I'm in San Francisco this weekend for a meeting of the AAR's board of directors. This is a group I've belonged to since 2007. I've seen a lot of changes come and go.
Yet in many ways, the board that is meeting this weekend is a brand new organization. Last time we met, we were a bloated, unwieldy group of 27. Now we are a lean dozen. The agenda looks much the same as those from the last four years, yet the meeting is bound to feel quite different.
I know about three-quarters of the people on the current board well, having served with them over the last several cycles. In contrast to the way turnover used to happen in the big group -- change swallowed up by size and continuity, novelty discouraged in favor of wrestling two dozen people through a huge chunk of business -- those three or four people who are new to the board are likely to have a major role in setting the tone.
Our work began with a meeting of the Executive Committee at 4 pm, just 45 minutes after I arrived at the hotel, and continued with a lengthy dinner tonight. Tomorrow we'll be on task from 9 to 5, taking lunch together, and on Sunday from 9 to 12. It was once hard for me to imagine what kind of business might be so massive and complex as to take a full-day meeting to complete; no longer. Now I only wonder how we'll find the time to get through it all in the short day and a half allotted to us.
At home it's midnight, my children are asleep, and I hope my husband soon will be. I hope their Saturday is smashing, and I wish I were there with them, even though I wouldn't want to miss out on being here, either.