In the middle of the United States we are officially in the dog days of summer — long days of sweltering heat and no breeze. We dream of nippy nights and an occasional storm to cool things off.
In the midst of the heat, the board’s Executive Committee met with senior IABC staff in July to hammer out our work plan for this year. This past week it was approved by the board – so it’s full steam ahead.
Since this is the second year of our three-year strategy, so we are definitely focused on advancing the profession, creating connection and developing strategic communicators around the globe. Here are some highlights from each area:
At our board meeting the IEB approved IABC’s first D&I statement that will serve as a guide to building diversity and inclusion as a core strength. It will be released later this summer with the approved short and long-term strategy to help us achieve more diversity at the international level – including a commitment to the #PanelPledge, a new Chapter Management Award for chapters that excel in D&I and creating safe spaces at all of our events.
I’m proud of how welcoming we are as a group, but there is always room for improvement. In the coming months you will hear more about changes we will be making to ensure we are living this core value. We know that improved business outcomes are directly tied to diverse workforces and communities. IABC is no different. This is critical to our success as an organization and we can’t just talk about, we have to be intentional to succeed.
Where ever you are, I hope you are enjoying your family, friends and work. We have a few regional conferences coming up APAC, Southern, Africa and Heritage. I encourage you to attend if possible. It is always great to connect and grow with other communicators.
As part of IABC’s work to develop strategic communicators, we’re looking at the role that mentoring can play.
Mentoring (and reverse mentoring) can make a difference at all career stages. And it can make a difference at all ages.
Despite that, you might have seen this in CW earlier in the year:
‘Mentoring offers a boost, study says, but few take advantage’
“Organizations with formal programs claim plenty of benefits for the mentors, mentees and the organization as a whole. The mentee benefits most often cited in the study are professional development (36 percent) and a better understanding of organizational culture (30 percent). Top benefits for mentors are “developing new perspectives” (59 percent) and developing leadership skills (49 percent). And organizationally, respondents said the top benefits were higher employee engagement and retention (50 percent) and supporting the growth of high-potential employees (46 percent).” – read more in the Feb 2018 CW
Why? Because many of these chapters are keen to share – and getting more mentoring is a way of IABC having tangible, measurable, long-range impact on life and careers – across the globe. And what’s not to like about that?
To that end there’s a new International Task Force working away. Here’s the team, in reverse alphabetical order:
…and yours truly.
The first order of the day is to map and share existing good practice from chapters and regions. If you’re not already in touch with this team, and you have something to share, be sure to reach out. We’d love to hear from you on the IABC Hub about your experiences being mentored, or mentoring others, through IABC.
Michael Ambjorn, SCMP
Last week I got to hang out with a bunch of IABC superheroes — the Council of Regions.
As IEB Vice Chair, I serve as Chair of the ‘Council of Regions’ — every time I say the name, I can’t help but picture the superheroes in the DC Comics ‘Justice League’. So, it’s a good thing for everybody that the Council of Regions is mostly just known as CoR.
The members of CoR really are superheroes though — these are the eight region chairs from around globe, and their role is to oversee the chapters and members-at-large in each region, providing a critical link between the international association and local leaders.
This year, CoR will be focusing on several key objectives:
Last year, each region also developed a strategic growth plan, and this year’s CoR will be focused on executing initiatives that will strengthen chapters, increase engagement of members-at-large and grow the region overall.
See what I mean? Total superheroes.
One of the coolest parts about CoR is that every region has different strengths and challenges, so the group can serve as a great knowledge-sharing resource, and its members can inspire each other to tackle old problems in new ways. For example, a region that has been very successful at recruiting amazing chapter leaders, may have strategies and processes that can help a region that has struggled in this area.
Last year’s LI keynote speaker, Cynthia D’Amour made a big impression on CoR. Her call to eliminate the style of ‘martyr leadership’ prevalent in so many volunteer-led associations, including ours, will be a vital tool in helping CoR achieve its goals.
Personally, I am really excited to see how CoR can contribute to the success of the new corporate membership program. Having a group that can help connect the dots, broker relationships and identify opportunities to bring in corporate memberships with communicators in multiple regions is a powerful role to be able to play in IABC’s growth.
I always feel like the Council of Regions is one of the best kept secrets in IABC. We focus on chapter leadership, and region leadership and the IEB, but people forget about the magic of CoR — this group that links all of those elements together. It’s also one of the times when the ‘I’ in IABC is most evident — it is the only leadership committee in the association that, by definition, has 100 percent global representation.
When I became APAC Chair in 2015, I remember sort of stumbling into my first CoR meeting, not really sure what it was, truth be told. I was instantly blown away by the opportunity to work with all these other amazing leaders from around the world, and to get this glimpse into their regions. This experience vaulted me into a whole new level of understanding of the association, and played a big role in helping me take on my current role as IEB Vice Chair.
Last week was the first official meeting of the 2018-19 Council of Regions, and it was so exciting for me to be their Chair as that same powerful realization started to sink in for them. As you can see from the photos, they are a pretty cool group, and I can’t wait to see what they achieve together!
This year’s Council of Regions is:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
In a speech entitled The Battleground is Trust delivered at the National Press Club in Washington, global PR leader Richard Edelman notes that the codes of ethics and conduct of professional membership organizations like IABC and others are worthwhile. However, in the wake of the recent Bell Pottinger scandal, Edelman believes current standards do not go far enough to enforce ethical behavior and we must do better as an industry to regulate our practice.
Edelman states, “We need a set of principles that are universal, consistent, and well understood across the industry. The time has come to adhere to a single set of strong standards, and to hold all of our people accountable to them.” Edelman called for a PR Compact encompassing four principles of a global standard to regulate and enforce ethical practices that may serve to rebuild public trust in our institutions. He then called on like-minded groups globally to partner for ensuring the standard is followed around the world.
As the only global association for professional communicators, IABC applauds this initiative. We firmly stand by our Code of Ethics to guide the personal conduct of our member practitioners and we look forward to participating in this critical conversation about industry regulation on a global scale.
We have always believed professional communicators are at the heart of building trust, advising and holding executives accountable to authentic leadership, and driving business results through ethical practice within their organizations. In fact, the thrust of our #IABC1720 strategy to advance the profession is underpinned by our IABC Global Standard encompassing six core principles of professional practice where ethics stands at the top.
The Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC), an IABC initiative, tests communicators against that Global Standard. Ethics knowledge is a key competency within the Communication Management Professional (CMP) and Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) certifications. The IABC Academy online courses also cover ethics themes.
IABC is dedicated to making standards of excellence accessible to communicators around the world.
We welcome the continued conversation.
Sharon Hunter, Chair
Recap on the road to a new 3-year strategy
#longread – it has been a journey!
We launched a global listening tour in September using Appreciative Inquiry – to engage our community in creating a shared understanding of what we value most to bring forward into 2020 and beyond.
We shared some great stories, experiences and achievements to bring out the best in us.
“You come for the professional development, you stay for the people”, “IABC peers are like family” and “IABC has honed my leadership skills more than any paid gig” are but three examples of what we value as a united peer community. See #IABC1720 for highlights of this journey.
The strength of passion and purpose to advance the profession within our global network cannot be overstated – and it will take a commitment to collaborative leadership to bring this new strategy cycle to life. Fortunately, IABC leaders have this in spades!
Throughout the strategy development work, the International Executive Board, regional and chapter leaders participated where we:
We are a diverse global community – it is our greatest strength but also our greatest challenge. How can we deliver relevant value across a broad spectrum of needs?
For associations, this doesn’t change at the core: It’s to continue to help members be successful in what matters most to them – supporting through education and insights, credentialing, community exchange and advocacy for the profession. What changes over time is the format and content of programming – and how we create opportunities for people to access it and engage each other to learn and grow.
For communicators in a rapidly changing business landscape, it means a commitment to adapt and develop new multi-disciplinary skills and demonstrate impact on key business outcomes.
Recall the Top Three Professional Challenges cited in our Global Membership Survey:
This, from over 18,000 respondents where 72% have more than 10 years experience in the field.
Business leader interviews we conducted confirmed this familiar story: Communicators need to demonstrate business acumen and prove their ability to drive key business results. This is where we take our cue for advancing the profession over the next three years.
It’s time to prove the impact of strategic communications using #insightsandresults and to develop strategic communicators – through the Global Standard and certification – to become trusted business advisors.
What comes next? We vote at the AGM tomorrow to affirm our strategic intent
Input on these new Vision/Purpose/Philosophy statements was enthusiastic and incorporated into revisions approved by the International Executive Board to go forward to AGM vote. A special thank you to Ginger D. Homan, IABC secretary/treasurer and #IABC1720 co-author for leading this essential exercise to conclusion.
The three elements of the Purpose statement – Advance the Profession, Create Connection and Develop Strategic Communicators – form the pillars of the proposed framework for the 2017-2020 strategic plan.
As we look to the future, IABC’s next three years will aim to advance the profession through a proactive approach to thought leadership and by helping communicators realize their strategic potential as business advisers to prove their impact on the organizations they serve.
With this framework approved, work to tie strategy to action for the 2017-18 term begins immediately at the International Executive Board meeting on Sunday. Stay tuned here for more as we put our best foot forward – together!
In my role as Vice Chair this year, it has been a privilege to lead this planning process. A note of sincere thanks to the 2016-17 board, regional, chapter and committee leaders for your time and ongoing engagement in this important work – and to our hardworking staff.
And finally, thank you to members and Gold Quill winners whose commitment to professional practice advances our standards of excellence each and every day.
Hope to see you here in Washington! #IABC17 awaits!
Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair
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.
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:
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 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:
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!
The penultimate Leadership Forum of the 2016–2017 board year was jam-packed with information about certification from our special guest, Deb Hileman, CMP, who is the incoming chair of the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC). The GCCC is an extremely important IABC initiative on a number of levels, including the advancement of our professional colleagues, our profession across disciplines and our professional standing in the global marketplace. Among the key advancements this year are the successful launch of the online exam, the upcoming ISO certification process, the new GCCC website, and the launch of the Senior Communication Management Professional certification. The SCMP level certification is aligned with the Strategic Adviser level in IABC’s Career Road Map and the first exam will be held on 11 June at the IABC World Conference in Washington, D.C. This is a significant accomplishment by the GCCC which will keenly serve senior practitioners. I hope you’ll be among the first to receive this unique communication credential.
The Communication Management Professional (CMP) certification continues to grow and the CMP exam will also be offered at World Conference. Check out the new GCCC website for all the details.
As our IABC leaders, you are encouraged to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at this year’s World Conference in Washington, D.C.
The AGM will be held at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, 10 June, at the conference hotel, the Washington Hilton, the day before the World Conference opens.
We’ll share a number of highlights and association updates from the past year, and hold several important votes. We will also release the IABC annual report and a Q&A period.
The meeting will include ratification of important—and I believe very exciting—bylaws changes, which include nothing short of updates to our vision, purpose and philosophy, which IABC leaders have been part of creating through our listening sessions across the regions and at Leadership Institute.
Here are the statements that will be added to the IABC bylaws preamble and voted on at the Annual General Meeting:
Vision: Professional communicators at the heart of every organization.
Purpose: To advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators.
Philosophy: IABC pledges to:
We will achieve this by being open, contemporary and professional.
While not a bylaw change, this will also be added to the IABC Brand Guidelines:
Value proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me with the people and insights I need to drive business results.
At the AGM, there will also be a vote on the 2017–2018 international executive board slate of officers, a discussion of IABC’s financials and information about the new three year 2017–2020 strategic plan.
Huge appreciation to all the leaders who have helped advance these initiatives and the staff who have supported over the past year.
The AGM is open to all IABC members and does not require conference registration.
Please confirm your attendance as a delegate (or assign a proxy). As required by bylaws, proxy forms need to be received by headquarters 10 days in advance to the AGM, on 25 May.
Speaking of World Conference (#IABC17), this year’s theme is “Global Business—Lead Communication, Make Real Impact.”
This year’s conference is going to be stellar; especially exciting are three new sessions:
The World Café, with the theme of ethics in professional communication. It’s going to be an amazing global conversation about a topic that is more important than ever to all of us.
All the details are on the World Conference website. Be on the lookout for some special promotions, too!
I do hope you, as IABC leaders, will be attending and I also encourage you to help spread the word about our #IABC17 World Conference. Your support is needed and appreciated in making this vital IABC event a success. It’s easy to help spread the word—just go to the News tab and Media Room page on the World Conference website. You’ll find a gold mine of easy-to-share tweets and much more content to share in your professional social media circles.
Another exciting announcement: The newest member of our senior management team is Anniekay Erby, our new director of membership and certification. Anniekay brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help lead IABC to greater success in these two critical areas of our association.
There’s much, much more in the video of this month’s Leadership Forum. Enjoy!
As always, your feedback, input, comments, questions are very much welcomed.
Our final Leadership Forum for this term is set for the final Wednesday in May, 31 May, at 10 a.m. Pacific time. I look forward to having you with us!
Thank you for your leadership, dedication and support. Let’s keeping creating connection and engaging to excel. Together we can do great things for our IABC!
All the best,
Helpful hashtags and links:
#IABCieb (IABC international executive board)
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.
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.
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:
— Dominique Jolicoeur (@dominiquejoli) April 1, 2017
IABC is clarifying the vision and purpose to create a stronger community — and a stronger brand. Be a part of the c…https://t.co/G60o9DflD8
— Ginger Homan, ABC (@GingerHoman) March 9, 2017
— Angela Anderson (@angeandersonyyc) February 24, 2017
— Jennifer Wah (@Jenniferwah) February 24, 2017
— Chris Gessele (@ChrisGessele) February 24, 2017
— Diana Quinton (@QuintonDiana) February 24, 2017
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:
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.
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).
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, firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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