The October Leadership Forum was packed with a plethora of important and exciting information.
Our special guest for this month’s forum was the chair of the 2017 World Conference Program Advisory Committee, Sarah McLaughlin, who shared all of the latest and greatest, along with a special “sneak peek’”- about what will be the global conference for professional communication—#IABC17. Make sure to mark your calendars for 11-14 June and join us in Washington, D.C. to be enlightened with new ideas, expand your connections and benefit your career.
Other important topics included a reminder to help push Member Month (which is closing on 31 October), the open call for the IABC Fellows (which is open until 3 December at 5 p.m. EST), Gold Quill Awards entry time (the early-bird deadline is 16 November), along with recaps about the Heritage Region and Southern Region conferences and regional leadership institutes, and the important 2017-2020 strategic planning sessions held at each.
I’ll also be co-leading a #IABC1720 strategic planning session with executive board member and conference leader Daniel Munslow at the IABC Africa conference during the first week of November. Many thanks to Vice Chair Sharon Hunter and Treasurer Ginger Homan and everyone involved in this critical work to plan for a truly successful future for our IABC.
We have a number of links (below) to all the information about what’s happening at IABC.
Get the latest “scoop” right here:
The next Forum is set for 16 November at 10 a.m. PST.
In the meantime, do stay in touch. Please know how much your leadership, dedication and support are appreciated.
Let’s continue to #createconnection. Together we can do great things for our IABC!
That was the theme of the Heritage Region Conference 2016, held in Columbus, Ohio Oct. 9-11 — says so much about our IABC. The conference was the living, breathing epitome of what is at the core of our professional communication community. It is our never ending commitment to elevating our professional and personal growth and discovering the possibilities for driving communication as a force for good in business and society.
The #IABCHRCONF world class level of speakers, presentations, programming, networking, professional development and, of course, Dine Around, is a testimony to the dedication and commitment of the Heritage Region leaders and evidence of the impact IABC is and will continue to make for our profession and members.
I was amazed at the level of positive energy and enthusiasm of the region and chapter leaders in Columbus, Ohio USA!
I must give specific shout outs to conference co-chairs Forrest Hughes and Pat Frey — both long time IABC leaders on many levels.
Thanks and congratulations to everyone who made this conference one to be emulated; including Region Chair Amy Miller and Silver Quill Chair Alexandra Hichel and the indescribably inspirational ball of enthusiasm, Columbus chapter president, Lachandra Baker.
I want to share a bit of the spirit with you and so I grabbed a few minutes with a past Heritage Region chair, Gary Spondike from Detroit, veteran IABC leader and presenter, Cyrus Mavalwala from Toronto and two conference attendees.
I hope you enjoy the snippets, absorb the IABC ‘secret sauce’ and pass it along.
Tuesday afternoon, IABC Vice Chair Sharon Hunter and I wrapped up with our #IABC1720 World Cafe, part of our global conversation tour to build the next 3-year strategy for the association. Read more on this appreciative inquiry process here on the blog.
Thank you more than I can express for your dedication, leadership and support for our IABC.
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.
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,
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 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.
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.
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!
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 email@example.com – we’re listening!
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.
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.
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 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, 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.”
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
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.
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.
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.