Eliminate Either ACSM or NSPS, or Merge the Two, Which is Best?



In this week’s Professional Land Surveyor Survey, I’m asking for your opinion on:

Eliminate Either ACSM or NSPS, or Merge the Two, Which is Best?

A while back I wrote about, and also created the Professional Land surveyor Survey, Professional Land Surveyor Survey-Should the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) Separate from the American Congress on Surveying & Mapping (ACSM)? This post and Professional Land Surveyor Survey is very similar, but I want to begin a larger discussion on our societies and professional organizations.

First, every society and organization, beginning at the state level and right up to the national level (and beyond), from what I've experienced and seen, are well intentioned and have many hard working individuals dedicated to promoting and advancing our land surveying profession. However, the road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions.

Read more after the jump and take the Professional Land Surveyor Survey:

Eliminate Either ACSM or NSPS, or Merge the Two, Which is Best?

  • Eliminate Both and Create a New and Better National Association. (67%, 32 Votes)
  • Eliminate NSPS. (27%, 13 Votes)
  • Merge ACSM and NSPS. (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Eliminate ACSM. (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 50

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Good Intentions, Lack of Focus, Fiefdoms and Unity (or lack thereof)

As I said above, rarely have I seen where any group, ACSM, NSPS, or others, does not intend well with their groups efforts. Sadly, however, this is often not enough. Taking your good intentions to the next level, with successful results, is what really matters.

Ah, but what does "successful results" really mean? Well, it may mean something different to each individual or group stakeholder. This is where focus enters into the equation. A shotgun approach to anything often results in a hodgepodge result at best. So, a razor sharp focus on the needs of the industry and its members is critical.

And, that's not to say that there isn't a focused results oriented culture at any one of these groups. In fact, I often think that one major failing, particularly with ACSM, is it doesn't promote its value and successes very well. Also, it is difficult when two or more organizations have, in general, the same focus.

Fiefdoms are ugly places. The idea that any group or cause revolves around an individual, or small group of individuals, with self-serving agendas is very damaging, even if that idea is only a perception. When that self-serving agenda is about personal power, it's very sad, but when it's about money, it's very disturbing. I'm not sure if "personalities" is what is behind these ACSM-NSPS wars, but you can rest assured that money probably is. Turf wars are often about money.

Lack of unity, ultimately, is what will cripple these organizations and what diminishes our success as a profession and industry. It does not matter to me if there is one or many organizations that represent, promote and advance our profession and industry. What matters most, is that they all work together for the benefit of the whole. This requires looking at the big picture and compromise. Obviously, one giant unified organization, if focused on the needs of its members, would be best, so maybe we should eliminate both ACSM and NSPS and create a new giant all-encompassing organization called "SCANMAPS" (Surveyors Congress of American National Mapping All-Encompassing Professional Society).

In my next post, I'll delve into this subject a little more with what I think a solution could be. Bye for now, and don't forget to vote!

This Professional Land Surveyor Survey has been brought to you by EricColburn.com, The Professional Land Surveyor Source.

Eric D. Colburn, PLS, "The Geo-Business Innovator", helps geo-professionals improve through innovative solutions, mastery of marketing and business growth strategies, and coaching/training. Eric is a successful, serial entrepreneur, podcaster, industry writer, product development consultant, and RI licensed professional land surveyor.

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