Category Archives: Annual General Meeting

Transforming IABC

For the last three years, IABC has been under a transformation – revitalizing programs to improve membership retention and achieve financial sustainability. As we transition from the 2014/2017 strategy to the 2017/2020 strategy, we reviewed IABC’s vision, mission, purpose and philosophy statements to give clarity to who IABC is, what IABC does and the value we bring to communication professionals.

We started the review last fall with a global listening tour, holding appreciative inquiry sessions in every region, and then opened the conversation on this blog for input back in January. Armed with your input, vice chair Sharon Hunter and I presented draft statements at Leadership Institute in Dallas.

Knowing that these statements need to work at the chapter, regional and international levels, the input we got in Dallas from IABC leaders crystalized our path forward. We knew which statements were right, and which ones needed work. We also had a better understanding of what each statement should accomplish and who the intended audience was for each one.

A few times I heard members say, “I need to explain to my CEO the business value of IABC.” Your feedback, gave us our new value proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me to the people and insights I need to drive business results.

Here are all the statements that will be added to the IABC bylaws and voted on at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 10, 2017 in Washington D.C.

  • Vision: Professional communicators at the heart of every organization.
  • Purpose: To advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators.
  • Philosophy: IABC pledges to:
    • Represent the global profession.
    • Foster a diverse community.
    • Focus on insights and results.
    • Honor our Code of Ethics.
      We will achieve this by being open, contemporary and professional.

In addition, this statement will be updated in our Brand Guidebook. It is our elevator speech and will be used in marketing and communications materials.

  • Value Proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me with the people and insights I need to drive business results.

All of these statements use the work of the Brand Task Force, led by Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CMP, IABC Fellow, as a foundation. That, coupled with your guidance, gives us four strong statements that can serve to unite us and guide our work. They reaffirm our strategic intent as an association to stay relevant into the future, underpinning the 2017-2020 new strategy framework that is currently in development. Stay tuned for more updates as we countdown to kick-off at World Conference in Washington, DC this June.

Thank you to IABC members around the globe who participated in this process and helped get us to a better, stronger place.

A brief sampling of feedback from Twitter:

Creating the IABC Vision, Purpose and Philosophy

What an incredible conversation we had at Leadership Institute about updating the IABC vision, purpose, philosophy and value proposition. Any time you look at change, you always expect push back – not spontaneous applause! I think we are all ready to have a statement that is our rally cry and that will keep us on track – at our chapters, regions and at international.

When we got home from Dallas, Sharon Hunter and I recreated the white board on my office wall. We took the time to go through each note and reflect on how it might change the message. It made us aware of a few things that we needed to keep in mind:

  • Remember who the audience is for each statement: Different statements have different target audiences. We need to keep that in mind as we incorporate all the comments and create the next draft.

For example, the vision statement is for us. That statement needs to set out our ultimate goal as an association so that professional communicators know, in a moment, what IABC is trying to accomplish. That is why the statement, “a professional communicator at the heart of every business,” resonated with so many members. It is what IABC is trying to accomplish

However, the value proposition is for our external audience – perhaps a fellow communicator about why they should join, or a business leader on why they should support our involvement. It definitely needs to include the business value and expected outcome. Great input.

  • Combine the mission and purpose statements: There was agreement that having both was redundant and since we are trying to simplify, we will combine these into one statement of purpose.
  • Business communicator vs. professional communicator: should we align with the name of the organization or The Global Standard that we support? Since we are trying to establish the business value of what we bring to the marketplace, it’s probably better to support The Global Standard – so “professional communicator” or “communication professional” will be the language used.
  • Review the statements as a whole. Each statement does not need to contain all the facts. However, as a group, they should reflect who we are as an association – and hopefully, start a new conversation.

We want a vision, purpose, philosophy and value proposition that resonates with our members and becomes our rally cry. The world café showed us that the three areas of our proposed purpose statement – advance the profession, create connections and develop professionals – work for chapters, regions and international. Now we need to work on the words around them.

We got clear feedback that “a force for good” does not resonant with our international audience. We took that to heart and the phrase is now on the cutting room floor (basically, my office floor).

Contributing at the World Cafe for IABC’s vision and purpose statements.

This has been an incredible experience – from getting your input in every region on the Listening Tour, to our hands-on work at Leadership Institute. Your voices are in our heads. We will continue to brainstorm, edit and tweak away. Good governance dictates that an association review these statements every three to five years, in conjunction with a new strategy cycle. So check back for updates posted here. Chapter delegates will vote on any changes at the Annual General  Meeting at World Conference in Washington D.C.

In the meantime, if you have an idea or suggestion, please send it to us, ginger@ziacommunications.com. We are updating these statements as part of our work to develop the next three-year strategy. Below is a chart that shows how all the pieces interconnect.

Recording ideas to take home.
Recording ideas to take home.

Together we can align the vision, purpose and philosophy statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.

Together we can align the vision, purpose and philosophy statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.

Thanks for all you do.

How Everything Fits

Setting Our Path: IABC’s Vision

For the past three months Vice Chair Sharon Hunter and I have been on a listening tour. Members from every region shared what IABC, at its best, means to them. These insights, along with the member survey from last summer, will direct the creation of the 2017/2020 strategy.

A significant piece of that process is to reconfirm that IABC’s vision, mission, philosophy and purpose, outlined in our bylaws, still reflects who we are as an organization. After all, these statements serve as guardrails for our path forward. Not only will they guide the strategy, they guide how we conduct business and set the framework for how we will grow. Specifically, we are reviewing:

  • Vision: what success ultimately looks like for IABC
  • Mission: gives IABC focus by describing what business we are in
  • Philosophy: sets out the intentions of how IABC will operate – the core values that we hold dear
  • Purpose: expresses the impact we want to have on the people we serve

The philosophy was actually updated a couple of years ago when we adopted a new set of brand guidelines, which listed our shared values. These principles define the culture and behavior of our organization and members – so basically our philosophy of doing business. They are:

  • We represent the global profession.
  • We create connection.
  • We are a diverse community.
  • We focus on insights and results.

A big note of gratitude to Priya Bates and her Taskforce team for creating such a comprehensive guide.

Over the next few months we will be grappling with the vision, mission and purpose statements. Are they motivational, are they concise, do they represent what members say they want from IABC?

As we consider how to refine these statements so they truly become our rally cry, we will post updates here. Then chapter leaders will vote on any updates at the AGM meeting at World Conference in Washington D.C.

In the meantime, if you have an idea or suggestion, please send it to us, ginger@ziacommunications.com. Together we can align the vision, mission and purpose statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.

Photo Caption: Pacific Plains Region participating in a Listening Session

2016 IABC Annual General Meeting – Q&A

This post will be updated as we go through the Q&A – making sure we haven’t missed any of the questions from Twitter and submitted by email. If you have an additional question not covered here, please let us know.

Q: IABC Code of Ethics – the version approved at the 2016 AGM – when will it be posted to iabc.com?

It is has already been updated – find it here: iabc.com/about-us/governance/code-of-ethics/

Big thanks again to IABC Fellow Barbara Puffer ABC and the Ethics Committee for their leadership in this consultative process.

Q: 2016 IABC Survey – what were the key insights and when will we learn more?                

Thanks to all who participated: members current, past and prospective. We had a great response rate.

The results are literally just in and analysis is still underway.

The board reviewed the first draft at the board meeting immediately before the AGM. It is the first time we’ve done this in a long time – and the first time with professional support. Once we have actionable insights, they will be really useful for HQ – and Regions and Chapters. For more on how this will unfold, keep reading.

Running a survey after a break, compared to a consistent year-on-year survey, is a bit different. Basically, people share feedback as far back as last time they were asked. In this case it is a number of years. Which also means that a fair amount of the feedback did not come as a surprise to the board – as similar input has been gathered from 1:1 meetings, chapter events, conferences and so on. What it has added is an important and essential additional layer of data – and with professional support from the vendor, an independent view.

We want to make sure we use the data to focus the organisation – and help us advance in a positive way.

Big thanks to Claudia Vaccarone who wrote the board paper that kicked off this whole process – and the Membership Task Force for their massive contribution – and thanks to Stephanie Doute and Carlos Fulcher on staff for driving this forward.

In line with the fact that some of the feedback did not come as a surprise, some recommendations are already well underway – as per the AGM remarks from the 2015-16 Chair. That said, there is much to be done to further advance the organisation –

Timeline

  • June 2016 – Email to all participants with thanks for participating; top insights and next steps
  • June 2016 – Email to all IABC Leaders building on the above + Q&A on IABC Leadership Forum
  • July 2016 – Email to all Regional and Chapter Leaders with more relevant insights for regions and chapters as relevant
  • November 2016 – IABC Leadership Forum Call status update and Q&A
  • February 2017 – Leadership Institute – status and Q&A

We will also report progress as relevant on this blog – and in our regular reports.

 

2016 IABC Annual General Meeting – in brief

The meeting in brief:

Also, at the meeting the 2015 AGM Minutes were agreed, the revised IABC Policy Manual was noted and the IABC financials were discussed – including the 2015 Audit Report

Annual Report

2015-16 Chair’s remarks in brief

1000+ leaders around the world put their shoulders to the wheel in the last year. It is thanks to these hard-working practitioners that the association, and our shared work for the profession, has moved forward. So if you meet an IABC leader, please stop and say thank you. They’ll appreciate it.

In addition to the progress reported in the Annual Report

RECOVERY

We’re returning to growth and we’ve overcome the show-stopping issues.

We have conducted the comprehensive portfolio review we promised at last year’s AGMand this has enabled us to:

FOCUS

First and foremost on Strategic Advisors – the strongest segment in the IABC Career Roadmap – because we can’t be all things to all people. This was further to a global consultation (Council of Regions, Regional Conferences, and LIs etc.). And it has been validated by the recent survey (results literally just in!).

Which in turn means we’re now obsessing about:

VALUE

A member wall is kicking in just after World Conference – increasing membership value overnight + the Membership Task Force has made further huge strides (stand by for survey insights for chapters and regions!) – and a pricing review under way working with the Finance Committee.

Which in turn leads us to our secret advantage as an association:

LEADERS

We clarified and aligned Who Does What and our Theory of Change – and a re-designed Leader Centre is on the way. We have also reaffirmed the continual investment in leadership – including our commitment to a competency-based Open Call – and much much more…

All in line with our brand platform… and our commitment to be:

OPEN

Regular quarterly reports, annual report + board blog with 70+ updates in the last year – and a GuideStar Gold Star rating for organisational transparency.

In conclusion: thank you leaders. You made it happen. You created connection like never before.

Here’s to the 2016-17 board – and our 1000+ leaders around the globe who will take things to the next level. Stand by for much much more on the year ahead from Dianne and the team.

But first: #IABC16. Let’s make it heard around the world.

Michael Ambjorn

P.P.S. If you want to do a deep-dive, you may also want to check out some of the other posts on this blog. Here are the key categories and what you can find within them:

#IABCieb Notes & Queries

Notes from IABC International Executive Board meetings.

IABC Leadership Forum

Q&A and more from the 2015-16 Leadership Forums.

Annual General Meeting

Notes from the Annual General Meetings.

Field Notes

A range of reflections – some examples:

Guest posts

Does exactly what is says on the tin. We always need more of these.

The Weekly Venn

It is all about the intersect…

 

IABC gets Gold rating for its commitment to transparency

2016 IABC GuideStar Gold Star RatingYou may have seen in earlier quarterly reports that IABC had recently achieved a Silver rating from GuideStar.

We’ll, we’ve now taken it to the next level: Gold.

It is in line with our strategy – and our aim to be open, accessible – and accountable.

GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations.

As a non-profit we fit well into the work that GuideStar is advancing for the overall industry:

“We envision a nonprofit sector strong enough to tackle the great challenges of our time. GuideStar’s Nonprofit Profiles provide you with the information you need to make smart decisions, build connections, and learn from each other to achieve your missions.”

Big thanks to all who contributed to making this happen – and be sure to come to the Annual General Meeting at #IABC16 in New Orleans if you want to learn more.

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

 

The year ahead: greater interaction, greater connection

SAP CEO Bill McDermott thanking his comms advisor on stage at #IABC15
SAP CEO Bill McDermott thanking his comms advisor on stage at #IABC15

If the financial crisis didn’t teach us anything else, then it hopefully taught us that it is not just commercial firms that need to operate professionally and with a solid business model.

Non-profits need to do that too, and increasingly we see expectations like this put on government departments as well. What is common across all of these? These organisations need solid professional communicators to support them. Don’t take my word for it. Take SAP’s CEO – our keynote speaker earlier [at #IABC15] – take his word for it.

The Global Communication Certification Council will, under the leadership of Sue Heuman, ABC, deliver the next level exam. Meanwhile the Academy will step up under the leadership of Theomary Karamanis to meet the need for new skills in fast changing landscape.

What can you expect from me? I will follow the path Russell has forged for visible leadership at IABC. At the time Russell took over we needed a strong central figure to continue to hold things together. Looking at this room, and reflecting on the progress we have made – as challenging as it has been – I would like to venture to say that we now need a thousand leaders to stand up and be counted.

We have a thousand leaders in this association.

You’re a highly engaged bunch. You’re kind. You’re hard working. And you’re demanding.

So what will I do to help you? I will do my utmost to live what we want the tone around here to be:

Accessible          Open         Lighter         Contemporary         Professional

To that end, and accompanying the now once-again regular quarterly reports I am instituting a quarterly progress call – the corporates amongst you will know it as an earnings call – but we of course have no shareholders. We do however have stakeholders and we need to continue to have regular exchanges, as piloted this year as ‘open mics’. Look out for an invite to a Google Hangout where you can hold me, and the board, to account, ask questions and get straight answers.

I will also kick off a new conversation once a month – aligned with the IABC editorial calendar – and I encourage you to participate, or indeed, kick off your own.

What do I hope to review with you when I stand here next year?

Continue reading The year ahead: greater interaction, greater connection