Canadian Consulting Engineer

ACEC’s Clear Strategic Direction: thoughts from a newly-appointed president

What impressed me the most about ACEC when I was considering letting my name stand for the position of President was the clear strategic direction that the association has recently established for its...

January 1, 2002   By Claude Paul Boivin

What impressed me the most about ACEC when I was considering letting my name stand for the position of President was the clear strategic direction that the association has recently established for itself. ACEC has adopted a set of five distinct but interrelated priorities that will determine the association’s future thrusts and activities. As an incoming President, I am delighted that the association has carefully determined an order of importance for what it wants to achieve on behalf of its members and the industry over the coming years. Many associations simply fail to prioritise their goals and ultimately lose focus. An association must be unambiguous about its priorities and avoid spreading itself too thinly. Doing otherwise will lead to being a mile wide but only an inch deep. With its priorities well lined up, and with the leadership committed to their implementation, ACEC is certainly well placed to optimise its overall impact.

Five priorities that will drive the Association

The five ACEC priorities are (1) image; (2) remuneration; (3) business practices; (4) lobbying; and (5) emerging trends. These five priorities were agreed upon after consultations within the industry and the association. The consultations concluded with a facilitated brainstorming session with the leadership of ACEC, which included the provincial member organizations. It is based on these five priorities that ACEC will now formulate its strategies, develop co-ordinated programs and allocate resources.

National committees for effective co-ordination

To maximize efforts and resources and to avoid duplication, the strategic plan calls for increased collaboration among the stakeholders. National committees, which will have representation from the provincial member organizations, have been constituted to drive the priorities. Two committees are already in place and functioning. The Communications Committee is drafting a national strategy to promote the image of the consulting engineering industry. ACEC’s Chairman of the Board, Mr. Andrew Steeves, chairs that committee. The Business Practice Committee, chaired by ACEC’s Vice Chairman, Mr. Scott Phillips, is working on the 2001 Business Survey and, in 2002, it will be tackling the issues of industry fees and services.

Next steps

The next step for ACEC is to conduct the cross-Canada consultations regarding the draft national strategy on image and to establish a third national committee, in the area of Government Relations. With a clear strategic direction in place, the challenge for ACEC now is to work collaboratively with the provincial member organisations to design and implement the different action plans.


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