Leadership Summit: A Cool Place to Tackle Hot Issues

Insights | February 11, 2019 | by Stephen Maag

LeadingAge members will get to learn from one another at this year's re-imagined Leadership Summit, which takes place March 17-20. There's no better way to learn about cool ideas for tackling today's hot issues, writes Steve Maag.

We all know how challenging it is to operate in the aging services world. I hear a lot about these challenges when I visit and talk with LeadingAge members throughout the year. Like you, they’re feeling pressures around a number of issues, including:

  • Recruitment and retention of high-quality staff at all levels;
  • Federal and state reimbursement for some services; and
  • Regulation, which continues to place significant burdens on operations.

Sometimes these challenges can seem overwhelming, especially for organizational leaders who feel they’re facing day-to-day pressures all alone.

I know it’s not easy to manage a life plan community or an assisted living setting. But I’m here to tell you that there’s a lot of positive news out there about innovative programs, services, partnerships, and new initiatives that members are carrying out to address the challenges we all face.

Sharing Cool Ideas

The trouble is that it’s not always easy for organizational leaders to learn about the innovative approaches that other members are developing. A member in Massachusetts may be developing a cool program to address workforce issues, but members in Washington State won’t necessarily know about it.

At least, not until now.

Cool programs, cool strategies, and cool innovations will be front and center when LeadingAge members gather in Washington, DC, March 17-20 for the LeadingAge Leadership Summit.

This annual springtime summit used to go by the name, “PEAK.” But this year, it has a new name and a new, pretty cool agenda.

Our skilled education team has re-imagined our spring gathering, so it now focuses squarely on what I think LeadingAge members need so much: the opportunity to connect with one another, learn about the great initiatives that are being implemented by members around the country, and spend time together doing some big thinking about the big issues facing our field.

A quick scan of the summit schedule and materials, now available on the Leadership Summit's easy-to-navigate website, should convince you about the value of attending this year’s gathering. If you haven’t yet registered, do yourself and your organization a favor by checking out the impressive list of sessions that await you in March.

Tapping into Our Shared Expertise

What I find most exciting about this year’s summit is that it taps into and shares the tremendous expertise of our members. I don’t think there’s a better way to spark innovation than to bring together professionals in the field of aging services and let them talk to one another. That’s exactly what will be happening at the Leadership Summit.

Sessions that caught my attention will look at areas that I know are on the minds of members, like:

Market disruptors: I’m always on the lookout for innovations that will change our services in the future. So, I’m planning to attend a session called, “Staying Ahead of Disruption: Could Eldercare be Amazonized or Ubered?” In addition, “Macro Shocks Reshaping the Aging Services Landscape” definitely looks like a topic worth checking out.

Strategic thinking: Strategic thinking involves putting new information and insights to work for your organization in new ways. There are a number of sessions that promise to spark your own strategic thinking, including “Housing and Services for the Middle Market” and “Adapting to Strategic Trends: The Cornerstones of Success.”

Strategic partnerships: We know that aging services are becoming increasingly complex, and that partnering with others is becoming a lot more common. That’s why I think the session on “Building Scale and Sophistication through Strategic Relationships” will be an important one to attend.

New visions: It’s just plain exciting to envision new ways of doing things, and we’ll get plenty of opportunities for that during this year’s new “Visioning Sessions.” Together, we’ll try to step outside our mental models to imagine a new future for aging services, dream about the benefits of artificial intelligence, and get ready for our collective “moonshot” to solve the workforce crisis.

Doing Important Work on Capitol Hill

Last but not least, our advocacy and public policy team will hold briefings on Wednesday, March 20 in preparation for our annual visit by members to Capitol Hill that afternoon.

Member visits are a critical component of LeadingAge’s efforts to have a voice in public policy at the federal level. Congressional representatives need to hear your stories about the issues that matter most to you, including:

  • How changes to Medicare or Medicaid would affect your organization and the people you serve, and
  • The critical shortage in affordable senior housing and what needs to be done begin to address this shortage.

There’s one thing we know at LeadingAge: Members of Congress listen to their constituents. And the power of a personal conversation cannot be overestimated. So, I hope you’ll sign up to walk the halls of Congress with us on Wednesday. It will be fun!

Register Today

You really don’t want to miss this year’s re-imagined Leadership Summit.

You’re sure to come away from the summit with new ideas, new perspectives, new friends, and lots of information you can use to make your job easier and enhance your organization’s programs and services. I also suspect you’ll leave Washington with the firm belief that you made a difference—for your organization and the people you serve—by speaking your truth on Capitol Hill.

I’m excited about our Leadership Summit and I hope you are too. I’m also looking forward to seeing you in DC.

The Leadership Summit begins in less than 5 weeks, so I hope you’ll register today.