I was going to use the word “final” instead of “another” in the headline to this post, but there is nothing final about the people who assembled at the 2016 Workers' Compensation Summit in Dallas last month. It is clear to us that most are in for the long haul, and genuinely hope to make a difference in our industry. Our telephonic meeting yesterday certainly reaffirmed that for me. 

The group released its notes several weeks ago, including 29 “Imperative Issues” that had been identified and discussed during the two-day meeting in Dallas. One of the unfinished items of business for us at that time was to assemble those issues into an order of priority, and to develop a “Statement of Purpose” to accompany that final list. The survey was completed last Friday, and yesterday's phone call reviewed the results. We expect that the priority list and accompanying Statement of Purpose will be published shortly after the July 4th holiday.

After that document is released, the next step for us is a meeting in August in Orlando, Florida, being held in conjunction with the WCI conference that is held there each year.

Analyzing and determining Imperative Issue priority was not a simple task. One of the things that was plainly evident to us was that we really had assembled a balanced group with different emphasis on sectors of the industry. On the surface, priority selection results were “all over the map”, with few clearly dominant ideas standing out of the fray. The chart below shows this pretty well, as it represents the direct voting pattern of the survey respondents on this exercise.

Still, upon detailed analysis, we were able to define patterns that left a much clearer picture than the one you see above. By grouping sections of the survey, and analyzing the frequency of issue listing in the top one third of the priority survey results versus the bottom two thirds, several Imperative Issues definitely stood out as more important to the group overall. That was the method that organizers settled on and recommended to the group. There will be a few days for the members to look over the data directly, and any input may be factored in before final publication of the results.

The phone call itself was fairly spirited, and suggestions were made on how the results from the prioritization exercise should be used to plan and guide the upcoming Orlando meeting. Not all of the original members will be able to attend in Orlando, but over half of them will either be there or send substitutes to represent their organizations. John Burton, Chairman of the 1972 Federal Commission on Workmens' Compensation, will be attending on behalf of a Dallas attendee. Given the nature of our purpose, it will be an honor to have him there. We are currently in the process of bringing in others to participate, relying on feedback from the broader community and the Dallas group to determine the best representation level for moving forward.

I continue to be pleased with our progress and reach within the industry. Every few days I see reference to the “Conversation” that we've started, either in articles by people weighing in on the process, or comments on LinkedIn and elsewhere. I don't necessarily agree with all of the analysis and commentary I read, but that is ok. Agreeing with me is not the point. The point was to get people talking, and moving this industry towards some true and thoughtful changes; and on that front I think we have scored a major success.

We look forward to issuing our “Final” report on Dallas soon. Especially because in this case, the end really is just the beginning…..

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