Three decisions that will transform our practice
Anne Gregory, Global Alliance Chair
Normally when the phrase Annual General Meeting (AGM) is mentioned about any organisation, there is excitement by a very few people and yawns by most. Fortunately we managed to buck the trend somewhat at the AGM and associated events at the Global Alliance’s (GA) Headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland at the end of June. Three milestone decisions were taken which will have global effect.
First the Board, which is drawn from 13 countries from around the world, reviewed GA’s strategy and work. Analysis of current activities show that we are doing a lot for the profession more widely, but that we could do more to create, sustain and enhance value for our member associations. So this we will do.
A particular focus for me is on helping the emerging and small associations. It has been a pleasure this year to help two nations on the road to forming a professional association and it has also been a pleasure to see larger associations offer to ‘buddy them’, sharing their expertise and resources while understanding that each nation has to provide something that is appropriate and special for their own members. Building on this work, we will, over the next year, build a resource bank for smaller associations so that we can grow our profession around the world, especially in those regions and countries where our practice is experiencing explosive growth.
Second, we held a Credentials and Accreditation Summit over the AGM weekend where 21 Associations discussed the potential for our profession moving towards a global scheme for professional qualifications. We were offered advice and options from the International Standards Association (ISO), the International Federation of Accountants and the Federation of European Internal Communicators Association as well as hearing from our own members about their own experiences and preferences.
There is a full report on this later in this Newsletter, but I can confirm that there seems to be a general appetite for moving to a framework that is externally validated and global, but where associations have freedom to adopt or adapt it depending on local conditions. If we do this, it will be a massive milestone for our profession.
Thirdly, we decided on the detail of our legacy output for the World Public Relations Forum in Madrid in September. For this we need collective wisdom. Our recent research among association leaders across the world has shown that public relations and communication management professionals are questioning how they can become communication leaders as well as developing communicative leadership in their organisations more generally.
So, in the 80 days leading up to Madrid, the intention is to collaborate with member associations to map the global leadership landscape and produce both guidance and practical tools that will be of use to practitioners. I will be contacting association leaders and asking them to join and contribute to a global think-tank that will work to determine not just the qualities of communication leadership, but the pathways practitioners can take in order to successfully move from practical to strategic roles. Similarly we want to discover examples of leading organisations that have communication as the driver of their success. We anticipate that both these things are linked.
We know the issue of moving from tactician to a more strategic role has been a pressing one for practitioners around the world. If we can ‘crack’ this one, we know we will have done something significant for our practice and our members. I look forward to walking the road of discovery with you.
Global Alliance Chair