Executive Summary - Report of the AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission

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March 24, 2011

The AVMA Executive Board created the AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission and charged its members to create a progressive vision for AVMA and make recommendations to ensure that the Association achieves this vision and continues to be relevant and responsive to its members and the general public.

Commission members concluded that great leaders and organizations have the capacity to improve what is, and concurrently, create what isn't. While Commission members acknowledge and applaud AVMA's efforts that strive for continuous improvement and support its current activities, the Commission focused most of its attention on creating what isn't—a new vision and associated pathways that will create an organization for 2020 that is profoundly different than the association of today.

The next decade is likely to usher in the most significant changes in AVMA's history—changes that are being driven by unprecedented globalization, remarkable technological advances and socio-economic changes. AVMA needs to create clarity in times of growing societal ambiguity and uncertainty, increasing global complexity, and increasing changes in expectations of members and stakeholders. The veterinary profession and the AVMA are being challenged to reconcile a fundamental shift of the profession from one that has traditionally prided itself on its strong independence, to now, integrating itself into a new interdependency that calls into question how AVMA works, operates, what it does and who are its future partners and members.

In order to reconcile these challenges, the Commission strongly endorses an organizational transformation leading to a new vision and the adoption of key strategies that will guide it to achieving the vision. The proposed vision for AVMA should be both inspirational and aspirational for AVMA membership, leadership and stakeholders. The Commission proposes the following vision.

The Association is the nation's leader in advancing veterinary medicine by:

  • Establishing and advancing a national agenda focused on the health and welfare of animals and their importance to our society
  • Securing a vital and economically viable future for all facets of the veterinary profession
  • Ensuring public appreciation and support for veterinary medicine to enable the profession to fulfill its essential role
  • Operating in a global context, recognizing the critical contribution that US veterinarians play internationally including global health, trade, food safety and security, and education
  • Building dynamic partnerships with key groups and sectors, both internally and externally, to ensure effective collaboration on issues of shared importance
  • Contributing to the growth and health of the veterinary profession, including ensuring that membership in the profession reflects the full spectrum of Americans
  • Functioning in a manner that promotes high trust, broad participation, and commitment among its diverse membership and other key stakeholders
  • Ensuring the organization expands its portfolio of opportunities and activities in animal welfare, research, emergency response, and public health, and drives demand
  • Unifying the diverse interests and specialties in the profession toward a common purpose and sense of community
  • Operating and governing proactively, strategically, and incorporating technological advances

The Commission recommends 11 organizational dimensions and strategic approaches. These eleven dimensions both define the above vision and provide the essential pathways to transform AVMA over the next decade.

By 2020, AVMA should have:

  • Achieved a new level of social responsibility and helped meet societal needs;
  • Become more influential – externally focused, spanned boundaries, and sparked a new public awareness of the profession's many contributions to society;
  • Helped drive improved economic performance and long-term financial stability for the entire profession;
  • Balanced its relationships with an increasingly complex and more diverse profession and group of stakeholders as the convener/facilitator leader to address critical issues;
  • Become global in perspective and actions;
  • Retained and gained new members by creating personalized services and portals that provide products and information anytime and anywhere for both AVMA members and the public;
  • Reflected the changing demographic, ethnic and generational differences of society and actively engaged more women in leadership roles;
  • Leveraged and adopted remarkable advances in technology that improve communications, education, connectivity, and engagement;
  • Governed, operated and made decisions and policies in a transparent, inclusive, and more democratized manner;
  • Created a special culture that is collaborative, customer-focused, forward-leaning, innovative, nimble, and inclusive;
  • Ensured it has the capacity to be knowledge-based, proactive, and responsive on critical issues.