While in DC I also dropped in on Marty Stein, President of the National Parking Association. It fun meeting with Marty. He always has some new idea or plan to share.
This time it was “change.” Not the kind of “change” you would expect today in the nation’s capital, but change in how he holds his meetings. He told me that one week he noticed that everyone sat in the same chairs when they came to a staff meeting. His solution, he had them all move to different chairs, including himself.
“A funny thing happened,” He told me, “It was one of the most productive meetings we have had. I think giving people a new perspective, even if it’s only visual, makes a difference.”
He also told me that on Fridays, he has banned any internal emails. “People 20 feet away send an email asking a question. I’m copied and it generates a bunch of garbage: First the email, then the response, then “thank You’ then “You’re Welcome” then “OK’ then “Perfect” then “Gotcha.”
His in box is filled with messages, none of which are of much interest. So on Fridays, if the staff wants to have a discussion, they have to go and see the person. Wise man, that Marty.
We discussed the new “Branding” of the NPA which will be released next month. I got a sneak preview and its pretty sexy. They are replacing the time honored oval logo with something a bit more in keeping with the NPA’s more modern image. Its clean, crisp, and a winner.
He also gave me a tour of their new offices. They are in the same building, but a few floors higher, and much more updated. The view out of his office” “The White House and the Washington Monument” in one direction and the “former ” Russian embassy with its world class gardens in the other. That’s the Embassy the Russians moved out of when they discovered listening devices hidden in the walls during construction. Isn’t Washington fun.
Marty says the NPA is attempting to sign a “really big” keynote speaker for its convention this year in DC. He couldn’t tell me the name, but he guaranteed that it’s a “biggie”. He added that the downturn in the economy has lowered the honorarium paid to speakers by as much as half. We’ll keep you posted.