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March 2017
| Issue #7

The Canadian Experience – 2017 IAF face-to-face Board meeting

By Rosanna von Sacken, Director, IAF Canada Region

Most of the IAF Board members were able to make it to Toronto, Canada, in the brisk, cold January winter for 5 days, for the annual face to face Board meeting. Like last year, the meeting was ably facilitated by the ever adaptable facilitator, Martin Farrell. The blustery winds, falling snow and -15°C temperatures did not curb the enthusiasm of this group.

Vinay Kumar, the Director of the Asia Region, joined the group every day by Skype for a significant portion of the day. He often went beyond midnight or got up bright and early local time to join the team and discussions. His stamina was commendable. John Cornwell, Director, Africa Region, joined us in spirit from Africa.

Things you need to know about Canada 

The meeting began with familiarising the board with some fun Canadiana. Our secretary, Mara Svenne, taught the international visitors some things one must know when one visits Canada:

  • We wear “touques” (rhymes with “kooks”), knitted hats to protect our heads from the cold
  • We say “Toronna”, not Toronto as it spells
  • Canadians like their coffee a lot. A famous NHL professional hockey player named Miles Gilbert “Tim” Horton started a coffee and donut chain - Tim Horton’s - now an internationally recognised fast food restaurant. A “double double” refers to a medium coffee with two creams and two sugars.
  • We often say “eh” (sounds like “A”) after a sentence.
  • We apologise often, even for things that weren’t our fault, “sorry!”.

Of course, we had to invite our guests to try our “Timbits”, donut holes, from Tim Horton’s.

What to look out for in 2017

The Board discussed initiatives to focus on for the year: on-going projects and priorities, financial matters and other important behind the scenes work that support and benefit the IAF members.

Some exciting initiatives to watch for include:

  • Professional path (what comes after getting your CPF?) – further growth and development possibilities for CPFs
  • Updated Methods Library – going live sometime in 2017
  • IAF Web-Shop – a one-stop shopping channel to grow and support your facilitation practices (e.g. videos, books, and more)
  • Beyond chapters – opportunities to provide support for groups with common interests
  • Re-thinking the model of the IAF conferences

Facilitation Impact Awards Ceremony

Taking advantage of the Board members being present, the Canadian winners of the 2016 Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA) were invited to an FIA award ceremony on 25 January, where IAF colleagues and their respective clients were recognised and congratulated for their outstanding facilitation services and results.

The local Toronto Chapter and the International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA), a new collaborator with the IAF, were also invited to this celebratory event. It was a fun networking evening, filled with good conversations and connections.

The face-to-face meeting concluded with good old Canadian cheers. The local hosts, represented by the four Canadian board members (Rosanna von Sacken, Regional Director, Mara Svenne, Secretary, Tony Nash, Treasurer and Cameron Fraser, Professional Development Director) presented each member with the iconic Tim Horton’s coffee mugs.