Priorities

The objectives presented below are in recommended priority order. This order was based, in large  part, on a discussion of strategic drivers – strategic issues that were identified as needing to be attended to early in the process for maximum leverage. The early priority objectives for the plan are italicized. Goal numbers are provided for reference – NOT for purposes of prioritization.

Drivers Discussed Prior to Prioritization

  • Building ASM’s capacity to address key issues
  • Engagement (members, partnerships…)
  • Careers – help people meet their career goals 
  • Content – science information and knowledge
  • Looking for ways to go “LEAN” and integration of efforts across ASM
  • Careers (development of people)
  • Value added efforts
  • ASM stature and recognition
  • Timing/sequencing events such as new CEO, ASM Microbe
  • Financial stability and willingness to make investments needed
  • Impact of outside events and our ability to respond/anticipate to those events

 

Visionary Society

ASM’s culture of scholarship and innovation advances the microbial sciences.

1.1   Enhance ASM’s capacity to communicate authoritatively about the microbial sciences. 

1.2   Enhance ASM’s position as the voice of the microbial sciences. 

1.3   Strengthen ASM’s global partnerships and coalitions. 

1.4   Enhance ASM’s capacity to anticipate and shape the future of the microbial sciences. 

1.5   Increase key stakeholders’ knowledge about and awareness of the challenges facing and the importance of the microbial sciences. 

 

Science Learning Organization

ASM both educates and learns from stakeholders to ensure the growth and the advancement of the microbial sciences.

2.1 Cultivate an innovative environment for learning, content development and idea exchange. 

2.2 Increase efficiency and efficacy of programs by regularly assessing the program portfolio, individual services, and ASM’s products. 

2.3 Enhance responsiveness to members and stakeholders by regularly soliciting and acting on feedback. 

2.4 Increase engagement of the global microbial sciences community in the work of ASM. 

2.5 Enhance ASM’s capacity for personal, professional and scientific development. 

 

Value to Stakeholders

ASM is an inclusive organization, engaging with and responding to the needs of its diverse constituencies.

3.1  Increase ASM’s ability to identify and develop the next generation of leaders for the organization and the science. 

3.2  Strengthen the relationship of ASM’s products and programs to its brand.  

3.3  Increase our knowledge of and responsiveness to the current and emerging needs of diverse stakeholders. 

3.4  Improve outreach to current and potential members about the benefits of belonging to ASM. 

3.5  Increase awareness of the scientific community about ASM programs. 

3.6  Increase the opportunities for stakeholders to participate in or contribute to ASM. 

3.7  Enhance ASM’s ability to address all members’ needs through development and assessment of programs and services. 

 

Organizational Excellence

ASM is a vibrant, responsive and transparent organization.

4.1  Ensure ASM’s governance, organizational structures, and processes are transparent, inclusive, efficient and agile. 

4.2  Strengthen the technology infrastructure to support ASM’s goals. 

4.3  Ensure sufficient resources to achieve ASM’s goals. 

4.4  Encourage a culture of experimentation and calculated risk taking. 

Presentation1small

Plan Priorities for 2016-2017

Based on the rankings of objectives during the March 2015 Tactical Meeting, the following are the objectives which would be the initial focus for implementing the plan, in descending order of importance. The number in parentheses indicates the goal and the objective number by goal.

  1. Ensure ASM’s governance and organizational structures and processes are transparent, inclusive, efficient and agile.  (4.1)
  2. Strengthen the technology infrastructure to support ASM’s goals.  (4.2)
  3. Cultivate an innovative environment for learning, content development and idea exchange.   (2.1)
  4. Enhance ASM’s capacity to communicate authoritatively about the microbial sciences.  (1.1)
  5. Increase ASM’s ability to identify and develop the next generation of leaders for the organization and the science.  (3.1)
  6. Strengthen the relationship of ASM’s products and programs to its brand.   (3.2)
  7. Increase efficiency and efficacy of programs by regularly assessing both the program portfolio  and individual services and products.  (2.2)
  8. Enhance responsiveness to members and stakeholders by regularly soliciting and acting on feedback.  (2.3)
  9. Increase our knowledge of and responsiveness to the current and emerging needs of diverse       stakeholders.  (3.3)
  10. Enhance ASM’s position as the voice of the microbial sciences.  (1.2)
  11. Ensure sufficient resources to achieve ASM’s goals.  (4.3)

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PART II: OVERVIEW OF GOVERNANCE THINKING

ASM leaders and members have been discussing possible ways to strengthen governance structures and processes for many years.

In 2013 when the CPC approved six strategic issues and goals, a cumbersome governance and program structure headed the list.  It says, ASM “governance is outmoded and unable to respond quickly to emerging issues. The Council is large, Branches are independent entities, Division structure no longer reflects the science and CPC program chairs have a conflict of interest promoting their program and voting on their budget.

The telephone interviews and the governance leadership survey described in the Background section of this report bear out this assessment.  They reveal patterns and shared perspectives about ASM governance. In particular there is a significiant desire for more:

  • Transparency in decision-making, especially in leader selection processes
  • Proactive inclusion of younger members and more diversity in governance roles
  • Governance structures and processes that are easily understood
  • Visionary leadership and visibility of the impact ASM has on all aspects of the microbial sciences, on those practicing within the microbial sciences, and on the wider world
  • Meaningful work for governing bodies such as the ASM Council, which is seen as not utilizing member talents and not adding value to organizational decision making
  • Agile and timely decision making
  • Integration among staff departments and among current ASM Boards and committees

 

 


Principles Guide the Governance Thinking

 

 


 

In Part I - ASM Draft Strategic Plan, ASM established a draft purpose and direction and considered the structures and processes needed to accomplish organizational purpose and goals.

One Futures Project Group member stated, I am surprised that, as a group of quite varied ages, perspectives and experience, to arrive at consensus quite easily on the important elements of the future governance structures and processes we need.  We believe this may be because we focused on “form” only after agreeing on “function” and because we chose to focus on principles first.

ASM identified concrete statements, grounded in ASM values, that could provide guidance about the types of governance needed to succeed in the future.  They are a template that has helped ASM make tradeoffs – to decide which opportunities for change to pursue and which to reject.  The following Governance Principles are presented by the Futures Project Group as criteria for evaluating potential governance enhancements:

Principle 1.          ASM governance structure reflects the breadth and diversity of the ASM community.

Principle 2.          ASM governance structure and processes are responsive to change and enable us to achieve goals.

Principle 3.          ASM governance structure and processes enables and expects accountability, transparency and member engagement.

Principle 4.          ASM governance structure helps everyone work toward and contribute to accepted organizational goals.

Principle 5.          Candidates for ASM governance positions are nominated and elected through an open and credible process that is transparent and accessible to members.

 

Structure Proposals

With these principles as guide, three governance structure proposals were discussed:

Board of Directors

What:

CPC transitions to a 10-15 member elected group of officers and broadly representative at-large members to carry out the primary fidcuiary responsibility for ASM, i.e. oversight of financial, policy, legal, business, and strategic direction, as well as hire and oversee the CEO.

Why:

  • Responsible governance requires frequent meetings of a small group thinking strategically
  • Board Directors (those with fiduciary responsibility) are typically elected by members

Futures Assembly of  Microbial Science[1]

What:

Council transitions into a broadly representative 24-70+ member assembly focused on the future of microbial science and the development and support of those who practice within the field, i.e. identifying emerging trends of importance, strategic thinking and input into ASM policy and strategic planning.  It is an important conduit of ideas to and from the ASM community, advises on priorities in microbial science and the profession, and organizes the science structure. Perhaps charged with producing an annual State of the Microbial Sciences.

Why:

  • ASM needs a future focused forum for coming together across microbial science to think strategically and focus our collective impact
  • We want to focus the talent gathered in such an assembly on issues of meaning and future importance, not on operational issues

Microbial Science Programs & Constituencies

What:

Current Boards and committees continue to provide focus and expertise in significant program and constituent areas, but turn fidcuiary responsibilities over to an elected Board of Directors.

Why:

  • Removes the conflict of interest inherent in current system
  • Facilitates program integration focused on organization wide goals

What Constitutes Broadly Representative? ASM Tracks provide a useful way of thinking about “broadly representative” in governance  – they are: 1) Applied and Environmental Science, 2) Clinical Science and Epidemiology, 3) Ecological and Evolutionary Science, 4) Host-Microbe Biology, 5) Molecular Biology and Physiology, 6) Therapeutics and Prevention, and 7) Profession of Microbiology.



[1] Whatever the final name, ASM believes it should convey “future focused on the microbial sciences”

 

How the Parts Fit Together

A visual depiction of our vision of interaction and relationships in a new system:

Proposals To Strengthen Governance Process

It is Important to Elect Governing Leaders

As the fiduciary[1] “trustees” of ASM,  the Board of Directors should be elected by the membership, rather than appointed by one or a very small group of leaders, and that these Directors should be “at large” and focused on the whole organization without specific responsibility for a program or constituency.

Shorter Term Limits Can Bring Talent and Fresh Faces

Shorter term limits (for example, 3 year terms with only one renewal) will:

  • Make member leadership roles more attractive to potential candidates
  • Allow more “fresh faces” to access and serve in leadership

Nomination and Selection Processes Must Be Credible and Transparent

Establish a credible, transparent, easily understood and accessible process for leadership recruitment, development, candidate selection and election. A regular assessment of needed perspectives and a self nomination process will modernize leadership selection methods and make leadership more attractive and accessible to newer members.

Accountability Mechanisms Can Help ASM Stay Relevant and True to a Member Driven Culture

The Board of Directors, Futures Assembly and Microbial Science Programs - Constituent Groups need to be accountably connected to members.  Examples:  mechanisms are self assessement, member surveys, 360° feedback and evaluation tools to create a culture of continual learning/adaptation based on direct data from members.

The first step is to reach final agreement on what ASM wants to create and why.

How ASM plans to “handle the details.”

  1. On April 18, 2015 ASM explored ideas with CPC and found that CPC wanted to move these ideas forward to the wider membership for discussion and feedback.
  2. ASM will move in three directions:  1) to Branches and Divisions through a Pyramid approach successful in the past, 2) to Council via Virtual Briefings in mid May to prepare for the June 2 meeting, and 3) to members and groups such as Past Presidents, former ASM leaders, and general members via ASM booth activities and feedback meeting opportunities throughout the ASM General Meeting.
  3. In July 2015 the Futures Project Group will define the details of the proposals based on the CPC feedback.
  4. And finally, a key element of this process will be the appointment of a Transition Team of members and staff, co-led by a top elected leader and the new ASM CEO, to 1) oversee the member discussion and voting process for any needed Constitution and Bylaws changes, 2) map out a way forward for transitioning to a new way of operating, and 3) work through the details of how Microbial Science Programs and Constituencies should best be organized.

ASM assumptions about transition are:

  • Those impacted by any changes must play a key role in defining how to implement the changes.  This means the Board of Directors’ first task will be to establish how it will operate.  The Futures Assembly would do the same.  And the Microbial Sciences Program and Constituency Groups will need to be thought through and defined by joint efforts of members and staff.
  • Wherever possible, the people in current positions affected by changes could be given the chance to complete their work before the change is implemented.

The Details So Far

During governance meetings ASM considered many alternatives for “details” in key dimensions  of governance, such as size, composition, and terms.  The Governance Principles helped ASM evaluate and determine the following promising ideas.

Dimensions of Governance

Proposed Board of Directors (BOD)

Proposed Futures Assembly of the Microbial Sciences (FAMS)

Accountability

TO ASM Members

FOR overall fiduciary oversight of strategic direction, financial, policy. Legal, business, and CEO (operations)

TO ASM Members

FOR future foresight, strategic thinking, advice to BOD about all matters related to science priorities and science structure, and communication to/from members

Meeting Frequency

Face to face 3-4 times per year with other and virtual meetings as needed

Transition idea: Board and Committee chairs meet once a year with the BOD

Face to face at least once a year (along with 1 or more virtual meetings) to develop BOD recommendation and a report on the state of the microbial sciences

Size and Composition

10 to 15 members

5 Officers 

2 Futures Assembly Chair and Vice Chair

5-9 At large directors encompasing diversity

1 CEO ex officio non voting

1 possible external director who is not a microbial scientist

24-70+ broadly representative members

2-8 members from each ASM track[2]

1-5 members from each: early career, international/ambassadors, board/committee chairs, branches, divisons and sister or partner organizations

Board and Academy chairs ex officio

Invited external guests

Terms

At large: 3 year term with one renewal then off one cycle or into officer ranks

External Director: 1 year appointment

3 year term with 1 renewal or with renewal only after 3 years off (and 6 year off option)

Leadership

Chair of the Board could be the Past President

A Chair and Vice Chair of the Futures Assembly could be elected by the Assembly for 1 year terms

Nomination & Election

Call to membership for candidates

Self nomination permitted

Nominating committee consults ASM leaders for criteria for selection and slates 2 candidates for each open slot

Membership elects directors

Establish its own nominating committee

Paired slates for each seat

Elected by the members

“Find your place in ASM” theme as a way to encourage engagement across ASM

Two other important dimensions of governance for further consideration:

Qualifications And Experience

What are the criteria/requirements for each position?

Membership Enfranchisement and Involvement

In what ways can members provide input to the policy and decision-making processes?

How can ASM ensure that member needs are recognized and addressed?

How are members informed about the work of the entity?


A Word About Microbial Science Program and Constituency Groups

(Currently called Boards and Standing Committees)


As already stated, we believe it is important for the new CEO and the senior staff, along with key ASM leaders to redesign this dimension of our member driven organization. 

ASM has identified three key challenges of its current structure:

  • Rather than encouraging a collaborative and collective effort toward accepted Society goals, the current structure encourages siloes often perceived as fiefdoms
  • This tendency is increased by a departmental structure that mirrors the governance structure
  • The possibility of serving three nine year terms is antithetical to modern practice and stymies the flow of fresh faces

ASM has identified design criteria for also modernizing this part of organizational structure:

  • Member focused and data driven
  • Future focused
  • Strategically focused
  • Two way member communication/dialogue/interactions
  • Transparent and accessible – structures easy to understand
  • Facilitates cross organization work (synergy)
  • Facilitates calculated risk taking
  • Operationally efficient with little redundancy
  • Receptive to new ideas and open to external input
  • Capacity to evolve as the science changes
  • Maximizes time and expertise of member and staff personnel
  • Wide pipeline for future leaders – inclusive of early career and international members
  • Regular turnover brings fresh faces and perspectives

ASM will explore how tocreate a system with these characteristics.

 

Sansalone Named ASM Interim Executive Director

WASHINGTON, DC – December 3, 2014 - Nancy A. Sansalone, MPA has been named Interim Executive Director of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) effective January 1, 2015.  She steps in for Michael Goldberg, who is retiring at the end of 2014 after 30 years of stellar leadership. She has been asked by the ASM Officers to lead the staff, to steward the operations and finances and to prepare the organization for change while the Society conducts an international search for a permanent Executive Director/CEO. The search is expected to begin in January 2015.

Sansalone joined ASM in 2010 as the Deputy Executive Director. In this role, she provides leadership and management expertise to the board leadership and staff to ensure the fulfillment of the Society’s mission and strategic plan and provides leadership direction for the Society’s operational, programmatic and business activities. 

Sansalone has spent her entire career in association management and higher education administration. Prior to joining ASM, she served as the CFO and Chief Operating Officer at the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and Vice President and CFO of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE). Previously, Sansalone worked for 10 years with the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), serving as Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer for the Council’s Board of Directors.

She also has served as a volunteer leader on numerous non-profit boards such as the National Association for Women in Education where she served as the elected President, the Washington Higher Education Secretariat Metropolitan Employer Trust as an Advisory Board member, Capital Association for Women in Education as President, National Conference for College Women Student leaders as Chair, National Center for Higher Education Meeting Professionals as Chair, American Society for Association Executives as a member of the Finance and Administration Advisory Board and as a member of the ERIC Clearing House on Higher Education Coordinating Board. She also has held administrative posts at both Harvard University working with international programs at the Kennedy School of Government and Northeastern University in the Cooperative Education Division.

Sansalone is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration. She completed work at Harvard University in their advanced graduate study in management program.

She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her spouse Jim and their four dogs.

ASM Futures Project (3)

OVERVIEW

The ASM Futures Project was launched in May of 2014 to address the questions:

  • Where will ASM need to focus in order to remain the preeminent scientific society in microbiology in the future?
  • And how could ASM be structured and do business in order to better achieve its strategic goals?

The project was designed by the ASM officers, with input from the senior staff, and in conjunction with Cygnet Strategy LLC in response to a series of strategic drivers of both strategic direction and strengthening governance:

  • The changing environment surrounding microbiology, the diversification of those in the field and the transition of the field to the broader context of microbial sciences
  • The shifting needs and wants of the next generation of members and potential members
  • The continuing and increasing challenge of ensuring ASM’s relevance to its current and future constituents
  • The changing of the guard in staff leadership, both with the ED position and senior staff  
  • The increased need for greater integration within ASM, both within the staffing and volunteer structures and in presenting an integrated ASM ‘brand’ to the marketplace
  • Increased pressure on volunteer time, leading to a desire for more diversification in means and methods of involvement and engagement
  • Inherent Conflicts of Interest in some aspects of existing governance structures and processes
  • The desire to complete the work of taskforces appointed to consider strategic planning and governance in 2013

more [+]

 

THE FUTURES PROJECT GROUP ROSTERmore [+]

 

THE PROGRAM ASSESSMENT/TACTICAL WORKGROUP ROSTER

more [+]

 

PART 1: ASM DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2021

more [+]


PART II: OVERVIEW OF GOVERNANCE THINKING

more [+]

Salivary Mucins Play Active Role to Fight Cavities

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 11, 2014 -- Salivary mucins, key components of mucus, actively protect the teeth from the cariogenic bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, according to research published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The research suggests that bolstering native defenses might be a better way to fight dental caries than relying on exogenous materials, such as sealants and fluoride treatment, says first author Erica Shapiro Frenkel, of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

S. mutans attaches to teeth using sticky polymers that it produces, eventually forming a biofilm, a protected surface-associated bacterial community that is encased in secreted materials, says Frenkel. As S. mutans grows in the biofilm, it produces organic acids as metabolic byproducts that dissolve tooth enamel, which is the direct cause of cavities. “We focused on the effect of the salivary mucin, MUC5B on S. mutans attachment and biofilm formation because these are two key steps necessary for cavities to form,” says Frenkel.

“We found that salivary mucins don’t alter S. mutans’ growth or lead to bacterial killing over 24 hours,” says Frenkel. “Instead, they limit biofilm formation by keeping S.mutans suspended in the liquid medium. This is particularly significant for S. mutans because it only causes cavities when it is attached, or in a biofilm on the tooth’s surface.” She adds that the oral microbiome is better preserved when naturally occurring species aren’t killed. “The ideal situation is to simply attenuate bacterial virulence,” she says.

The study grew out of previous work in the investigators’ laboratory showing that other types of mucins, such as porcine gastric mucins, had protective effects against common lung pathogens, says Frenkel. With this in mind, they suspected that salivary mucins would play a protective role, but they were not sure what that would be.

“Defects in mucin production have been linked to common diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and ulcerative colitis,” says Frenkel. “There is increasing evidence that mucins aren’t just part of the mucus for structure or physical protection, but that they play an active role in protecting the host from pathogens and maintaining a healthy microbial environment. We wanted to apply these emerging ideas to a disease model that is a widespread, global public health problem—cavities. We chose to study the interaction of MUC5B with Streptococcus mutans because it is the primary cavity-causing bacteria in the oral cavity.”

The research makes a fundamental contribution to scientific understanding of host-microbe interactions, says principal investigator Katharina Ribbeck, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA. “It is generating a paradigm shift from the textbook view of mucus as a simple catchall filter for particles, towards the understanding that mucus is a sophisticated bioactive material with powerful abilities to manipulate microbial behavior.”

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