Saturday, April 19, 2008

Organising the Organisers

I am incredibly privileged to be the President of AAPO (Australasian Association of Professional Organisers), with this privilege comes responsibility. Sometimes that is great others it can help me to lose sleep.
You know that feeling when you are juggling to many balls????? Then hoping like heck none get dropped as it is your head they will land on. I feel a little like that today. I have returned from the most inspirational, exciting and uplifting Conference in Reno. (This is a pic of the wonderful Linda Chu, President of POC Professional Organizers of Canada who I shared some laughs with in Reno)
This has meant that I was able to see 20 years into the future.
The Profession of Organising has been alive and well in the US for over 25 years and this was the 20th Conference for NAPO. As an attendee I absorbed some fantastic words of wisdom from many speakers and other PO's alike.
This gave me so much faith and inspiration that here in New Zealand I am doing the right thing. I may be a little ahead of my time, as so many do not understand what it is we do, but I must not give in. As I now that if someone else comes along and starts a PO business in a couple of years time they will get the rewards for the amazing work that is being done now in this pioneering time.
As the President of our local association AAPO, I feel compelled to spend a good deal of my time promoting the industry so that the members of AAPO can grow their business's in an environment that is more accepting of this new industry. Yet some days I have trouble finding the balance between, spending the time promoting the industry as a whole and then others promoting my own business. TOTALLY ORGANISED LIMITED (yes a small shameless plug).
So how does one organise the organiser, so that this balance can be fair, even and equitable? I am certainly open to suggestions from the floor.
Just a few Saturday evening musing for you to ponder.
Have a fab one.


Megan @ Disorder2Order said...

Hi Wendie!

I have to giggle a little, this picture here must have been taken pre or post noodle hut meal. I met you in line and recommended the number 5! I also had the chance to meet you at the blogger meeting. Great blog Wendie... you are the guru! Look forward to watching your blog!

Wendy Davie - Organising Guru said...

I remember! this was taken after noodle hut meal. Which by the way was the best meal I had in the hotel, War Wonton Soup.
Thankyou for your lovely compliment on my blog as well, have agreat Sunday.

Julie Bestry said...

My post seems to have been eaten by cyberspace the other day, so let's try again...

Wendy, I feel your pain, especially about those who will come after you, benefitting from your efforts. :-) (it reminds me of how all the Gen Y/Millennials here don't realize that in the 60's/70's, the "equality" they can take for granted just didn't exist. Imagine how Gloria Steinem must rue it every time 20-somethings says they aren't feminists!)

When I started my professional organizing business in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2002, I was pretty much the only one -- I was so envious of my NAPO-Georgia chapter colleagues, because the industry was so much better understood there than here, mere 90+ miles away! It seemed that in order to bring people to understand the value I could offer, they needed to understand what a professional organizer was, in the first place! (Bear in mind, this was before blogs, and *just* slightly before people had generally heard of Mission: Organization, Clean Sweep, Clean House and the like, and the only PO anyone seemed to know was Oprah's, Julie Morgenstern.

But there's a magic about what we do, Wendy, that the more we share about ourselves, the more we learn to talk about what we do in terms of ourselves as part of a society, "As a professional organizer, it's my philosophy that...", the more people will grow to understand. So, every time you promote yourself, you are promoting the industry, and every time you promote the industry (especially if it's on the web, where a properly cited interview will include a link to your site), you'll be promoting yourself.

So, as a leader in the industry, recognize that promoting yourself is good for everyone -- you'll often hear the NAPO-ites saying "a rising tide lifts all ships". It's true. When we get together for GO (Get Organized) Month activities, we're primarily promoting our collective industry efforts, but the mere placement of our names/URLs in print interviews and articles, or our voices and faces on radio and TV interviews, strengthens the whole as well as the parts.

So feel confident that every marketing effort you employ, on behalf of yourself or AAPO, helps everyone concerned. (Just like our disorganized clients becoming organized provides a benefit not only for them, but for their spouses and children, for their coworkers and companies, for their communities and the world...OK, well, you know what I mean.)

Benson Agoha said...

Hello Wendy,

I have just read your post on organising the organisers and, the inference I made from your question is that you might be feeling a little guilty in having to out contract your personal needs to outside organisers.

Well, the most important thing I think you should bear in mind here is that, except for dedicated disorganisers, everyone is an organiser of a sort and everyone needs organising somehow.

Be confident and please try to see it this way, outcontracting your needs where necessary is like being a leader who accepts that he can also follow. It wins you more support, shows you are not a `know-all' kind of fella. It also shows that you are not greedy and prefers excellence to mediocrity brokered by selfishness. Am I communicating. It is absolutely right to allow onself to be organised by others, even if you are the organiser.

I am glad that this position is shared by well meaning contributors....

More powers to your elbow Wendy.

Benson Agoha
London, UK