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,
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, 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 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.
2015-16 IABC Chair
“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.”
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.
It is has already been updated – find it here: iabc.com/about-us/governance/code-of-ethics/
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 –
We will also report progress as relevant on this blog – and in our regular reports.
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:
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 AGM – and this has enabled us to:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
Notes from IABC International Executive Board meetings.
Q&A and more from the 2015-16 Leadership Forums.
Notes from the Annual General Meetings.
A range of reflections – some examples:
Does exactly what is says on the tin. We always need more of these.
It is all about the intersect…
Be sure to follow these intrepid international reporters – they will share their insights from key sessions – as 1,000 communicators from around the world convene in New Orleans.
Communications & Engagement Manager at Whirlpool Corporation.
Head of Market Research & Customer Experience at Eutelsat and also a member of the #IABCieb.
Directeur des communications, affaires publiques et relations gouvernementales at Cégep Edouard-Montpetit et son École nationale d’aérotechnique. Also #IABCieb.
Senior Customer Communication Specialist at LexisNexis, one of the leading providers of legal, government, business and high-tech information sources.
Manager Of Communications College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba.
Director, Marketing and Community Relations Cabrini Health
Also, submit your best story of the day on IABC’s editorial contributions page. Filed stories will be reviewed for possible inclusion on wc.iabc.com – and may be featured in CW Observer, a blog-based supplement to IABC’s magazine, Communication World.
Let’s #createconnection like never before.
P.S. Got Tone of Voice?
— Michael Ambjorn (@michaelambjorn) December 16, 2015