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October  2004

From the Publisher

Don't Fear the C Word
by Tara Taffera

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) are making great progress, according to the WDMA (see story page 45) in its latest attempt at merger discussions. The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance just announced that it has licensed 
its certification program to the Insulating Glass Certification Council.

This is all great news for the window and door industry and signals the fact that its members are making great strides at working together for the good of the industry, and the ultimate end user—the homeowner. 
In an industry that has several associations, this sometimes results in duplicate efforts resulting in duplicate certification programs and multiple voices before code bodies when one unified voice may be better. 
I was pleased to attend the WDMA’s latest summer meeting and learn of the great progress it is making with AAMA regarding merger talks. But even as the outlook is bright, ultimately (if it gets that far) this will come down to a vote of the members of each of these associations. And, if it does come down to a vote, no matter how many advantages may be outlined, it all may come down to the C word—change. Let’s face it—nobody likes it.

Just ask Cristine Corelli, keynote speaker at the WDMA conference (see story page 44). Much of her presentation spoke about how resistant people are to change. I couldn’t help but think how this will ultimately come into play as these talks continue, so I’m going to share with you some of her thoughts on this subject. Perhaps it will help you in your business decisions and maybe even when it comes time to say yea or nay regarding a possible merger. 

Corelli began by asking each person to press his palm against the person sitting next to him. She then had that second individual force his hand against the other in order to make her point.

“The more you resist change the harder it will be,” she said.

Talks are still in the early stages but obviously if AAMA and WDMA do merge change will be inevitable. What will the leadership structure be like? How many meetings will occur? What format will be meetings follow? These are just a few of the many questions that members may have and ultimately changes that may take place. 
As change is difficult because people get comfortable in their current ways, Corelli told members that it is up to the leaders to get people excited about new opportunities.

I’m sure this will help the presidents of each association and the members of each negotiating team as they may eventually have to lay out the plan to the membership of their respective organizations 

I encourage you to keep another point in mind from Corelli as you consider a possible merger, or even a business decision or a determination about new product development, etc.

“Risk-taking supported by reason can be a force of unlimited potential.”

Something we should all remember regardless of our industry. 

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