A Resilient Organization

Katharine E. Morgan

A new year gives us the opportunity to look back over the previous months with introspection. For many of us, 2020 is not a year we’d be interested in repeating or dissecting. It was a year filled with unprecedented challenges and disruptions. But it was also a year filled with resilience, and we saw that resilience take many forms throughout ASTM International. 

We saw resilience in our members as they pushed ahead with new ballot actions and approved standards despite the cancellation of in-person meetings. Our members showed flexibility as they transitioned almost seamlessly to virtual meetings for standards development, symposia, and the Officers’ Training Workshop. And their resilience was on full display as our members forged ahead developing standards to address the pandemic impact. 

We also saw resilience in our staff as they discovered the balance of working, being teachers, and serving as caregivers in a world where traditional workflows changed almost overnight. Our staff also found ways to connect with members, customers, and partners across different time zones, learned how to navigate new technologies, and continued to support our mission of helping our world work better — sometimes while working from inside cars while power was interrupted in their homes. They even took up new hobbies such as gardening or baking. 

And finally, we saw organizational resilience through the completion of our annual business plan and headway in normal operations, with the exception of face-to-face meetings. We’ve also seen the construction of a new technology platform that will take ASTM into the future and make our operations more flexible and responsive, ensuring organizational resilience in 2021 and beyond.

A new year also provides the opportunity to look ahead at exciting new possibilities of what’s to come. Together we can leverage the positives discovered in 2020 and integrate them into a new normal. 

This year, we will launch exciting new  programs and services for our members, customers, and global partners. We’re also going to open a new office in Singapore to better serve the region. 

With the support of our new board chair, John Logar, we will set forth strategic initiatives to support our members and showcase the value of ASTM International at the individual and organizational levels. John has been a valued part of ASTM for more than 20 years. You can read about his personal journey and objectives as chair HERE.

We look forward to the development of fresh and exciting content that promotes our mission and our process. And we look forward to the continued efforts of our members to create new standards and revise existing standards across the many industries we serve.

We are also looking ahead to this spring’s publication of the Office of Economic Cooperation and Development case study, which will highlight ASTM International’s impact and role in global economic cooperation.

Personally, I am very much looking forward to the return of in-person meetings and global outreach. Since my days as a staff manager, I’ve always enjoyed the energy of our committee weeks and independent meetings, where the best of ASTM International is on display.

Despite its challenges, 2020 was a year filled with growth, flexibility, and resilience for ASTM International, our members, and staff. The experience gained and lessons learned from facing these challenges will make us that much stronger and more determined as we begin 2021.

Katharine E. Morgan
President, ASTM International

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