This time of year holds a familiar routine for many of us: it is the time in which we “hit the reset button” and enjoy the feeling of gazing upon the “fresh canvas” the new year offers. It is also an opportunity for organization leaders to make the most of the enthusiasm that the start of a new year naturally brings.
So, how does a leader motivate members of his or her team to kick off the new year with the organization’s goals as part of their own vision?
Be on the same page. It is important to make sure the moving parts of your organization are in alignment if you want to maintain forward motion. The size of your organization will, of course, dictate how you go about it but you definitely want to start the year with a cohesive approach. This begins with making sure your entire team has a working understanding of the organization’s goals and direction. The key to cohesive success lies in effectively communicating and disseminating this information. A clearly defined vision that has been skillfully communicated paints a collective picture on that blank canvas everyone is admiring right about now.
Build trust. Accessible leadership builds trust among your team members. It is important to keep open eyes, ears and mind when connecting with your team. Not only do you reinforce the value that each person brings to the organization (and your appreciation for their contributions), but it’s a smart thing to do. If you want to stay on top of what is new and relevant in your organization, keep those lines of communication and trust open!
Another trust initiative is the practice of investing in the professional development of your team. Again, all parts must operate in sync in order to keep things moving effortlessly. One of the most significant displays of trust an organization leader can offer is showing you believe in your people. Investing in individuals by offering opportunities to expand and grow – not just for the organization, but for themselves – establishes the kind of reciprocating relationship you want with your team members.
Not necessarily out with the old, but definitely in with the new. Successful organizations work under a constant state of evaluation and calibration. Technology keeps us in a never-ending sprint that pushes us to be willing to change quickly and not really look back. However, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of constantly “reinventing the wheel.” Organization leaders must find that fine balance between building on the success of tried-and-true initiatives that have served their stakeholders well, and being open to new initiatives that can make a great organization even better.
As for IAEE, we are looking forward to several new initiatives in the coming year. 2019 brings the release of the fifth edition of The Art of the Show: An Introduction to the Study of Exhibition Management textbook. This edition addresses new topics such as careers in the exhibitions industry, sustainability and business ethics. It also significantly enhanced its section on risk and security management, and features a comprehensive glossary of industry terms.
2019 will also see important updates and additions to the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) Learning Program modules based on new information presented in The Art of the Show. These updates will also help the industry in its collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor on a comprehensive competency model for the Hospitality, Tourism and Events industry. We have worked with several industry partners on this for a few years now and are proud of the advancements made, but still have some fine-tuning to do.
Last month at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in New Orleans, 2019 IAEE Chairperson Tom Cindric, Jr., CEM announced the coming launch of the Advanced CEM Learning Program this year offering exciting new opportunities to the more than 3,000 industry professionals currently boasting their CEM designation. This is not the only program experiencing growth and improvement in 2019. The Women’s Leadership Initiative received a powerful boost from Visit Dallas that will add three half day forums in Los Angeles, Schaumburg (Illinois) and Dallas, in addition to its signature all-day event in Leesburg, Virginia in April.
It doesn’t take long to see how the moving parts coalesce! I look forward to an exciting year ahead and hope you do too. We have plenty to accomplish so let’s get moving, onward and upward!
David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO