Consultation and communications have been the two bywords
of my tenure to date. While I think it is fair to say that Council and staff
have always been aware of the need to communicate effectively with members, I
think it is also fair to say that of late we have become keenly aware of how
critical it is to consult in a meaningful way as we endeavour to increase the
effectiveness of our two-way communications.
Beginning in January I will be travelling the province to update you on issues
and to receive your feedback firsthand during branch visits. In the meantime,
I want to update you on where we’ve been and where I hope that we will
Quo vadis Inclusivity?
I am reminded of American pop music star Prince who, for a time, was identified
as “the artist formerly known as Prince.” Not unlike Prince, there
have been times during the last nine months when I have felt that we should be
referring to “the concept formerly known as Inclusivity.”
Why? Because based on extensive member feedback, the concept originally called
Inclusivity has undergone a number of important and significant changes and,
I feel, deserves to be called something else. For now, though, we’ll continue
to use “Inclusivity” because that is the label most familiar to members.
Inclusivity is not the same initiative that we discussed and debated earlier
in 2004. We’ve had a couple of groups working on the initiative for several
months now. Those groups have now merged, forming an Inclusivity Consultation
Committee, and are working on a consultation draft of a white paper that will
address the underlying issues and possible solutions.
A key early result is that the group of individuals we referred to as “related
professions” have been removed from consideration. The focus is now on
international graduates and emerging/evolving disciplines.
The committee will continue to work closely with the Board of Examiners as
it focuses on the process and content of further consultation with members. The
committee has engaged a professional research firm to assist with consulting
members at arm’s length to ensure the opportunity for members to provide
unbiased feedback on any new concepts of membership, prior to any proposal or
proposals being presented to members for a decision by ballot.
We will not rush this; we will take the time we need to get it right.
Strategic Plan Consultation
We are also moving ahead on the creation of a new strategic plan. As a result
of our May Strategy Retreat, a Strategic Planning Task Force was formed, led
by President-Elect Larry Staples, P.Eng., with a mandate to document the current
state of our strategic plan, incorporate input from Council and then engage the
membership in dialogue on the content of the plan.
The task force has already consulted with several focus groups, and early
in 2005 a consultation draft of the strategic plan will be presented to members
for review and input. Please watch The PEGG and the website, www.apega.ca,
for more details on that process.
One important result of the process so far has been the recognition that effective
communication and consultation form a key success factor and deserve prominence
in the plan.
Brand Strategy Consultation
Work on a new brand strategy for APEGGA began in response to member concerns
about communications, which were revealed in a 2002 survey. Subsequently, the
Communications Planning Committee and staff worked with a consultant to undertake
a communications audit. Council accepted most of the audit recommendations and
asked staff to implement them.
Many changes have already occurred as a result, including changes to The PEGG
in terms of content and appearance, introduction of a twice-monthly e-PEGG, and
ongoing enhancements to the website such as the initiation of an on-line Member
Any brand strategy is about more than the appearance of the organization.
It is a means of signaling a change within the organization — and in our
case, the changes have been underway for a while. Key elements include focusing
on the profile of members rather than the Association, and increasing member
engagement. At its core, APEGGA’s branding initiative is about the way
we interact with and “brand” our members.
On the back page of this issue you will find a questionnaire seeking your
input on some important visual components of our new brand strategy — proposed
logos and tag lines. You may also provide your input online by visiting the website,
I am excited about these opportunities to enhance our understanding of members’ perspectives
and to engage in meaningful dialogue. It is an important opportunity for members
to achieve and sustain an informed understanding of the issues facing our professions
and to be involved in helping Council and staff find solutions. I am also convinced
that APEGGA will be a better and stronger association as a result.
Finally, I want to wish all of you the very best of the holiday season, and
a joyful and prosperous new year.
Thank you for your support and advice over the past year. As always, I invite
you to share your ideas and questions with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.