CAI did it again this year with 2 ½ days of inspirational networking, learning and reflection. The community management industry is changing so quickly from outside influences; including unpredictable forces like natural disasters, rapidly-evolving technology, and a competitive job market are forcing industry leaders to navigate an ever-changing landscape more quickly than ever before.

The group discussed the difference between working in your company and working on your business. And with the recent natural disaster just miles away from the Boca Raton conference, in the Panhandle of Florida, Hurricane Michael was fresh on the minds of many attendees. Though these are obviously tough times for many residents, it was powerful to see the knowledge share that was happening among industry leaders at the event who were looking for the best ways to help their residents in need. Industry leaders from all over shared stories of overcoming past natural disasters and the importance of preparation.

It’s easy to get caught up in the operational details and day-to-day challenges. But ultimately, this event was a reminder to set aside time to plan, develop and prepare for what we sense is coming on the horizon, as well as the unexpected.

Along the same lines, operational success is dependent on the balance between big picture thinking and day-to-day execution. Marketing is a perfect example. We discussed that it’s important to always be attracting, converting, closing and delighting new customers. During busy times, it’s hard to consider these activities to be priorities. But if we consider what we learned about the importance of thinking big picture, we are reminded that planning for future growth is something we need to take action on today. So while thinking ‘how can I delight my customers today’ we must also consider, ‘What can I do today to attract new customers for the future?’

Ultimately, alignment on the details up front empowers your business to operate most efficiently and successfully. So whether it’s a contract with a new customer you’re on-boarding, or a new emergency evacuation policy you’re rolling out, the details are critical. Our goals are often more aligned than we think. The details in something as big as new contract or as small as an event flyer empower us as leaders to continue to lead this industry to success.

The sessions, keynotes and leaders at CEO-MC were a great reminder of the impact we can have on our communities. And I’m fortunate for the opportunity to continue to share knowledge, experience and success with many of you throughout the year. If you’d like to continue to grow your network and expand your reach, consider a quick chat with me to learn more about Innovia co-op. After all, we’re in this together and our residential community cooperative is a perfect example of that.

Thanks again to all of you!

– Mary Hurand, President, Innovia co-op