All posts by Ginger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP

Ginger D. Homan, ABC, SCMP, is Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators. She is also the founder of Zia Communications, a firm specializing in changing behaviors, building communities and transforming thinking. Her award-winning communication model has been used by foundations and corporations to grow brands and align cultures. You can follow her @gingerhoman.

2018 World Conference and the AGM

Our Montreal World Conference was a whirl wind – but now we are running at pace to prepare for 2019 in Vancouver.

For those of you that missed our Annual General Meeting (AGM), here is a rundown of the business conducted:

  • Slate ratified for our 2018-2019 board — Vice-chair, with automatic succession to the chair, Victoria Dew, SCMP. Directors-at-large for three-year terms, Bonnie Caver; Deb Hileman, SCMP and Matthew Tidwell, Ph.D., APR. Secretary /Treasurer for a one-year term, Kathleen Bell, ABC, SCMP. These new members will join myself as chair; Sharon Hunter, SCMP, as past chair; and directors-at-large Zora Artis, GAICD, FAMI; Michael Nord, SCMP; Jill Vitiello; Sheila Carruthers, MBA-PR, CMC and Leanne Nyirfa, ABC.
  • Edits to the IABC Bylaws:
    • Ethics Committee: To include GCCC certification in the committee’s composition – An Ethics Committee of at least three accredited (ABC) or certified (SCMP/CMP) members shall be appointed by the International Executive Board Chair.
    • Notice of Meetings: It is now mandatory to include the audit report in the materials sent out in advance of the AGM.
  • 2017 Audit  approved – a clean audit, so congratulations to staff.

In addition, our out-going chair Sharon Hunter gave a report about progress made in the 2017-2018 board year (including the launch of The Hub) and secretary/treasurer Alain Legault gave a financial report. Sharon’s annual report will be released this week.

As the new chair, my remarks focused on creating an organization that our next generation will value, with a focus on executing year two of our three-year strategy. I highlighted three items for our 2018-2019 plan and beyond:

  • Develop diversity and inclusion as a core strength. We know that diverse organizations are more profitable and deliver stronger business results for their shareholders and stakeholders. How can we ensure every IABC board and committee is a reflection of our total membership? We will work on our processes – and our recruitment to ensure more diversity on all of our boards and committees – as well as speakers at our events.
  • Explore how to get members the business acumen they need. To get a seat at the table, we must understand business and the language of business – from the supply chain to the financials. What role can IABC play to help narrow our choices on where to get the learning and development communicators need?
  • Mentoring Task Force that will explore mutual mentoring. This group will compile what is working well around the world, but also explore how international can play a role and offer this same benefit to our members-at-large. The right mentoring program will help all of us understand:
    • What world-class skills can I offer?
    • How can I enable the people I lead to do the best work of their lives?
    • How can I turn fear into curiosity?

Stay tuned as we explore mentoring and how it can make us all better. In addition, we are launching a Panel of Producers. Check out this link to apply to create videos, audio, photography and animation to tell our story. The deadline is June 21, so don’t delay.

While it didn’t happen at the AGM, we  announced a partnership with ICKollectif — an independent nonprofit based in Montreal; dedicated to sharing knowledge, insights and on the practice of internal communications. So far, they have included practitioners from more than 157 countries. This is a major step forward in delivering top quality content to members and supporting work being done in our profession.

These are exciting times – so stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Be the Solution

Photo: Connie Eckard, ABC, Ph.D., IABC Fellow and Executive Director Stephanie Doute at 2018 Leadership Institute.

If you came to the 2018 Leadership Institute you had a chance to meet Connie Eckard, ABC, Ph.D., IABC Fellow, and be inspired. The standing ovation he received brought tears to my eyes as we celebrated a man who has given so much to the profession and to our association. Even in his retirement, he continues to serve on the Pacific Plains Region Board.

Right now we have a lot of ways to get involved at the international level. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of time to give, or only a little, we have a role that fits your skills and availability.

To accomplish our vision and get professional communicators at the heart of every organization, we need you. You are our missing piece!

Right now, we’re searching for the people who are willing to help lead the charge. Our strategy is three-fold:

  1. advance the profession.
  2. create connection.
  3. develop strategic communicators.

You’ll have an opportunity to learn something new, advance the profession and meet colleagues from around the globe.

These are the committees and a little something about what they do:

Programmatic Committees: operate as an extension of staff, working in alignment with the board approved strategy and budget.

  • Academy: Primary responsibility for oversight of the, definition and quality of IABC Academy programs, ensuring diversity of faculty, and for the development and maintenance of the curriculum, in line with the core principles of the Global Standard and across all career levels.
  • Awards: provide leadership and vision for IABC Gold Quill Awards.
  • Editorial: Develop and deliver on a rolling three-year plan that provides lifelong learning opportunities — giving members the tools and information they need and share the best global communication practices, ideas, and experiences that will enable the development of highly ethical and effective performance standards for our profession .
  • NEW Foundation Fundraising Committee: Serve as a personal ambassador to support all fundraising initiatives, working collaboratively with staff to develop and execute fundraising campaign in line with approved Foundation strategic priorities.
  • NEW Foundation Grant Selection Task Force: a time-limited action team who conducts the evaluation, selection and recommendation of all IABC Foundation grants or scholarships.
  • NEW Foundation Research Grant Evaluation Task Force: a time-limited action team tasked to develop objective rubric and criteria to support grants for targeted research that results in case studies, white papers or other publications supporting member needs and IABC thought leadership.
  • World Conference Program Advisory Committee: works collaboratively with staff to ensure the IABC World Conference is a high-value professional development experience aligned to the needs of the global profession.
  • Global Communication Certification Council: an autonomous body created by the IABC,  that governs and develops the Communication Management Professional and the Strategic Communication Management Professional certification programs. IABC membership is not a requirement to hold any of the credentials launched within the new certification program or to serve on the Council.

Board Committees: work as an extension of the International Executive Board.

  • Ethics: Consider and adjudicate ethical issues and concerns brought before the committee.
  • Fellows: Responsible for evaluating annual nominations and making recommendations to the IABC Executive Board (IEB) for new IABC Fellows each year. This committee is also responsible for input to the IEB on policy, standards and strategic development of the IABC Fellows program. This committee includes both Fellows and non-Fellows.
  • Investment:  The Investment Committee recommends a financial advisor for the Association’s funds (for approval by the IEB); works with the financial advisor to develop and recommend investment options for approval by the IEB; recommends investment policy; supervises investment of IABC funds up to limits established by the IEB, in vehicles with guaranteed returns offered by such banks, trust companies, or other corporate bodies or organizations as may from time to time be designated by, or under authority of, the IEB; and reports to the IEB.

Download all the details on applying in our Candidate Briefing packet. You’ll find roles and responsibilities related to each of the committees. Deadline is March 20, 2018.

Please consider what role you can play. It takes all kinds of skills and specialities to achieve our vision. We need your voice at the table.

 

 

IABC Foundation Making Progress

This update is based on remarks given by Leanne Nyirfa, ABC, IEB director and foundation trustee, at the 2018 Leadership Institute in San Diego, Calif., and from Claudia Anderson, IABC Governance & Foundation specialist.

About IABC Foundation:
As communicators, we all know understand the importance of maintaining our own professional development and life-long learning. We also know the impact professional communication can provide to an organization.

The IABC Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that raises funds to support the mission of IABC through four pillars:

  • The Gift of Communications provides tools and funding for Chapters to give back to their local communities.
  • The Gift of Experience invests in activities to support the next generation of communicators through scholarships and mentoring.
  • The Gift of Excellence provides funding for certification.
  • The Gift of Insights provides grants for targeted research that result in case studies, white papers or other publications supporting member needs.

IABC Foundation update:
An IABC fundraising strategy was developed and approved by the trustees. In order to implement the strategy, the Foundation Trustees have created two new task forces. The IABC Foundation Research Grant Development Task Force will develop criteria to support grants for individuals to conduct targeted research that result in case studies and white papers to support member needs. At the end of 2017, the Foundation began this effort by partnering with Gatehouse Research on their 10th annual “State of the Sector” report,  which was published earlier this year.

The new IABC Foundation Grant Selection Task Force will evaluate applications, score them and send recommendations to the Foundation Trustees for approval. Most notably, the task force will begin the process of reviewing applications for the Gift of Excellence grant which will provide funding to IABC members in developing nations to pursue certification.

Finally, a new IABC Foundation Fundraising Committee will serve as personal ambassadors to support all fundraising initiatives and will work with staff to develop and execute campaigns. The Foundation has launched two successful efforts, which raised a combined total of over $7,000. On Nov. 28, 2017, #GivingTuesday campaign received contributions from IABC members all over the world, including 100 percent support from the members of the IEB.

The Foundation also launched a Chapter Challenge which encouraged individual chapters to make a collective donation to the Foundation. Twenty-two chapters participated in the Chapter Challenge and two chapters raised $1,000 – IABC Tulsa and IABC Canberra! Both those chapters will receive one free registration to attend Leadership Institute in 2019. With the help of the new committee, the Foundation will work to raise even more.

How You Can Get Involved:
Consider making a donation or applying to serve on one of the new Foundation Task Forces or Committee during open call which runs through Tuesday, 13 March 2018. Find more details at www.iabc.com.

Are you a Martyr?

Learning to lead so others can shine

Many of us had a wake-up call at Leadership Institute last week in San Diego. Our keynote workshop with Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, hit home as she pegged a style of volunteer leadership that leads to:

  • Long hours.
  • Burn out.
  • Zero ability to recruit and engage with board members and other volunteers.

We all know the type and some of us resemble them — they give 110 percent because they care. They work long, hard hours. So, what’s the problem? It is killing our volunteer pool and in some cases our chapters.

Cynthia encouraged us to:

  • Move beyond saying ‘we’ve always done it that way’ by owning results and allowing others to get involved so they too own the results.
  • Develop people rather than doing all the work ourselves. (Who would want to take our place if we are modeling a job that is all work and zero fun?)
  • Invite people to a fun and meaningful experience – rather than expecting them to do everything our way. (Let go and let others take charge. It might not be how we would do it, but they will be engaged and they will want to do it again.)
  • Celebrate the work of others – rather than moan about all the work we’ve had to do ourselves. (Every time we volunteer to do something ourselves, we just stole an opportunity for someone else to shine.)

So, our work and success will be shared with others. We will become masters at giving others the opportunity to shine. The more others shine, the more fun the group will have and before you know it – your community is growing.

This is leadership, as opposed to managing a chapter, region or even the international board. With this style of leadership, there is more focus on getting others involved to be part of the solution. So basically, if we stop being a martyr, it gives others a chance to be engage. The trick? We have to do it before it’s too late.

Cynthia reminded us that people join a community for one of three reasons:

  1. To learn something new.
  2. To help others – a chance to give back.
  3. To meet new people and grow their network.

Cynthia’s best advice for recruiting volunteers or chapter leaders, is that we must first determine which of the three hot buttons motivates each person.

  • If they are new to the profession or want to keep their skills sharp, share about your chapter’s programs and opportunities to participate in putting those on.
  • If they are searching for a way to give back – maybe they want to present a program.
  • If they simply want to grow their network, introduce them to others in the room and invite them back to your next event.

As Cynthia said – “you can’t go too far on the first date. Wait to ask about board service until you have them hooked. Pull them in, instead of pushing them away.”

Even the invitation to our events should contain the answers to all three hot buttons (learn, help and meet) so we are offering something to everyone.

For those of us in the room at LI, it became clear that if we are a martyr leader, we are keeping others from getting involved and having their opportunity to shine. There is an art to leadership – and that art is about knocking down roadblocks and empowering others to succeed.

Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way!

———-

Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, is author of The Lazy Leader’s Guide to Outrageous Results. For twenty years she has worked with association leaders and staff to help get more members involved using a relationship-based approach.

Thank you to these sponsors for our keynote speaker Cynthia D’Amour. A special shout-out to the women leaders of the IABC Tulsa Chapter that made this possible with donations from their companies.

What are we voting on at the Annual General Meeting?

IABC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C. If you are a delegate, below is a punch list of the items we will be voting on. Please leave a comment below, or reach out to our Chair if you have questions.

Vision, Purpose, Philosophy: Reaffirming our Strategic Intent

After our global listening tour to inform the new #IABC1720 strategy, we have a proposed update to our vision, purpose and philosophy statements. Everyone who participated in the process gave us a lot to think about and definitely improved the final recommendation.

Proposed statements:

  • 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.

Our journey to this place:

Tweaks to Bylaws

This year, the Policy Review Committee, chaired by Victor Zalakos from the Canberra [Australia] chapter, did a detailed cross-check of the bylaws for alignment with the Policy Manual update approved at the 2016 AGM last June. The following changes will be voted on:

  • Add ‘International’ to ‘Executive Board’ throughout Bylaw document to bring clarity.
  • Include ‘All chartered chapters are required to sign the IABC Chapter Affiliation Agreement’ following the last sentence of Article 3 Organizational Structure, Section 4, Chapter, where it discusses chapter affiliation.
  • In the same section, edit the following sentence: Chapters shall organize themselves to serve their members in any appropriate manner that does not contravene the bylaws, policies, procedures, or the IABC Code of Ethics for Professional Communicators. The new sentence will read: Chapters shall organize themselves to serve their members in an appropriate manner that does not contradict the bylaws, policies, procedures, or the IABC Code of Ethics for Professional Communicators.
  • In Article 8, Executive Board nominations, Section (e) Proxy: edit this statement so that it is more flexible and allows a region to appoint a proxy if the regional chair is not able to serve on the Nominating Committee meeting. The new statement will read: ‘Shall a Nominating Committee delegate be unable to serve; the Region may appoint an acting officer of the regional board or a past regional chair as a proxy.’

Requirements to Serve as Secretary/ Treasurer

In previous years, the application to serve as Secretary/Treasurer required serving one year on the Finance Committee. The application was revised and this requirement fell away. This change brings back the requirement and adds it to the Bylaws. It gives IABC the benefit of working with an experienced Secretary/Treasurer. The adjusted language will read:  ‘The Secretary/Treasurer shall serve at least one year on the Finance Committee before taking office and will serve a one-year term. They may be elected for a second consecutive term.’

IABC Foundation Bylaws

There is a small tweak to the Foundation Bylaws. This change is an edit for clarity. The existing purpose (Article 1 Name and Location, Section 2, Purpose) for the Foundation reads:

  • The mission of the IABC Foundation is to generate resources to fund IABC strategic initiatives that advance the practice, perception and effectiveness of the communication profession across the globe.

The proposed change is to adjust the language to ‘The mission of 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.’

The change has two purposes. First, to clarify that the Foundation does not raise money for IABC programs, but rather to support IABC Foundation grants and scholarships that are aligned with IABC’s mission. Secondly, to align the mission with the new revitalized Foundation vision to focus on these pillars:

  • Gift of Communication
  • Gift of Excellence
  • Gift of Experience
  • Gift of Insight

Thank you to all our members and leaders for your ongoing participation and support in making IABC an unmatched peer community dedicated to excellence in practice. See you at the AGM!

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