Race for Relevance (RFR)

NEW! NSPE Statement of Strategic Direction: The Society's commitment to an ongoing process of continuous organizational improvement.

Race for Relevance Final Report
Race for Relevance Final Report, July 2013

NSPE Up and Running in "Race For Relevance"

The "Race for Relevance" is ON. In late 2011, NSPE began to look at a book that many organizations have used to improve their results.  The "Race for Relevance" (RFR) – authored by Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers, CAE – provided the foundation for the discussion by the NSPE Board and then by the House of Delegates and State Society leaders. 

NSPE conducted surveys of stakeholders to determine how the concepts that are discussed in the book resonated with NSPE, its leaders, its members and its mission.  Survey feedback indicated several areas where NSPE should improve performance.  

NSPE's Council of Past Presidents met at the Annual Meeting and fully endorsed the recommendations included in the RFR.  During an afternoon general session at the Annual Meeting, Mr. Coerver provided a presentation to leaders from throughout our organization.   Dan Wittliff, PE, F.NSPE, followed Mr. Coerver with a summary of the surveys that were taken regarding the RFR.   Videos of this general session and links to the surveys can be found below.  

President Wittliff's PowerPoint presentation can be reviewed by using the link below.  Its conclusions led to the formation of six task forces including three that address membership-related initiatives.

The six task forces are: 1) Membership Delivery Systems, Communications & Technology Task Force, 2) Membership Retention Task Force, 3) Membership Marketing, Market Segmentation and Incentives Task Force, 4) Program Prioritization Task Force, 5) NSPE Strategic Partnerships Task Force, 6) NSPE Self-Assessment/Introspective Task Force.

The charges for these six task forces are included below.

The task forces will provide preliminary reports to NSPE's Board of Directors in late October 2012. Final reports will be completed in time for the January 2013 Board of Directors meeting.

There is still time to get on board and your assistance and insight will serve to further improve our organization.

Contact NSPE Vice President Harve Hnatiuk, P.E., F.NSPE (hhnatiuk@maidaeng.com) to volunteer to participate on any of these task forces.

Race for Relevance Task Forces

  • Membership Delivery Systems, Communications & Technology Task Force:
    Review the relevancy of NSPE's current communication program(s). Develop recommendations for a tailored, customized communications campaign as a means to target the recruitment, retention, and education of the various generational members of NSPE, i.e. millennial younger engineers on licensure track. Validate content and message of communications. Determine the most cost effective means including the use of technology and social media. Investigate and develop recommendations for ways to track membership activity.
  • Membership Retention Task Force:
    Investigate the underlying reasons for drops and develop recommendations to address the most common reasons. Investigate and develop recommendations for intervention. Coordinate with Technology Task Force.
  • Membership Marketing, Market Segmentation & Incentives Task Force:
    Develop 3-tier marketing program with the states to 1) jointly promote state and NSPE benefits and membership and 2) develop marketing program to assist transition state‐only members to three‐tier memberships. Undertake research to determine the current number of licensed, resident professional engineers in each state compared to historical records to determine the percentage of market penetration in each individual state. Identify target areas where the greatest efficacy can be realized for expended resources. Identify possible recruitment and retention activities. Coordinate with the other membership task forces.
  • Program Prioritization Task Force
    Examine the current services and programs offered by NSPE to see what programs and services are relevant, what programs and services benefit NSPE (Bang for the Buck), and what programs and services are most relevant for which generational group. Investigate and determine from both members and non‐members the primary needs of the Professional Engineer.
  • Self Assessment/Introspective Task Force:
    Assess whether or not "licensure" or the "Professional" engineer is relevant in today's economic world, both internal to the industry and external (the public). Is the "Professional" engineer antiquated, misunderstood, or irrelevant? Determine public perception and understanding of licensure. Determine threats to and opportunities related to licensure. Identify and recommend outcomes. Determine the areas where NSPE should be exerting its influence and the means and methods to achieve desired outcomes. What are we doing now that is not working? What other things can we be doing to create better outcomes with respect to attracting new members and retaining current members? What changes can be made to the Annual Meeting to make improve it? Should we go back to making it more attractive to the general membership?
  • Strategic Partnerships Task Force:
    NSPE is very much aligned with ASCE on many fronts. What other organizations should we be aligned with? How can we collaborate with these organizations? Investigate if we can exchange education on ethics and related professional issues at their conferences in exchange for them providing technical or other relative content at NSPE conferences.

Race for Relevance PowerPoint & Video

RFR Session Video–Part 1
Harrison Coerver, co-author of the book "Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations," attended NSPE's annual meeting in San Diego to discuss the recommendations in his book with NSPE leaders. He also answered questions and provided examples of changes other associations have made to survive and thrive in the future.
Race for Relevance - Coerver Presentation to NSPE

Race for Relevance - Witliff Presentation to NSPE
Following the presentation by Race For Relevance co-author Harrison Coerver, 2012-13 NSPE President Dan Witliff, P.E., DEE, F.NSPE addressed the audience at the annual meeting in San Diego to outline how the book and its principles can apply to NSPE and benefit the organization moving forward.
Race for Relevance - Witliff Presentation to NSPE

Race for Relevance - Q&A Session
Following both Harrison Coerver (co-author of the book) and NSPE President Dan Witliiff's presentations, a question and answer session was held for NSPE leaders during the annual meeting in San Diego.
Race for Relevance - Q&A Session

Initial Surveys and Planning Documents (members only)

Race for Relevance Survey Results (June 2012)

  • Survey 1 - Membership analyzed with key summaries
  • Survey 2 - Market analyzed with key summaries
  • Survey 3 - Optimum-Member-Market analyzed with key summaries
  • Survey 4 - Efficacy-of-Programs analyzed with key summaries
  • Survey 5 - Criteria for Board Members analyzed with key summaries
  • Results of first Race for Relevance survey with top rankings highlighted in yellow

RFR Task Force Progress Reports

  • September 10, 2012 Progress Report
  • Task Force Interim Reports to the NSPE Board of Directors, October 2012:
    • Membership Delivery Systems, Communications, & Technology Task Force
    • Membership Retention Task Force
    • Membership Marketing, Market Segmentation & Incentives Task Force
    • Program Validation & Evaluation Task Force
    • Strategic Partnerships Task Force
    • Self Assessment & Introspective Task Force

Preliminary Recommendations (December 2012)—Dues and Billing Standardization Task Force

  • Dues and Billing Standardization Task Force Recommendations

Membership Delivery Systems, Communications & Technology Task Force

  • Delivery Systems Communications Technology Task Force Report and Recommendations
  • Membership Delivery Systems, Communications, Technology Task Force Final Report and Recommendations

Membership Marketing, Market Segmentation & Incentives Task Force

  • Membership Marketing, Segmentation & Incentives Task Force Final Report and Recommendations

Membership Retention Task Force

  • Retention Task Force Report and Recommendations

Program Prioritization Task Force Program

  • Program Prioritization Task Force Final Report and Recommendations 1 through 11
  • Program Evaluation and Validation Task Force Final Report and Recommendations