Tag Archives: Ginger Homan ABC

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

500 Club Members: Support Our Chapters

Guest post by IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan ABC:

The 500 Club was formed at a time when IABC needed additional cash to fund the association. For a limited time, lifetime memberships were made available for $1,000 to the first 500 members to apply.  This one time payment entitled the 500 Club members to all professional member benefits, but still required members to pay their chapter dues.

At Leadership Institute in February, during a finance presentation, I discovered that some of our chapters are struggling because they have 500 Club members who believe the 500 Club exempts them from chapter dues.

Chapter dues are set at the local level and international never discounts these fees – that has always been up to the chapter. So if you are a 500 Club member, please pay your chapter fees when you get a renewal letter in the mail. If you are one of the members who have ignored these notices in the past, reach out to the IABC office to make a payment, or for this year, write a check to your chapter. They need our funding and support to put on local programs.

I’m proud of my membership in the 500 Club and grateful I was able to step up and help the association at a time when it needed funding. But my local chapter has my heart. These are my friends, my colleagues, my family – and the next generation of communicators.

Let’s make sure we are supporting them with our chapter dues.

@gingerhoman

P.S. You may also be interested in my earlier post on how dues are invested.

How Membership Dues Are Invested

At some point we’ve all wondered how our membership dues are spent. In this post IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan ABC, sets it all out.

Chapters & Regions

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Ginger Homan

First of all, member dues are compiled from Chapter, Region and International dues. Chapters and Regions determine their fees — some Chapters charge $70, however in many cases it is more like $40. Some Chapters choose to not charge any dues at all. Regions dues range from $25-$90.

These dues are invested by your local and regional leaders in professional development, networking events etc. Speak to your local and regional Treasurer if you want to know more – and consider stepping up – it is a role that can really help you advance.

2016 IABC Who Does What
Who Does What

International

Dues to International is just one of several revenue streams to support work at the international level — 52 percent of the annual revenue; the largest single item. Next in line as sources of revenue are World Conference, Gold Quill and the Job Centre.

Some programs generate revenues, but not a cash return. These include professional development and certification. These two flagships from the 2011-14 strategy are still in the phase where they require significant investment to help them take off. They are expected to start generating a surplus in the coming years, which can then be reinvested.

You can play a part here: step up and serve one of the 22 international committees that advance this work.

Investing in our leaders and our members

Leadership Institute, chapter relations etc. are investments in our leaders. Whilst a net cost, they have a significant return in the form of impact in line with our Theory of Change.

Communication World is a membership benefit and is not designed to generate a surplus.

 

2016 theory of change circles
IABC’s Theory of Change

 

Investing to advance IABC’s strategy – and the profession

Building on the above, our dues support all IABC programs: those designed to generate a surplus for reinvestment – and those that don’t (but are benefits of membership).

2014 Annual Report Income Expenditure Breakdown donuts
Revenue / Expense breakdown at the International level – look for the next update in the annual report released this June.

Below is a list of the areas on the chart and examples of some of the items that category includes.

  • Professional Development
    • Speakers for webinars
    • Software to support the training program
  • World Conference
    • Facilities, food, beverage, Audio/Visual support
    • Keynote speakers
    • Meeting production
  • Certification
    • Development of the certification program
    • Development and management of the exam
    • Costs of administering the exam
  • Gold Quill
    • Evaluation
    • Banquet
    • Awards
    • Software infrastructure
  • Membership / Chapter Relations
    • Scholarships to Leadership Institute and World Conference
    • Chapter Management Awards
    • Bank fees for processing payments
  • Finance / administration
    • Outside professional services including attorney, auditor, finance and human resources
    • Back office computer software and license fees
    • Depreciation
  • Governance
    • Executive Director travel
    • Board travel subsidy
    • Insurance
  • Information Technology
    • Website and any other software not covered above + hardware
    • Consulting for the website and other software applications

You’ll note that the “Finance/administration” portion is 20 percent of the total investment. The norm for professional associations is 25-30 percent.  The International Executive Board is committed to keeping that number as low as possible.

Balanced Budget

The IABC staff worked hard with the Finance Committee to create a balanced budget moving in to 2016. It is directly aligned to the board’s 2014-17 strategy:

“Financial recovery and sustainability is primary, as is the loyalty and development of our members and leaders and consolidating gains from the 2011-14 strategy. Increased reputation in the profession; better brand positioning; and greater interaction with business as a revenue generator are then the big opportunity to be grasped”.

This budget includes investing in:

  • The development of certification exam for the Strategic Advisor level
  • A Learning Management System, allowing the Academy to offer self-paced classes on IABC.com
  • The Global membership survey to determine what members value most
  • An Association Management System, software needed to improve our membership records and an individual’s experience with IABC

If you have questions about IABC finances, please reach out to the IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan, at ginger [at] ziacommunications.com

You can also find updates in the latest quarterly report. Our annual report that will be issued at the Annual General Meeting at World Conference. We hope to see you there.

Members of Finance Committee

  • Ginger Homan, ABC, IABC Treasurer
  • Michael Ambjorn, IABC Chair
  • Dianne Chase, IABC Vice Chair
  • Victoria Dew
  • Ron Fuchs, APR
  • Alain Legault, MA
  • Carlos Fulcher, MBA, CAE

—-

You can play a part here: step up and serve one of the 22 international committees that advance the work of the association, and the profession. Or consider running for Treasurer of your local chapter or region. It is a role that can really help you advance.

The Missing Advice to Career Advancement – And How IABC Can Help

Ginger Homan
Ginger Homan

Guest post by IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan ABC:

Much of the career advice we receive is focused on our personal actions – be assertive; promote your personal brand; learn to negotiate; get a mentor; network; speak up; improve your communications skills …

But no matter how close we follow that advice, many can’t break through to top management positions. What is the missing piece?

According to Susan Colantuono, it is business and financial acumen – and the ability to develop strategies based on that knowledge.

As communicators, financials are usually not on our list of fun things to do. As a former chapter president, I know that filling the treasurer role is a challenge – usually requiring arm-twisting and top-notch persuasion skills.

In reality, we should use this position to push outside our comfort zone and learn new skills. Taking on the role of treasurer is not just about paying the bills, it includes:

  • Creating a budget that is aligned with your chapter’s strategic goals
  • Committing to an annual budget planning process
  • Making strategic decisions about what stays in the budget and what needs to be eliminated
  • Determine what tools to use to track the finances
  • Training your board so they understand their role in financial management

Members in your chapter can use this role to increase their business and financial acumen – and to prepare for the next step in their career.

Watch the Ted Talk by Susan Colantuono as she shares the piece of career advice you might not have heard before – then share it with someone you’d like to fill the role of treasurer in your chapter.

Let me know how you get on.

@gingerhoman

February ’16 board meeting

The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its ninth board meeting of this term and here’s a quick recap of what was on the table in addition to the usual reports from the Chair; Vice Chair Dianne Chase (with a specific focus on the work of the Council of Regions); Financials from Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and last but definitively not least, the report from our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE:

The 2014—2017 strategy says, in a paragraph:

“Financial recovery and sustainability is primary, as is the loyalty and development of our members and leaders and consolidating gains from the 2011-14 strategy. Increased reputation in the profession; better brand positioning; and greater interaction with business as a revenue generator are then the big opportunity to be grasped”.

Financial Recovery and Sustainability

In addition to the regular report from our Treasurer, Ginger Homan ABC, the board also reviewed:

Customer Service

The board reviewed the latest dashboard, and within that a set of proposed additions related to how the board tracks the quality of our organisational customer service. It is a top priority.

Continue reading February ’16 board meeting

January ’16 Board Meeting

The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its eigth board meeting of this term and here’s a quick recap of what was on the table in addition to the usual reports from the Chair; Vice Chair Dianne Chase (with a specific focus on the work of the Council of Regions); Financials from Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and last but definitively not least, the report from our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE:

The 2014—2017 strategy says, in a paragraph:

“Financial recovery and sustainability is primary, as is the loyalty and development of our members and leaders and consolidating gains from the 2011-14 strategy. Increased reputation in the profession; better brand positioning; and greater interaction with business as a revenue generator are then the big opportunity to be grasped”.

Financial Recovery and Sustainability

HQ Relocation

Terry Cerisoles
Terry Cerisoles
Michael Ambrozewicz
Michael Ambrozewicz
Jan Hoover
Jan Hoover
Ginger Homan
Ginger Homan
Carlos Fulcher
Carlos Fulcher

Carlos Fulcher reported progress on the imminent move of IABC’s headquarters.

This move will save IABC $350,000 in its first year.

In line with strategy, IABC now operates as a virtual organization, with staff located in many places around the US.

This means a smaller office space is required, with the additional benefit of lowering the cost of rent and other overheads.

The relocation process started more than a year ago with the creation of a HQ Relocation Task Force to educate the board on the decision, financial and operational model, and location criteria.

This has been a collaborative effort from staff and the International Executive Board.

Big thanks goes out to Carlos Fulcher and staff – and Terry CerisolesMichael AmbrozewiczGinger Homan and Jan Hoover who also made a significant contribution to this work.

There may be some delays in responding to member queries during the move process, and there will be a phone outage on moving day (29 January 2016) when the phone system is relocated. Your patience is appreciated.

Investments

George McGrath
George McGrath

Separately, the Investment Committee, chaired by George McGrath, reported that IABC investments are performing in line with current market expectations.

Loyalty and development of our members and leaders

Leadership Institute

The 2016 Leadership Institute is coming up early February and the board is grateful to the Council of Regions who are the programme advisory committee for this strategic investment in our leaders. If you haven’t already, do register now.

Fellows

Brad Whitworth
Brad Whitworth
Anna Willey
Anna Willey
Robin McCasland
Robin McCasland

The Fellows Task Force, chaired by ABC and IABC Fellow, Brad Whitworth, made a recommendation that a permanent Fellows Committee be established and:

  • Increase the number of IABC members on the Fellows Committee from five to seven to include two members who are not currently Fellows.
  • Move from the current chair/past-chair governance structure to a more consistent vice-chair/chair/past-chair structure to provide continuity. This is in line with the broader succession strategy IABC is pursuing.
  • Establish a new Fellows Committee Terms of Reference that offers clear governance as well as guidelines for the work of the Committee in supporting IABC year-round.

The unanimously adopted these recommendations – and also took agreed to deliberate on a number of further ideas brought by the Fellows Task Force. Some of these have also been passed to the Membership Task Force.

A big thanks also goes to IABC Fellow, Anna Willey ABC MC and IABC Past Chair, Robin McCasland for their contributions to this work.

Better brand positioning

World Conference

Stacy Wilson
Stacy Wilson

The board charged this year’s World Conference Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) with taking things to the next level.

Stacy Wilson, the chair of the PAC, reported strong progress on the preparations for #IABC16. It is a tough job, and I am grateful for all the hard work being put in by Stacy, staff and the wider PAC.

I’m also encouraged by the number of sponsors and exhibitors signing up to support. We have room for more though! Please help spread the word.

Greater interaction

Up next we have the monthly Leadership Forum. In addition to #IABCLI and the usual Q&A will cover:

Hope to see you there!

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

December Leadership Forum: Finance & Brand

The fourth IABC Leadership Forum was pulled together from across three continents: Carlos was in Montréal, Dianne in Clinton, Ginger in Tulsa and Priya in Toronto. I was in London – and Melissa helped with the Q&A from Melbourne.

Here’s the replay:

Special Q&A guests

Finance

Ginger Homan
Ginger Homan
Carlos Fulcher
Carlos Fulcher

On this edition we were joined by IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan, ABC.

Ginger has been working closely with Carlos Fulcher to create a balanced 2016 budget for IABC – including essential strategic technology investments including:

  • An updated Association Management System – to better serve staff and leaders – in line with our theory of change
  • A Learning Management System for the IABC Academy – to better serve those seeking professional development through IABC – in line with our mission

Additional strategic investment is going into better serving our Corporate Members – and short-term improvements are also being made to the current member management system (MMA).

Our association is still working through the aftermath of ten years of underinvestment in this area. Progress is being made.

One further major financial item to note is the $300K+ cost reduction we will be realising through moving our offices. Carlos briefly spoke to this at the end of the call.

Brand

Priya Bates
Priya Bates

Past Chair of the IABC Brand Task Force, Priya Bates, ABC, MC, joined for a Q&A on the brand roll-out.

Priya’s key messages:

  • It is great to see so many chapter adopting the brand so fast – some are still to pick it up though. Help is available… just ask.
  • Whatever you do visually: keep it simple.
  • And remember, the brand is more than the logo – use all of it – see the Brand Toolkit.

A practical, actionable element of the latter which you can RT:

Quick overview of the further topics covered

Dianne Chase
Dianne Chase

Dianne Chase shared a look ahead to #IABCLI – aka –  the 2016 Leadership Institute. We look forward to seeing you there. Dianne also shared the latest top  growth chapters – impressive and encouraging: 

Large Chapters

Edmonton 26%

Medium Chapters

Canberra 15%

Small Chapters

Switzerland 40%  

Well done. 

Also big thanks to all who participated in the IABC Leadership Survey that just closed. We’ll look closer at the insights early next year. Meanwhile,  Gold Quill is well underway. Here’s your toolkit.    

…and, also topical – a reminder from the Past Chair:   

 


Q&A Highlights

Question from Sheila Carruthers from Calgary: In addition to IABC working on corporate discount offerings, will there be consideration to offer discounts at LI and conferences for independent consultant members and individuals who pay their own membership fees?

Answer: Check out the scholarships for LI in the first instance – Ginger also offered to connect offline to talk more.

Question from Maliha Aqeel from Toronto: Are there any plans for HQ to conduct a brand compliance audit?

Answer: The recent Leader Survey had a set of questions around brand adoption – we will share more on that early next year.

Question from Gay Flashman from London:  Is there any way in which we can share our original blog & social content between chapters for use on local IABC channels?

Answer: The Editorial Committee has been charged with creating a global conversation calendar that can help facilitate this. Watch this space.

Last but not least, I shared a brief update on my recent #IABCAPAC trip. Here’s a decent summary of how I felt after – fuller notes will be filed in the usual place.

Thanks to all who connected – and you don’t have to wait until next month to get a question answered. Just head over to the IABC Chapter Leaders Group on LinkedIn and pitch in.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

 

December ’15 Board Meeting

The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its seventh board meeting of this term and here’s a quick recap of what was on the table in addition to the usual reports from the Chair; Vice Chair Dianne Chase (with a specific focus on the work of the Council of Regions); Financials from Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and last definitively but not least, the report from our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE.

The 2014—2017 strategy says, in a paragraph:

“Financial recovery and sustainability is primary, as is the loyalty and development of our members and leaders and consolidating gains from the 2011-14 strategy. Increased reputation in the profession; better brand positioning; and greater interaction with business as a revenue generator are then the big opportunity to be grasped”.

Financial Recovery and Sustainability

Ginger Homan
Ginger Homan
Carlos Fulcher
Carlos Fulcher
Brook Yciano
Brook Yciano

At this board meeting the board reviewed the Finance Committee’s proposed 2016 balanced budget – including a set of strategic investments in:

  • Association Management System (AMS)
  • Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Office relocation costs

The latter will ultimately yield a saving of $350,000 in its first year.

The first two are essential steps in our continuing work to make up for ten years of underinvestment in technology. I am pleased to report that the board unanimously adopted the budget. Big thanks to Treasurer, Ginger Homan ABC,  Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE and Finance Director, Brook Yciano – and all of the hard working Finance Committee.

The board also reviewed progress reports from Audit & Risk, Policy ReviewAcademy and the Global Communication Certification Council.

Loyalty and development of our members and leaders

Dianne Chase
Dianne Chase
Micayla Felicion-Davin
Micayla Felicion-Davin

Once a year we bring IABC’s top international leaders together. IABC Vice Chair Dianne Chase shared an update on the preparations for this with help from the Council of Regions and Micayla Felicion on staff.

See the full programme – and register.

Connect with others going: #IABCLI – and if you haven’t been to one before, why not check out some of the photos from last year’s Leadership Institute?

Better brand positioning

In line with the focusing in on Strategic Advisors as the core audience for IABC, the board was pleased to learn that the Global Communication Certification Council has decided, after considerable deliberation, to pursue that level as the next Certification. Stay tuned for more on this in 2016.

Greater interaction

I reported how, as Chair, I was honoured to join 32 IABC Leaders from across Asia-Pacific who met for the first Leadership Institute in the APAC region since 2012 – and the first since the formation of the APAC Region Board. The event was hugely successful and offered a balanced mix of workshops, educational sessions, networking opportunities and social events.

 

This was in addition to 40+ engagements in 7 cities across 14 back-to-back days on the road. Our leaders in APAC are nothing if not ambitious on behalf of IABC’s leadership. This included advocacy opportunities with:

  • Five government departments, a major police force and other public service bodies
  • Australia and New Zealand’s biggest banks, a cellular operator, an insurer, a financial institution, a major engineering firm, and more…

You can read what I learnt on this – and other trips – in the Field Notes section of this blog. So many to thank – esp: Leanne Joyce, Zora Artis, Monika Lancucki ABC, Damien Batey, Mike Shaw, Kathryn Britt, Yvonne DensemJennifer Andrewes and John Tulloch + the amazing and unstoppable Kirsten Peterson.

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

 

September ’15 Board meeting

The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its fourth board meeting of this term and here’s a quick recap of what was on the table in addition to the usual reports from the Chair; Vice Chair Dianne Chase (with a specific focus on the work of the Council of Regions (#IABCcor); Financials from Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and last definitively but not least, the report from our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE:

Portfolio Review & Organisational Alignment

At the 2015 AGM I talked about the commission of a comprehensive review of our portfolio of programmes, products and services to ensure that each and every one of them makes a return. Whether in the form of impact in line with out mission, or financially, to fund impact elsewhere.

Ginger Homan ABC
Ginger Homan ABC

I am extremely pleased that thanks to the hard work of our Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and our Executive Director Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE

Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE
Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE

this work has now been completed.

The IABC Executive Committee recently convened in San Francisco to review this and we brought our findings to the full board for an initial generative discussion. The Council of Regions is also being asked to give input.

The board will convene one more time this month to focus in on this topic further with the aim of making IABC more than the sum of its parts.

Gold Quill

Continue reading September ’15 Board meeting