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Tuesday, 29 June, 2010

Strategic Plan Update

Taking Off

The weeks since the 2010 Annual General Meeting have flown by.  Propelled by a strong and clear mandate from the National Council of YMCAs, we’ve been working on:

  • supporting the search for a new President & Chief Executive Officer for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver
  • recruiting a Senior Vice President for Shared Services
  • developing RFPs for consultant support for the 2012-2015 federation strategic plan, including the governance and delivery of service reviews, and for Association engagement
  • planning the next stage of the National Resource Creation and Capacity Building Initiative (NRCCB) and YMCA brand strategy development process

The national conversation on the Case for Change and National Council’s decision to adopt Focus 2010-2011 have set us down on new terrain.  Our plan is to navigate it with GPS-like precision and focus.  I think of National Council as equivalent to the network of satellites that transmit signals to pinpoint where we are and to provide a route to our destination.   Our current task is to load our GPS with the maps that will work in conjuction with information from satellite signals to get us to our destination by May 2011.  Only the best instruments for communications, engagement and collaborative decision-making will ensure we get there — combined with 100% commitment from all of us to use them effectively.

We also expect that work on Priority SAM, the Call to Action on the health of children and youth, and other ongoing initiatives will move us in the right direction.  It will produce opportunities for Associations this fall along with new ways to increase our collective buying power through shared services.  We’ll have more details to share over the summer and into the fall.

So, we’re off!  The energy and excitement generated by the conversation leading up to this year’s meeting, and then stoked by presenters and participants during it, continues to build.  We just recently posted more than 200 photographs of the weekend on YMCA Canada’s Flickr page.  Watching the slide show reminded me just how ready we are to increase our efforts to strengthen the foundations of our communities, and why strengthening our federation is the right place to start.  To begin by asking ourselves: what does each of us bring to the table?

Jowi Taylor and I got together last week in YMCA Canada’s boardroom to talk more about the YMCA Table Project — a great national treasure hunt for stories that respond to this important question.  We hope you will listen in and then talk with others over the summer to generate ideas that lead you to the artifacts that you’d like to contribute to the building of the table.

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My question for you today is: what are the signs that will indicate our federation is getting stronger?

Scott

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  • Jim Loyer

    I associate stronger in this context with words and phrases like “united”, “more tightly linked”, “more effective and efficient” etc. In other words, pulling more together in better ways toward our mission / goals.

    Evidence of this would be more sharing in tools and technologies, partnerships between two or more individual associations in tactical goals that are similar, task sharing between Y Canada and individual associations etc.

    Jim

  • http://www.ymca.ca Scott Haldane

    Thanks Jim. Great thoughts…this is exactly the kind of evidence I expect we will see as we move forward together.

    Scott

  • http://www.ymcahbb.ca Bryan Webber

    Thanks, Scott. I’m a big fan of this table project. Looks like you have a good team and plan assembled to build this important symbol for Canada’s YMCA. I am confident that we will have a good story to add from our YMCA.

    What signs will indicate our federation is getting stronger? Good question. I’m hopeful that it would be illustrated with an acceptance of what our emerging brand promise is, and delivering consistently on that brand promise in all that we say and do, from coast to coast.

  • http://www.ymca.ca Scott Haldane

    Thanks, Bryan. I noticed in the Canada Day edition that the Globe and Mail was calling on Canada to develop a strong brand…everybody’s doing it as Helene Weir, CEO of the YMCA of Calgary pointed out to me!

    Scott