When Grazina joined OMS in the summer she wrote to all the Ambassadors asking for volunteers to help her in the development of the organisation. I offered to help and was invited to join the Community Engagement Steering Committee or (CESG). The CESG is made up of Ambassadors from across the world with the objective of reviewing and refreshing the Ambassador strategy and plan.
Ably chaired and co-ordinated by Fiona Schultz (Ambassador for Australia - Victoria – Geelong) the first challenge was to find a time in the week that could accommodate 9 people in 5 different time zones all across the world from New Zealand and Australia to the US, UK and Germany.
Once that was agreed we have settled into a fortnightly meeting schedule and set up a Facebook Group so that we can share our thoughts and have discussions outside of the meetings. Despite my personal aversion to Facebook it has been a very effective tool for this kind of discussion with people able to add their thoughts at a time of day or night that suits them.
The first task we undertook was to review the terms of reference and strategy for the Ambassadors which was originally written when the Circles were first created. As the Circles and the role of an Ambassador have been running for a few years, it was time to review how much of it reflected the reality of being an Ambassador.
It has been good to really question each other about not only what we think the role of an Ambassador is and should be, but what is the reality of being an Ambassador?; what support should be provided to Ambassadors from Head Office and how can we provide Ambassador to Ambassador support locally, nationally and internationally?; and how can we increase the numbers of Circles in a sustainable manner? To facilitate this Fiona asked us questions such as “Why do some Circles succeed, and others may struggle?”, “What is the reality of being an Ambassador?” and “What do we need to improve/ do differently – looking at the nuances of different geographies and cultures”.
Although we are from all over the world it has been interesting to see how similar our experiences of being Ambassadors are and our approaches as well as the different scenarios we have encountered in our roles.
In asking ourselves these questions (and many more) this has helped form the basis for the new strategy and, off the back of the strategy, the plan to deliver it with the aim of building a community of Ambassadors that can flourish, grow and support our increasing number of Circle Members.
Grazina came to our meeting a couple of weeks ago where we were able to share with her our thoughts and feelings and where our thinking has taken us in developing the new strategy. It was a very useful meeting to outline where we have got to and what we plan to do next in order to deliver the strategy and plan in the first quarter of 2021. We hope to be able to share more details as our thoughts solidify over the coming months.
Pictured L - R from top:
Allie Marwick – England - Surrey
Jenny Nicholson - England – Oxfordshire
Linda Boueke – Germany – Hamburg
Karen Lee - England - Sussex
Yvette Sargood - England - Berkshire
Fiona Schultz - Australia - Victoria – Geelong
Rick Nelson - United States - Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
Roy Bartlett - New Zealand - Auckland
Sean Kressinger - England - Cornwall