March feels different in different parts of the world; in the northern hemisphere spring is slowly arriving, after a very cold winter, especially in the US, and in the southern hemisphere we are saying goodbye to the summer.
And it’s now a little over a month since the IEA board had the first in-person meeting of the year. It was held in San Francisco, at the same hotel where the annual conference will take place in July this year. The venue was wonderful, well located and there were many beautiful places to eat and shop in the surrounding area.
These meetings are always an opportunity to strengthen the team and coordinate the work we do as a board during the year. This is a working board and has different task groups, all of which share what they’ve been doing in the past few months and then focus on what’s coming. We all participate in lively discussions that lead to decisions and action plans for each area.
It is our desire to keep you up to date with what we are doing, so I will share the most important things that happened this time.
Engagement, Education, Excellence
Our Board Meetings include the question of how what we have been doing for the past month has taken us closer to our Purpose, and the simplest way to do this is by using Engagement, Education and Excellence as our watchwords, our guiding force. We will now start using these three words a lot more explicitly in our communications, and this letter is a great place to start.
We are certain that the Board needs to communicate more with the membership about its thought processes and its strategies. Some misunderstandings have arisen over the past year due to the Board not communicating as clearly and as often as it could have. At our In-Person Meeting in January we developed a Communication Plan for the rest of the year. We had already started sharing some of the rationale behind our decisions in our “Governance updates”, hosted on Nine Points magazine. You might have also seen the “Meet the board” series that has started on the same publication, where board members share more about their lives, interests and work they do as part of the IEA board. I invite you to read them!
Engagement is not a one-way process, however, and, as always, we really encourage you to engage with the Board. One of the ways that we are hoping to make this easier during the Conference is to have a dedicated area set aside where you can drop by and talk with Board Members about any issues that you want to discuss; there will also be dedicated times when you will be able to talk about specific areas such as Accreditation, Chapters & Affiliates, Nine Points, the Enneagram Journal, etc., with the Board Member responsible for that area of activity. And we always welcome feedback and ideas from the members.
I keep referring to Nine Points Magazine in these letters and I don’t plan to stop! We are very excited about this initiative, for various reasons:
- It is helping us to spread the word about the Enneagram and, at the time of writing this, has been read in 85 countries on 6 continents.
- More and more members are submitting articles to be published. All of our members are encouraged to submit articles for consideration.
- It is a fantastic platform for the local groups – Chapters and Affiliates – to show what they are doing.
- It is the place to go to find out about the exciting innovations on offer in San Francisco at the 2014 IEA Conference.
This publication supports Education, but also Engagement, as it connects the community through the publication of articles, news and allows for comments from people from all over the world.
This year will be the 20th Anniversary of the first ever Enneagram conference and our Conference Chair, Kathryn Grant, has been working with her team to deliver a really special experience for everyone who attends. This event provides an opportunity to enhance the Education pillar of our purpose but is also a fantastic way to connect and build community, therefore strengthening Engagement.
This is a constant in our work and we believe that there are many ways in which we are striving for this in very practical ways, perhaps the most exciting is our revamp of the website that Dirk Cloete has been leading with Lynda Roberts support; it is our intention that you will be able to see the new website during the Conference. This new technological platform will enable us to communicate with one another much more easily.
We have completed a thorough review of the Accreditation program based on our experiences over the past few years and incorporating feedback from those Members involved in the process. Many people have worked on the Accreditation Program over the years (including Isabel Salama, Susanne Povelsen and Melanie Gerlich, most recently). We’ll be communicating the changes to you shortly.
We are continuing to elevate the standards of the selection processes for the Conferences and our publications. While we do this, we are also committed to providing more information and support to those who want to submit proposals and articles, so that we all learn and benefit from this. We trust it is something the members appreciate, as it means that the quality of the benefits you are receiving is getting better all the time.
I invite you to give us feedback on what we are doing and ideas on what you would like to see happening. Also let us know how you would like to get involved! You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
María José Munita,
President, IEA Board of Directors.