On various previous occasions I have extolled the virtues of the IoD and recommended it to you - you will not be surprised to read I am sure. However, clearly the message has not been totally absorbed. Given the readership figures for this wonderful magazine, some of you must still be stubbornly (and unaccountably) resisting joining the equally wonderful Institute of Directors.
So why is that? Good question. The relatively newly (February 2017) appointed Director General Stephen Martin wanted to know the answer to that too. So he instigated a review focussing on engagement and services provided to ensure that the Institute will become attractive to new members AND will value and provide the services they want to existing members. What was quite clear from the process was that although the central administration of the IoD recognised the need (common to all membership organisations) to recruit new members, it should not promote to “new customers only” but should reflect the articulated needs of existing members too.
In terms of engagement with members, there has been a full review taking into account views of regional and (county) branch committees and ambassadors. Those views cover critical issues about the services offered and how the IoD communicates both with, and on behalf of, its membership. An engagement day with those representatives communicated views quite clearly and it is good to see them being acted upon and responses being put into effect.
Again, I have previously extolled the virtues of the research facilities and resources available to members, as well as the terrific training that the Institute offers in fulfilling its Royal Charter. However, there is now a recognition that communication about those resources, and indeed access to them, needs to be much more aligned to how we all now communicate and access information.
IoD Advance has been trail-blazing in terms of connecting members of the IoD community with each other and with IoD resources through a mobile app, and the success of that has been recognised and will be built upon.
Further engagement and reviews are to follow and, as such reviews should always of course be a never-ending process in any event, the action/review cycle is to continue. However, it has been very heartening to see already that there is now a greater reflection of best practice in providing what the “customer” wants rather than looking to see what can be offered to them.
The IoD has an excellent offering both in terms of local networks and the central resource at Pall Mall. The combination of local events and ambassadors, central facilities and resources, and the ability to advocate and influence for business really sets the IoD apart.
I anticipate that you will be seeing much more on this theme both locally and nationally in the forthcoming months. It is a great time to join the IoD community and help to shape it to ensure that it offers what you want from an Institute that has business leaders at its heart.