Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Business Planning – 2014 and Beyond

Last weekend I was at the AGI business planning session down in Southampton (thanks to Ordnance Survey for the office space, I'm jealous of their building). It seemed the logical thing to blog about today would be some of the highlights of the weekend. Yes that’s right weekend, that’s how dedicated we are (OK it was a Friday and Saturday but still).

Heated Debate
Obviously I’m not going to go into the fine detail of the discussions and many of the agreed actions are work in progress with details being added all the time. Future council minutes will provide the real detail on what is going on however I suspect no one ever reads them (must add Google analytics to that page) so here is a bit of an overview of what you might see in the coming months.

The overall plan and sentiment of the planning meeting was one of investing for the future. Like most organisations we suffered from the financial crisis and then the cuts of 2010. However we've stabilised and are now ready to grow again with a focus on how we can better serve our members and the wider interests of GI. 

One thing I can definitely tell you is that we will be getting a brand new website in 2014 (around the end of Q1). This is not going to be a re-skin or facelift but a whole new toy bringing benefits to our members. A dedicated member’s area will be central to the site and we will be working to fill this with useful content, a geo news hub if you will. We often talk about how the AGI is its members but recognise that many people can’t afford the time commitments that volunteering or standing for council require. This site will provide a
Coloured Post-Its, the key to strategy
new way for members to get involved with the chance to generate content (who doesn't like showing of their work?), and online community for our geographically disparate membership. Also we’re going to have some maps on there so you’ll get to laugh at my forays into cartography. At least until I give up and get one of my colleagues to do it...

The other big piece of news is the events programme. Although here I have to be careful not to go into too much detail as names of events aren't settled yet and I’ll get myself in trouble. However the sneak preview is that 2014 is going to have a stronger events offering than ever and unlike previous years there will be a joined up theme running throughout the year and culminating in the annual conference. The details will be announced at the AGI Awards Ceremony on 5th December so there isn't too long to wait.
Refuelling on the Friday Night

Anyway after much heated debate (always good to see that people care) a consensus was reached that 2014 was the time to invest and ensure we are tackling the big issues around GI. The goal is to be the model of a modern membership organisation and in a position to drive the community forwards. Suggestions are welcome and we will be reaching out to you all to participate in our new website.

Don’t forget we’ve got the AGI Showcase: North and Cymru still to come this year as well as Geodrinks next Wednesday so plenty of opportunity to have your thoughts included in AGI 2014 (as I am now calling our plan).

Oh and on the way back from the weekend myself and Angharad (one of our council members if you don’t know her) made a stop in Wimborne Minster where Angharad’s unfailing nose for map paraphernalia detected a collection of map mugs. Within five minutes of getting out of the car...
Map Cups!

Spitfire in Wimborne

Finally.. the next blog may be delayed until Friday as I actually want to see some of the presentations at the event. Come and say hello if you are there!

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