By the time we published our Post expressing concern and frustration over the woebegone registration for the November GA, the JFNA Chairs had already begun all all-out press for attendance. Was the catalyst the "disclosure under cross-examination" of the depressed numbers of Registrants by CEO Jerry to the Chairs; or did they come to realize that the GA program (or at least as much of it as had been made public) lacked any buzz and any names; or was it something else?
Doesn't matter. There has been almost a daily drumbeat of announcements about programmatic changes (excellent), new speakers (not so much), and the like. It's all probably too little and too late but it's something, ya' know. And something is better than the nothing that was on the plate up to this point in time. And it didn't have to be this way.
About seven years ago, JFNA had in hand a set of recommendations for reviving the GA. It appeared on the cusp of implementing them, when the then "leaders" -- Kanfer, Manning, Rieger -- for reasons known only to them, shut down the "implementation," and shelved the recommendations. I would make a small wager that no one knows where that Report is: I have a copy should anyone ask. And, the most incredible thing? Manning was party to the Report and Recommendations just as she was a party to its suppression. This is all so JFNA, isn't it? Those Recommendations were not earth-shattering, but they were planful, thoughtful and would have put JFNA in a different place today than on the cusp of lowest Registration in the modern history of GAs.
We have reprinted suggestions from many of you on how to make the GA more attractive, more exciting and more meaningful. And, I have welcomed your suggestions on this matter more than most inasmuch as the one GA I chaired, back in 2002, while a financial "success," with a number of superb "name" presenters and panelists, important campaign events and excellent attendance, lacked that same "buzz," in my recollection as this one might without more. And, to think that a Jerusalem GA could lack "buzz" is unthinkable.
So I am gratified that the JFNA Chairs appear to have taken charge. And, certainly, the GA is not the only place where their intervention could have positive and lasting impact.