September Leadership Forum

Here we are on the cusp of October! Wow- time flies when you’re having fun and everyone is in high gear for our IABC. We’re entering a busy time of the IABC year with three region conferences and regional leadership institutes coming up in the next four weeks, along with the all-important October Membership Month which is going to be stellar this year!

For all the scoop check out our September Leadership Forum featuring our Awards Committee Chair, Lynn Barter, ABC.

Some important links and hashtags for you:

Also, please mark your calendars for the upcoming Leadership Forums. We’re staggering the times for these monthly conversations with leaders so as to engage as many time zones as possible with as little “pain” as possible. We definitely want you to get your sleep!

Here are the dates and times coming up:

26 October at 2 p.m. Pacific Time

16 November at 10 a.m. Pacific Time

14 December at 2 p.m. Pacific Time

25 January at 10 a.m. Pacific Time

In the meantime, please do reach out with any questions, input, suggestions, recommendations and insights. Your contributions are encouraged and most welcomed. Let’s #createconnection and #engage2excel like never before!

With deep appreciation for all you do for our IABC,

Dianne
chair@iabc.com

Bringing out the best in us: #IABC1720 Strategy sessions kickstart in Brussels today

Regional leaders launch our global conversation campaign to shape IABC’s next 3-year strategy at the Europe Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) leadership institute today.

  • What do you value most about IABC?
  • What works?
  • What do you want more of?
  • What brings life to our brand via the engagement and satisfaction you feel from being part of our professional communications community?

These questions frame the appreciative inquiry approach we’re using to create a shared vision of the future into 2020 and beyond.

Michael Nord, IEB member facilitating
Michael Nord, IEB member facilitating

Today we launch the discovery phase of this strategy process. It’s a global listening tour that will travel through a series of world cafes at regional conferences, leadership institutes and select chapter events over the next few months.

These sessions aim to engage our community to explore the best of what we are with an eye toward what more we could be.

Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair
Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair

IABC runs on a rolling three-year strategy cycle.  The #IABC1417 strategy closes out this year.  This new plan for 2017-20 will kick-off at World Conference in Washington, DC. Mark your calendars for 11-14 June 2017!
Alex Malouf
Alex Malouf, EMENA Vice Chair

The new plan will look to capitalize on gains, strive for continuity and build for the future based on the foundational assets we’ve secured. This is thanks to the prudent work of our predecessors. We managed a turnaround these last years through a focus on financial recovery and sustainability.  This guiding principle is one that we will commit to maintain moving forward.

Next steps will include a master session at the International Leadership Institute in Dallas, Texas happening February 23-25 2017.  Save the date!  The board will then review three iterations of the new plan before it lands at the AGM next June.

It is the Vice Chair’s role to lead this process. It’s a duty I’m honored to advance in collaboration with co-author Ginger Homan, ABC, IABC Secretary/Treasurer, Chair Dianne Chase and the Executive Committee, the entire board and all who will bring their passion and ideas forward to help us along. I thank you all for the time and energy that you will bring to this community effort.

Follow #IABC1720 for tweets coming out of EMENA today. Fellow IEB member Michael Nord is leading an inspired group including Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair, Alex Malouf, Vice Chair and dedicated leaders from across the region.

Check back here often for ongoing updates. The conversation will continue through sessions in Heritage, Southern and Pacific Plains regions in October, South Africa in November and other area events to follow.

Have an idea, question or experience to share? Email vicechair@iabc.com – we’re listening!

With appreciation for all that you do,

Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair

 

July and August Leadership Forums

The second Leadership Forum for the new board year brought out another great turnout for our monthly online conversation. The Forum provides an opportunity to connect and collaborate with the IABC leadership community from around the world.

Highlights from our August session include important updates from our Acting Executive Director, Stephanie Doute, and a comprehensive update on certification from the chair of the Global Communication Certification Council, Terry Cerisoles. We have many exciting and valuable initiatives being advanced across our organization.

Check it all out here:

Oh, and in case you missed it, here’s a link to the first Leadership Forum of 2016-17, held in July with a view of the priorities for the year ahead along with updates on initiatives since World Conference.

I hope you’ll save the dates below for the upcoming Forums and join in our monthly exchanges aimed at building greater connections and engagement to advance the success of our IABC!

28 September, 10 a.m. PDT

26 October 26, 2 p.m. PDT

16 November, 10 a.m. PST

14 December, 2 p.m. PST

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any input, comments, questions and insights.

Thank you so much for your dedication, leadership and support.

All the best,

dianne-sig

Strategy summit – at the site of #IABC17

The IABC executive committee and our senior management team met in Washington D.C. at the Washington Hilton, which is set to host the 2017 World Conference – aka – #IABC17. A great location in a great neighborhood.

We met to define our business priorities for the coming board year. It was exciting to be in the room with so many people who are passionate about IABC’s success.

Carlos Fulcher
Carlos Fulcher
Stephanie Doute
Stephanie Doute
Ron Hansen
Ron Hansen
Natasha Nicholson
Natasha Nicholson
Brook Yciano
Brook Yciano
Kirsten Peterson
Kirsten Peterson

Our senior management team kicked the session off with presentations that showcased their ideas on how to move the association forward. I want to personally thank our outgoing Executive Director Carlos Fulcher, and our now Acting Executive Director Stephanie Doute – as well as Director of Professional Development Ron Hansen, Director of Content Natasha Nicholson, Director of Finance Brook Yciano and Governance Manager Kirsten Peterson for their contributions.

We were also joined by Jodie Slaughter, President and Founder of McKinley Advisors, the company that conducted our recent membership survey. She shared trends in membership associations, which was incredibly insightful. One key point – successful associations are exploring relevant Big Data to gain actionable insights.

As we move into the last year of the 2014-2017 strategy, it was a pleasure to mark many items off the list as completed! Thank you to all our 1,000+ leaders across the world for the hard work you have put in to make that happen. Read the latest annual report to learn more.

Moving forward for this board year, we established four key business objectives to continue our progress towards our established strategic goal of achieving financial sustainability and increasing our membership retention.

While we did make advances in each area this past year, there are still improvements that need to be made to reach our ultimate goals.

1. Retention: substantially enhance the existing plan, utilizing the information from the membership survey we conducted earlier this year.

2. Technology Strategic Plan: we made significant investments and improvements in our technology over the past two years, but we must continue to wisely invest to improve our member experience and customer service.

3. Strategic Communications Plan: continue to focus efforts on our external communications and reaching new audiences to generate increased awareness about IABC. Our Communications Committee is in place and working to advance the association and our profession.

4. Strategic Marketing Plan: IABC has a lot of great products and can add significant value to members of the professional communicators profession – however, we don’t do a good job of telling our story and getting our message heard, understood and acted upon.

As to the Strategic Marketing Plan, this is a combination of a couple of objectives from our previous list of business priorities – to focus on the success of our mature products and to engage with professional communicators who are not members – but it actually will provide a platform for making that happen. Utilizing the survey data, as well as the personas developed by the Membership Task Force, a comprehensive marketing plan will be developed to sell all of our products. Initially, it will focus on Academy offerings, but quickly scale up to include all of our offerings.

A senior staff member was assigned to each objective and milestone dates were set – and we’ll keep you posted on progress.

And I hope to see you at the Washington Hilton next year for #IABC17! Mark your calendar now: 11-14 June 2017.

Dianne Chase
2016-17 IABC Chair

P.S. Got a recommendation for the #IABC17 team on who should keynote? Share your suggestion here – and please help spread the word.

IABC Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher, moves on with thanks from the board

http://i2.wp.com/media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_400_400/p/4/000/180/0b4/0a97f35.jpg?resize=100%2C100&ssl=1
Carlos Fulcher

IABC Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher, moves on with thanks from the board in the last year of the contract.

“After much deliberation, I have decided to step down from my role as Executive Director,” said Fulcher. “I have utmost respect for the International Executive Board and IABC. I found my two plus years with IABC to be very rewarding and filled with great accomplishments. I wish IABC and all its stakeholders the best of luck and a prosperous future.”

Great strides were made in the last couple of years advancing our financial recovery and overall sustainability as an association; as set out in our regular quarterly and annual reports.

Stephanie Doute

Stephanie Doute, CAE, IABC’s Membership Director, is taking over as Acting Executive Director with immediate effect.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to step into this role and work with the IABC leadership and staff moving the work of the association forward to serve our members.” Doute noted.  “I am humbled and excited and look forward to our continued advancement.”

Help shape the future of the IABC Foundation

Looking for an opportunity to pay-it forward – and give back to the profession? Here’s a way you can do just that: step up and serve on the new IABC Foundation Committee.

At the 2016 World Conference in New Orleans, the IABC Foundation was re-launched – focused on driving IABC’s mission to drive communications as a force for good in business and society.

What is the IABC Foundation?

The mission of the IABC Foundation is to generate resources to fund and support strategic initiatives in line with IABC’s mission and to demonstrate the power of professional communication as a force for good in business and society.

Your opportunity to lead at the strategic level

The Foundation Trustees are now seeking to establish a new committee that will provide strategic guidance and execute the activities of the IABC Foundation. Specifically across the development of these four pillars as part of the revitalization plan::

  • Gift of Communication – Providing the tools and funding for chapters to give back to their local communities.
  • Gift of Experience – Invest in experience-gaining activities for the next generation and those in transition. Includes scholarships, internships, mentoring and more.
  • Gift of Excellence – Support certification of professional communicators around the world
  • Gift of Insights – Grants for targeted research that results in case studies, white papers or other publications supporting member needs, IABC thought leadership and advocacy for the profession.

Who are we looking for?

To implement the revitalization plan, committee members need to have an understanding of:

  • Philanthropy and fundraising
  • Strategy setting
  • Finance and marketing.

Vacant Positions: Chair, Vice Chair – and Committee Members-at-Large.

How to apply?

We are inviting IABC members in good standing to apply, or nominate a colleague. Read more here – and please help spread the word.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, 16 August at 5:00 p.m. EDT

This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference.

Michael Ambjorn
IABC Nominating Committee

Leading the profession on the certification journey

Guest post by Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR

Neil Griffiths, ABC
Neil Griffiths

Some time has passed since IABC first embarked on the journey towards a new global credential for communication professionals: the CMP (or Communication Management Professional, for those who are ‘acronymed out’!).

The program is in full swing, with graduates around the globe now able to include these all-important letters after their name. IABC has of course been dedicated to setting a standard for professional communication for decades, most notably with the development of the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation that is still held by hundreds of professionals worldwide. This commitment to setting a global standard for professional communication practice paved the way for the association to enter into the development of the new CMP credential.

So, why is certification the right choice for IABC?

This is a question that came up back in 2013 and people are still asking us. For me this was the result of a number of threads that all became intertwined at the same time. If we cast our minds back to the 2011-14 strategic plan, the IEB sought to align all IABC’s programs in support of communication professionals’ careers. At the same time, the Accreditation Committee had highlighted several key issues for the long-term sustainability of the ABC program. In looking at the various options open to IABC in response to this, certification emerged as an avenue that could meet the association’s needs in many ways:

  • Assessment for certification depends on a body of knowledge for the profession – this could also be a basis for other programs for professional development, awards, etc. and for the association’s content strategy. (This body of knowledge is developed by and with the profession to make sure it represents what we should know and the skills we should have.)
  • Assessment is based on an exam and evaluation is in no way subjective
  • The volunteer commitment to run the program is much less intensive
  • The process around certification (as opposed to accreditation or other similar programs) reduces liability for the association, as it is related only to the body of knowledge
  • The ISO 17024 standard for professional certification programs provides a framework for building the program; meeting this standard sets our program apart from any other in the world

Why does ISO matter?

Once certification was determined to be the right way of moving ahead, IABC had a decision to make: figure this out on our own or follow the international standard for the management of professional certification programs. It chose the latter for a number of reasons:

  • No other communication association has an ISO-standard certification program; this differentiates us from the competition by having a built-in level of credibility
  • As an international association, IABC wanted a truly global credential, not one that only met the standards of one country
  • The ISO guidelines apply to the management of the program and provide quality assurance for the administration and development of the credential. This is critical in showing people, particularly those outside our profession, that all aspects of the program conform to international standards of best practice
  • It provided guidance as to how to establish the program (we didn’t need to figure this out on our own) and would avoid having to retrofit the program later on and make (potentially costly) changes to how the program is administered
  • Recognition of ISO standards in industries and markets across the globe is very high, which would give visibility to our certification program. Many organizations have to meet ISO standards (for compliance with health & safety, for example) and there is increasing interest in setting standards for professions at the ISO level
  • The pursuit of the ISO standard is voluntary and shows IABC’s commitment to meeting the highest possible standards for its certification program

Given that IABC is seeking to establish the value and impact of this important new program, I think that its focus on making it the best it can be from the outset is admirable. It will help build credibility amongst anyone who is trying to learn more about it, not least of which the hiring managers around the world who are going to be curious to know what is behind the new set of letters they are seeing after communication professionals’ names in years to come.

I am honestly thrilled to see the progress that has been made with the certification program and I am impressed with how much it is being embraced by our organization worldwide. This is all thanks to the commitment of the series of IEB members since the journey began, as well as the hundreds of people who have been involved in bringing certification to life. I have been lucky to witness this from the inside, from my time on the Career Roadmap Committee where I saw all the various streams begin to align, and then as part of the inaugural Global Communication Certification Council (where I co-chaired the exam committee). The current GCCC is in the process of developing the next level of exam to bring the designation to an even broader group of professionals. It’s incredible just how far things have come in such a short space of time. Learn more about Certification.

I can vouch for the passion and drive that has been a huge part of realizing IABC’s vision for certification and I am still massively confident in what it will do for IABC, for communication professionals around the world and for raising awareness of what we do to people who are far less familiar than we are. The journey is far from over, but I hope you’ll join us all on it.

Neil is Past Chair of IABC EMENA and has served on numerous IABC committees, notably the inaugural Global Communication Certification Council. Neil is a Regional Leader of the Year and in 2015 received the Rae Hamlin Award for services to professional certification. He is currently Vice Chair of the Program Advisory Committee and will chair the 2018 World Conference in Montreal.

Greetings from the new IABC chair

Happy Greetings from your new 2016-17 IABC Board and your very humble and grateful new chair!

What an incredible tribe we have ~

Our IABC – an Inspiring, Amazing, Brilliant, Community…. Because you are Inspiring, Amazing Brilliant Communicators.

We all have come to this community on our unique paths. I always love to hear your stories, and during this coming year I really hope I’ll hear more. While we’ve all come into our tribe by different paths, we’ve stayed because we found something really special.

We have a secret sauce in IABC.

For me, my first taste came after rather hesitantly agreeing to attend a chapter meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina in place of a senior colleague. That was it – the feeling of “professional family” on first meeting was all it took; what a rare and wonderful thing. It’s not something you can find online, at a meet-up group or, I don’t believe, quite the same in any other professional association.

So, the next thing I knew I was on the chapter board and over the years served as chapter president three different times. Then my path led to the Southern Region board where my passion for the “I” in IABC really escalated. Being the Southern Region chair offered incredible opportunities to lead, share, learn and give back to a truly diverse and amazing professional community. I’m sure you know that “IABC” feeling, as well.

Many of you have worked with incredible fortitude and dedication to lead IABC in good times and through tough patches and for that words can’t express how much you are appreciated. You’re the heart and soul of IABC.

Over the past year a lot of hard work has gone into shoring up our IABC infrastructure, thanks to the leadership of immediate past chair, Michael Ambjorn. Now, with our new strengthened governance and policies we’re set for delivering five star service.

Here’s how five star service is officially defined:

One star – for making you feel special – personal attention

One star –  for resolving issues ASAP

One star – for genuine friendliness, smiles and personality

One star – for getting your money’s worth

One star – for rewarding your customer loyalty

These, in a nutshell, are what IABC is committed to and keeps at the forefront of everything we do.

The year ahead is brimming with opportunities for our communication community.

We will continue to grow our professional development offerings through the IABC Academy with new self-paced courses, in addition to the online workshops and webinars. Our Academy is a go-to resource not only for professional development aligned with the Global Standard, but also for helping prepare for the new Certification program. It’s very exciting to see the ever growing interest and engagement with the initial Communication Management Professional (CMP) level and we are moving forward to offer the next level of certification aimed at the strategic advisor level in 2017. I encourage you to seek out one of our new CMPs and ask them about the program.

Another important advancement on the way– the reinvigorated, reimagined and revamped Leader Centre. The Leader Centre task force is wrapping up their work and the Council of Regions will begin instituting the vision and resources which will provide increased value, relevance and support for our leaders. The overarching goal is to make the Leader Centre a resource by leaders – for leaders.

In the coming year we will continue to look at new ways to increase the value of membership, beginning with the new “Members Only” offerings. As members, you will have exclusive access to resources that you want and need with the institution of the new members-only content on www.iabc.com.

I’m super excited with the re-launch of our IABC Foundation.  You play a critical role in helping IABC live out our mission and mantra that we believe communication is a force for good in business and society. We’ll need your support in terms of leadership, engagement and donations – seed money for success. Stay tuned for the open call for nominations to the new Foundation Committee and please join in moving this important initiative forward. By this time next year, I’m confident we will be able to show real impact. We can and will do this through the power of our shared passion for the ideals of our profession.

Another important advancement is the establishment of a new Fellows Committee. As you know, these IABC icons have achieved the highest level of honor bestowed by our association and serve to inspire us all.

I believe we have incredible opportunities in the coming year to make IABC the global resource for professional communication. We have set the Global Standard and we can lead by example. We will gain greater visibility in the marketplace with increased communication and data-driven, highly targeted marketing.

But we “each one need to reach one.”

Who can you bring to our tribe? A new member?  A new volunteer?  A new leader? A new CMP? A sponsor? A Foundation donor?

I’m incredibly honored with this opportunity to work with and for you.

I hope you’ll join me in working to make our IABC all it can be.

More than ever let’s #createconnection with and for communicators and our communities around the world.

Together we can do great things!

All my best,

Dianne

dchase

2016 IABC Chairman’s Award

These two exceptional leaders have each made contributions to IABC that have had a global impact advancing the association and the profession. Both are role models for IABCers around the world.

Ginger Homan ABC
Ginger Homan ABC

Ginger Homan, ABC, has made a strategic contribution to the association above and beyond the call of duty. Operating at the highest level, her contribution has been centerpiece to the execution of the 2014-17 strategy for IABC, effecting a turnaround. Ginger is the embodiment of a world class board member: open, accountable and effective – with a relentless focus on enabling organizational delivery. She is also a joy to work with.

Jennifer Andrewes
Jennifer Andrewes

Jennifer Andrewes brings to life the best of IABC in the field. As an organization we believe that in today’s world, communication can be a force for good in business and society.  To make that happen we need to reach into boardrooms around the world. Jennifer and her chapter team out of Wellington, New Zealand, raised the bar in terms of height and breadth reached. Opening doors for IABC with leading government departments, blue chip corporates and agenda-setting non-profits – and those who influence them as strategic advisors. This is true leadership both advancing and enhancing the profession.

Learn more about the Chairman’s Award – and please join me in congratulating these two exceptional leaders.

Michael Ambjorn
2015-16 IABC Chair 

Commercial Thinking Critical to Creating Lasting Change

An interview with Clare Woodcraft – by Ginger Homan, ABC in connection with the 2016 IABC World Conference Foundation Panel on giving.

A world that doesn’t need foundations – that is the dream that drives Clare Woodcraft CEO of the Emirates Foundation.

Clare Woodcraft
Clare Woodcraft

“We are working to eradicate a problem, to create solutions that can be spun off into self-sufficient businesses,” says Clare. “That is how you get long-term solutions. We can deliver social value through our businesses and get to a place where we no longer need foundations.”

Under her leadership, Emirates Foundation has transformed from one that was a short-term grant giving organization to one that is focused on solving a social problem – permanently.

“The idea is to focus your efforts so that every dollar spent helps make true, systemic change,” said Clare. “Before we were giving to all sectors. It is very difficult to measure social impact, to determine what is working, what is not.”

Using the model of Venture Philanthropy, the Foundation conducted market research to understand the gaps in the market and then to determine how to fill them. Based in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, they explored the economic challenges of the country, along with the country’s goals and the underlying core strengths.

The research showed that by focusing on the youth of UAE, the Foundation could help create a sustainable future for the country.

Today the Foundation has six programs, all focused on inspiring, empowering and guiding youth to create a thriving nation.

“Even the approach to fundraising is different,” says Clare. “No longer are we going into a corporation and asking them for money to support our causes. Now we are bringing something of value to the table and asking them to partner with us for mutual benefit. We build a value proposition around their corporate objectives, showing our common goals and how we can create more social impact together. These are true partnerships — we are offering them a service, not just asking for money.”

Foundations experimented with variations on the classic grant-giving model for years, but as budgets got squeezed, philanthropists began blazing new trails in funding models designed to yield social impact, as well as a financial return on their investments. Clare has taken this model and created a foundation with programs that can solve the social issue, but also generate enough funding to ultimately be self-supportive.

“Our goal is to create programs that fix a social issue,” says Clare. “What do young people need? What does the market need? Can we create a product or service that closes the gap? Then we test solutions and find the right balance using business-based concepts. That doesn’t mean we are turning the philanthropic sector into a commercial entity,” she added. “What is means is that there is a call for philanthropic funds to be spent wisely and more systematically so that they create long-term change.”

“In today’s world, businesses can’t just focus on the bottom line. Millennials want companies that are focused on meeting a purpose beyond the profit. They want to be a part of a business that delivers not just to the shareholder, but the broader stakeholder base.”

At Emirates Foundation they measure results with solid metrics tied to each program – how many did they deliver services to, were services delivered cost effectively, were participants satisfied, was the issue solved?

“The mindset of the organization has changed,” says Clare. “We are much more entrepreneurial – more like a private sector company. We have great traction with our corporate partnerships and funding from the private sector too. They trust us to create value – and we are.”

The official blog of the Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)