AOCS Annual Report — 2010
Letter from the Executive Vice President
2010 was a year of continuing growth and change within the AOCS organization and staff . AOCS is similar to most organizations in that we are continually working to adapt our strategy to keep up with the rate of change within the business environment. In a classic McKinsey article* from 2003, when the full breadth and depth of economic change was far from revealed, the authors identified four conditions for managing organizational change including:
1. a purpose to believe in
2. reinforcement systems
3. the skills required for change
4. consistent role models
More recently, McKinsey interviewed authors Chip and Dan Heath about their research leading to a new book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard**. They emphasize the emotional versus rational part of change. Specifically, that our minds can understand why we need to change, but that 90 percent of our ability to change is emotional, and that 90 percent is harder to convince!
Even with a tightly reined budget, we are succeeding in serving the technical, research, education, and information needs of professionals, both within our membership and outside of it. AOCS attempts grand things, with almost no margin for error, primarily based upon the huge talents of our members, who continued to generate books, articles, and collaborative studies. Without grants or government aid to sustain us, we launched products into the marketplace, developed by and for you and your colleagues. And in this high-risk business environment that is deeply affected by the change around us, we moved forward with the will and intent to provide you with the professional information and network you require.
We are proud to report that we had another year in the black, earned interest income on our investments, collected money through our Foundation, reduced our building debt to less than four percent of our annual budget, and are ready to invest in the future. Since you, our members, are our only shareholders, it is to your sole benefit that our resources continue to grow.
It seems that the one thing that hasn’t changed throughout this decade of change has been the mission of AOCS, which drives everything we do. We continue to be:
“… a global forum to promote the exchange of ideas, information, and experience, to enhance personal excellence, and to provide high standards of quality among those with a professional interest in the science and technology of fats, oils, surfactants, and related materials.”