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Growth = change

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AWMAC by Nick Anastas
Nick Anastas is vice president of the AWMAC Ontario Chapter, a member of the NAAWS Manual and AWMAC Joint Standards Committee, and past-chair of the National GIS Commitee. He can be reached at: nick@awmacontario.com
Growth and change are popular buzzwords in modern business. Especially in the woodworking industry. Often, we’ll hear them thrown around with tired words and phrases like paradigm shift, robust, core competency, or even the dreaded synergy.
But like these annoyingly common catchphrases, the bottom line is that while they might sound good, a lot of people just don’t get what they mean. Or more importantly, what they should mean for them.
We generally understand that when children, kittens, or puppies grow, they change. They aren’t simply bigger versions of the same thing; they fully evolve into entirely different entities. With new needs, new abilities, new goals, and new ideas.
But we look at our businesses and think that growth is synonymous with more. More staff, more sales, more space… But change usually just means new, and often, scary, but rarely better.
Most successful companies have figured out this is not true. They’ve identified that beyond a certain point, true growth is not simply scalable (ugh… another buzzword…). In order to realize the growth they’ve envisioned, they need to implement real change. They envision the new needs, and the new capabilities that will be required. They set out new goals and they plan the path to achieve them.
And that is where leadership is differentiated from simple management.

AWMAC is no different.
It wasn’t all that long ago that AWMAC was a series of disjointed regional chapters doing their own thing. The fact that so many were doing the same thing, but separately, meant that the problems they wanted to solve, the goals they wanted to achieve were common from coast to coast.
AWMAC National was born out of those needs. And as AWMAC has grown, our goals and needs have evolved.
In order to achieve our “One Goal, One Team” vision, we need to grow into a team where every chapter sees itself as a player. Where every member can see himself or herself as a player. Where every employee, middle manager, business owner, and craftsperson can feel that they are a valued player, with the common goal of the advancement of our illustrious trade.
We are all stewards, charged with the preservation and the advancement of our craft. Modern CNCs, routers and circular saws don’t change the simple fact that our trade dates back thousands of years.
Every one of us should feel duty-bound to leave this industry better than we found it.
Our regional chapters, our national board, our standing committees are all member-driven, bringing the real-world experience of today’s industry to the table. Direct member input has always been the cornerstone of every policy and standard put into place by the association.
The growth of our association has brought about the changes our members have needed. Some have seemed glacially slow, others remarkably fast. And, as we constantly grow into the next iterations of AWMAC, strengthening the architectural woodworking industry, it will be the voices of our members that guide us to push forward in the right direction.
In uncertain times, in times of unforeseen changes, it is the teams that have the strongest bonds, the most mutual support and cohesion that ultimately survive and thrive. As a team, AWMAC will continue to support its chapters, members, clients, and industry. And we invite you to join us, to add your voices; as members, as volunteers, as leaders.
Only together, can our changes create the greater growth we all want to achieve.
We need you on our team.

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