All posts by Sharon Hunter

Countdown to #IABC1720

Recap on the road to a new 3-year strategy

#longread – it has been a journey!

With the annual gathering of the IABC tribe (aka World Conference) kicking off this weekend, excitement is building to launch a new cycle for the future.

We launched a global listening tour in September using Appreciative Inquiry – to engage our community in creating a shared understanding of what we value most to bring forward into 2020 and beyond.

We shared some great stories, experiences and achievements to bring out the best in us.

“You come for the professional development, you stay for the people”, “IABC peers are like family” and “IABC has honed my leadership skills more than any paid gig” are but three examples of what we value as a united peer community. See #IABC1720 for highlights of this journey.

The strength of passion and purpose to advance the profession within our global network cannot be overstated – and it will take a commitment to collaborative leadership to bring this new strategy cycle to life. Fortunately, IABC leaders have this in spades!

Throughout the strategy development work, the International Executive Board, regional and chapter leaders participated where we:

  • Held World Café sessions in all 8 IABC regions.
  • Leveraged Leadership Institute in February for feedback on our statements of strategic intent, field tested the draft #IABC1720 framework and invited leaders to explore “Freedom in a Framework” to align their strategic plans to collaboratively deliver local value.
  • Conducted interviews with global executives to gauge industry pulse.
  • Drew insights from a range of industry trend reports.
  • Liaised across committees to socialize the strategic priorities and gain input.

We are a diverse global community – it is our greatest strength but also our greatest challenge. How can we deliver relevant value across a broad spectrum of needs?

For associations, this doesn’t change at the core: It’s to continue to help members be successful in what matters most to them – supporting through education and insights, credentialing, community exchange and advocacy for the profession. What changes over time is the format and content of programming – and how we create opportunities for people to access it and engage each other to learn and grow.

For communicators in a rapidly changing business landscape, it means a commitment to adapt and develop new multi-disciplinary skills and demonstrate impact on key business outcomes.

Recall the Top Three Professional Challenges cited in our Global Membership Survey:

  • Being included in the strategy and planning efforts within organizations
  • Demonstrating the value of communications to internal/external clients
  • Keeping up with the rapid pace of change in the field

This, from over 18,000 respondents where 72% have more than 10 years experience in the field.

Business leader interviews we conducted confirmed this familiar story: Communicators need to demonstrate business acumen and prove their ability to drive key business results. This is where we take our cue for advancing the profession over the next three years.

It’s time to prove the impact of strategic communications using #insightsandresults and to develop strategic communicators – through the Global Standard and certification – to become trusted business advisors.

What comes next? We vote at the AGM tomorrow to affirm our strategic intent

Input on these new Vision/Purpose/Philosophy statements was enthusiastic and incorporated into revisions approved by the International Executive Board to go forward to AGM vote. A special thank you to Ginger D. Homan, IABC secretary/treasurer and #IABC1720 co-author for leading this essential exercise to conclusion.

The three elements of the Purpose statement – Advance the Profession, Create Connection and Develop Strategic Communicators – form the pillars of the proposed framework for the 2017-2020 strategic plan.

As we look to the future, IABC’s next three years will aim to advance the profession through a proactive approach to thought leadership and by helping communicators realize their strategic potential as business advisers to prove their impact on the organizations they serve.

With this framework approved,  work to tie strategy to action for the 2017-18 term begins immediately at the International Executive Board meeting on Sunday. Stay tuned here for more as we put our best foot forward – together!

In my role as Vice Chair this year, it has been a privilege to lead this planning process. A note of sincere thanks to the 2016-17 board, regional, chapter and committee leaders for your time and ongoing engagement in this important work – and to our hardworking staff.

And finally, thank you to members and Gold Quill winners whose commitment to professional practice advances our standards of excellence each and every day.

Hope to see you here in Washington! #IABC17 awaits!

Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair

 

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

 

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

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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.”