IAI 2014 - Updates for a Thriving, Sustainable Institute

As we introduced at the IAI Annual General Meeting during the IA Summit in Baltimore this year, the IAI is at a transition point. This post recaps the situation and describes how we are going to move forward.

Looking to Address Some Systemic Issues

We have recognized that there are some basic, but surmountable obstacles that are currently hamper the IAI from fulfilling its promise.

  • The somewhat small size of the organization hampers our ability to engage potential partners, including sponsors, that want to reach a wider audience.
  • The revenue stream from memberships is not enough to offset the loss of revenue from the IDEA conference.
  • And the Board structure does not allow for the right level of accountability in the context of this volunteer organization.

Discussions at the IA Summit

At the AGM, we introduced our initial ideas for solving the issues we face and reorienting the IAI for the next 12 years. The discussion at the AGM was intense and continued after the meeting and spilled out past the Summit in a series of pledges of support, both emotional and monetary.

In the time since the Summit and the AGM, the IAI Board has taken much of the feedback we've received and integrated it into our thinking, and now we are ready to let everyone know where we are taking the organization going into 2014.

A Way Forward

After studying these issues very carefully, we are making the following changes to IAI structure and operations. Details on each of these will be posted in the next two weeks.

1 - Revamped Membership Model, including free memberships
In order to grow memberships and bring more people into active membership, we are introducing a free Basic membership level.

There will also be a "Benefactor" Membership for those who want to be supporting members above and beyond the current membership dues. As shown by the response after the Summit, there is a small, but dedicated, community of practitioners that deeply want to support the IAI's ongoing mission.

2 - Board Changes
The board will change from a 5-9 member body with no specific position to a 7-member board of members who have run for specific positions. These position descriptions will be published on October 1st.

Also, the 2-year board terms will no longer be staggered as they are now. All board members will be elected and the terms will end at the same time.

3 - Board Overlap, Election Timing
The election will be completed in early December, with nominations opening on November 15. The new Board will then work with the outgoing board between the elections and the IA Summit. At the AGM that year, the new Board takes the reigns and the outgoing Board exits stage left.

4 - Focus on Sponsorship
With our specialized community, we are attractive to sponsors. The IAI has done some work in gathering sponsorships. Going forward, a larger membership and a focused board member will allow us to make a stronger push for sponsorships to further support the IAI.

5 - Bylaw Changes
We will be publishing bylaws changes as necessary to support these changes to the IAI operations prior to the nominations opening on November 15.

Worth the Fight

"I never cease to be amazed at how many people I've met through IAI that I've continued to be good friends with for so many years. Though I met a lot of great people through other groups whom I'm still good friends with, IAI seemed to have an interestingly higher percentage of kindred spirits (for me, anyway)."
-- Jim Leftwich
Palo Alto, CA
Sept 2012

We believe that the IAI is worth the fight and are excited to stand with you as the IAI changes course to be around for the future to be there for more kindred spirits.

As we implement these changes, feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

Thanks for being such a great community!
The IAI Board of Directors

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