IFVP Strategic Vision: Year 5
"Greatness is not where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor." Oliver Wendell Holmes
As visual practitioners, our field is always evolving, and as an organization, we are constantly adapting to meet the needs of our growing and diverse membership. Most shifts in our profession and organization, however, are not seismic; they are subtle. They often result from new technology, collaborative relationships, and the emergence of best practices.
In order for the IFVP to sail toward the future through the subtly changing landscape of our profession, we must keep our bearings by revisiting the past and by connecting our principles to our goals. This process of reflection and connection will enable us to act with purpose and to make decisions that improve our community. We may not always make the best decisions, but if we are constantly sailing forward and constantly adapting with steady bearings, we will always have the chance to improve our course of action.
When your IFVP board met in December 2015 to plan next steps for the organization, they began by revisiting the goals set during the October 2011 strategic visioning session.
When looking towards the future, members in 2011 envisioned an organization that fosters community and connectivity, that offers learning and development opportunities, that is professional, that has a clear identity, that it is visible and credible, and that it is developing the field. This 2011 vision still rings true in 2016 and informs the goals and messaging developed by your current board.
The goals ring true because they are in line with organizational principles that, while formally articulated by your board in December 2015, have deep roots in the IFVP: generosity, professionalism, self-awareness, and collaboration.
Because we believe in generosity, we openly share knowledge, experience, and resources with members. Because we believe in professionalism, we will establish standards and guidelines to better serve members and clients. Because we believe in self awareness, we will engage in an inquisitive way with others, being open to giving and receiving feedback. Because we are collaborative, we will engage and connect with our members and the broader community as partners and fellow thought leaders. Each of these principles supports at least one of the goals identified in 2011.
By reflecting upon our past and making connections to principles that IFVP members hold dear, last December your current board developed a new mission and vision for the organization. The new mission and vision will help ensure that as an organization we are always acting with purpose in a way that improves our community. As “[w]e promote, teach, and support visual professionals and practices globally to advance community growth and development,” we will be "drawing the world together to think and work better through the power of visuals."
Through the 2015 strategic vision refresh, your board identified goals and strategies for fulfilling this new mission and vision that are actionable, measurable, and relevant. For example, during their December 2015 retreat the board adjusted the goals and strategies from 2011 to reflect the rapid global growth of the organization in recent years. While the importance of community growth and development is at the heart of the goals articulated in 2011 and in 2015, the refreshed goals below specifically mention the need for growth and development at the international and regional level.
- Community: IFVP fosters community for growth and development at the international and regional level.
- Connectivity: IFVP fosters connectivity for partnerships.
- Leadership: IFVP leads the field through visibility and credibility.
- Curation: IFVP curates professional opportunities and learning opportunities for growth and development of our members.
- Platforms: IFVP maintains platforms required to support a virtual organization.
If IFVP truly values the growth and development of our members because we think it is vital to their success, then we must also constantly strive as an organization to grow and develop. We need to see ourselves as a group of individuals who share common threads that tie together our history, our work, and our opportunities while recognizing that the organization's structure and programming is dynamic and responsive. We must not forget that greatness lies in the direction we are moving.