This coming Friday will mark 100 days since I took on the role of CEO and President of NMSDC. People continue to ask me if I am still glad that I took on this role. I say other than dealing with wall-to-wall meetings, I feel I have truly found my calling! Many thanks to our team, the board, our MBEs, corporate members, our regional affiliate councils, and our strategic partners for reinforcing my decision to lead this organization rich with a long history and great opportunities.
Many of you reached out to me with one question: what is the future for NMSDC? My first thought was NMSDC’s next 50 years should be defined by all our stakeholders vested in the future of the minority businesses, racial wealth gap closure, and well-being of our society. Therefore, my approach has been to listen to all of you intently, not only with my mind but also with my heart. I have drawn tremendous wisdom and energy from those honest dialogues with you. Looking at the NMSDC world through the lens of our stakeholders has been a transformational experience for me.
In my various listening sessions, I always ended my conversation with the same question: if you had a magic wand and could change one thing to make NMSDC more successful, what would it be? The answer to this question helps us prioritize and focus. The most common response by far from our stakeholders is technology enablement – I could not have agreed more: upgrading technologies should be our top priority; there is no leadership without technology leadership. However, my 100-day discoveries also highlighted the need to prioritize our people and culture to make the most of this technological advancement initiative. Peter Drucker once said: “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Three weeks ago, with the in-kind contribution of one of our newest corporate members, Heidrick & Struggle, we conducted NMSDC’s first culture assessment. The results were humbling and eye-opening. As a result, I am personally committed to owning and driving a collaborative and high-performance culture at our national office and will foster the same spirit and practices for the entire network.
Last week, the executive team at the national office had a strategy retreat where we began drafting a five-year roadmap and 2022 plan based on your input and the EY study. In addition, we started designing a high-performance organizational structure and establishing priorities for our 50th anniversary year to build momentum for the next 50 years. We most definitely have our work cut out for us: 2022 will see us shake up the status quo, elevate the minority business agenda to the CEO level and policymakers, build and empower a strong team and drive a winning culture, adopt new technologies, build cohesion in the network, advance the NMSDC brand, and launch a “50 for 50” Capital Campaign to create an endowment for the future of minority businesses.
As we look ahead to 2022 and our 50th anniversary, please mark your calendars for our signature events which promise to be like no other, scheduled for:
- Leadership Week on May 9 – 13, 2022
- Annual Conference + BOE on October 30 – November 2, 2022
I will continue to host weekly “Huddle with Ying” sessions to meet many of you across our network.
I feel proud of what NMSDC has achieved and the challenges we have conquered over the past 50 years. No other FOR IMPACT organization can match what we have accomplished: $400 billion annual economic output, $2.2M jobs created or sustained, and $48 billion revenue for tax authorities. However, we have not nearly reached our full potential. I am excited to partner with you to tackle the BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) of growing NMSDC certified MBE revenue to $1 Trillion. As the old saying goes, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Please join me on this journey to 1 Trillion!
Have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday.
CEO & President NMSDC