The IABC/Canada West AGM took place on Thursday June 20, 2019.
The slate of 2019/2020 Executive Officers was approved, and the proposed bylaw amendments were also approved.
The 2018-19 Board year was an eventful one, personally for some of our executive members, and certainly together as we worked on our three-year strategic plan.
I have made it my single key message that the region is here to support chapter leadership in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, first and foremost. I know Catherine and Tracy agree. I want to thank the incoming presidents, current presidents and outgoing presidents of the six chapters for their counsel, and for challenging me throughout the year. It made the region keep its priorities straight, and hopefully contribute to an amazing year for our 1,800 members.
I wanted to take this time and report back on our three-year strategic plan as promised. We have completed the second year of the plan, and in the coming year, Tracy will begin work on our 2020-2023 plan, in consultation with the chapters, and by keeping an eye on the International plan that will be developed. We will want that process to go both ways, as we align to the international plan, and as we advocate to influence that plan with chapter priorities.
As a recap, the Canada West Region full board met in Kelowna in Oct. 2017 to finalize its three-year plan. Sharon Hunter and Ginger Homan, then Chair and Vice Chair of the International Board, were gracious enough to join us for a full day of facilitation.
We identified nearly ten priorities that the region could focus on, that would support the chapters directly. After thorough conversation, we settled on the four most impactful priorities.
The first of those four was chapter leadership development and onboarding. Our last two years have focused on three new deliverables here. First, we revamped the format of our in-person meetings at the regional level so we could better focus on chapter priorities and leadership development for incoming chapter presidents. Second, we set up a series of leadership development sessions open to the entire boards of the six chapters. Ivan hosted nearly 50 of them, addressing timely issues and opportunities across the region, and making sure chapters with problems could benefit from chapters with solutions. Finally, we knew there was a need for consistent onboarding, templates and tools across the region, and we have been putting together the Canada West chapter onboarding manual. Now that the tech issues at International are resolved, we are running a final edit and proofread of the document, and hope to soft launch it with chapter VPs in the coming week or two. Once I have a thumbs up for you, we will conduct a full communications plan with the six boards. On this priority of chapter orientation and onboarding, I also wanted to recognize the highly successful Dare to Lead 2019 in Edmonton. At more than 70 attendees, this is the region’s premier event to onboard your new and existing board members, and we always look forward to innovating and providing the best experience we can. VPs, please use your board buddy to share any and all feedback. Tracy will touch just a bit more on Dare to Lead a little bit later on. In the coming year, one of my key projects will be to establish a measure of chapter leadership satisfaction with the region and the support we provide. You know I love measurement.
Our second priority involved National Programs. Our Silver Leaf Awards and Master Communicator designation continue to be our premier programs for your members, jointly administered with the Canada East Region. There have been recurring pain points in these programs, and a lot has been done in the last two years to better understand the issues and identify potential solutions. On the Silver Leaf front, we’ve been facing rising administrative costs with the awards platform we use, and declining entries. We are looking at all our options on this program, but one thing that I want to make clear, this program only exists to serve members. We have to work to make sure it fits their needs and is sustainable, which we will be doing in the coming year. On the Master Communicator program, a lot of research and thinking has taken place in the last year, to make it more transparent, consistent and sustainable. We have a group of amazing master communicators working on a reshaping of the program. I believe it will meet those three priorities and I look forward to their work over the coming year. (Sue will touch on this a bit later).
Third priority was corporate memberships. Catherine Ducharme was not able to join us today but I want to thank her for all her work on this front. She set up calls, reached out to corporate members, asked all chapters for feedback and boiled everything down to one issue. If the new model only provides the small group discount up to 9 members and the training and membership packages start at 25 members, what do we do with the 95% of the corporate members in our region that contain between 9 and 24 members? After much campaigning and with the help of the chapters, International recently announced that the small group membership discount of 15% would now cover up to 19 members. This should definitely help standing corporate members either transition to a new training and membership package, or maintain their status quo. In the coming year, we will be monitoring this file, however we will reallocate resources to the other three priorities.
Finally, our fourth priority was Certification. We are on the leading edge in Western Canada. Of the 211 CMPs and SCMPs that have been granted on Earth, 87 of them are right here. That’s about 42%. I’m not all that surprised. Our region still leads with its proportion of ABCs and as the International organization looks to innovate in thought leadership and industry best practice, they will continue to come to us and our members. As part of our work on this priority, we have established a cheatsheet of points to maintain certification. Once upon a time, it was quite difficult to figure out what would count for how many credits, but Jackie and our board spent a great deal of time clarifying and creating a chart of credits. This is part of a full certification toolkit we developed for your use.
Beyond the strategy, we remained flexible to assist chapters with timely needs, advice, challenges and opportunities. Notably:
- We provided access to the Survey Monkey and Zoom premium accounts we hold at the region level. These are not without their hiccups, but we continue to work on it;
- We executed two in-person meetings to assist with leader onboarding and leadership development;
- We sponsored a speaker tour to all six chapters that saw great attendance across the board;
- We reviewed the strategy behind our web and social media presence, and aim to make those more complimentary to chapter efforts. We notably created new web and social strategist volunteer positions on our board that are currently staffed;
- We forged ahead with the organization of the 2019 Canada West Conference taking place this October in Banff. It will be an amazing one; and
- We listened. Hopefully as much as was needed. I want to reinforce the buddy system each of the chapter has with one of the regional executives. I also want to maintain contact with Presidents and Past Presidents more than we have in the past. I have heard them tell me they lose touch with the region after their incoming year, and they have more to share. We will make that happen.
I want to take the time to again thank Ivan, Catherine and Jackie for their service on the board. I also want thank and give recognition to two of my board members that the chapters don’t often interact with and don’t own a specific pillar of our regional strategy. Our Finance and Administration leads rather make it all possible, support all parts of the strategy, and keep us sustainable and functioning. I don’t want these to be thankless jobs. Richard and Tamara, thank you so much for your hard work and dedication.
Outgoing Chair – IABC CWR