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Editors SA: strategic planning in the time of corona

by Melanie Dankel

While we’re all sick of hearing how 2020 has thrown up a host of challenges in ‘unprecedented’ times, it certainly has revealed some unexpected positives and a collective talent for being agile (read: being able to completely change plans at the last minute). This is something the EdSA committee experienced when SA’s brief lockdown forced us to cancel our first face-to-face meeting since March. So after some quick tidying and adjusting for a distraction-free Zoom backdrop, our committee met to continue our strategic planning for 2021.

The committee has identified three primary objectives for the coming year: 

1. Long-term vision/planning. The committee generally feels that we want to work towards specific goals, and we want everyone to be clear on this so we stay focused. We are a small committee but we think big. The reality is that we need to channel our efforts into specific areas to make the most of our resources. 

2. IPEd-wide alignment. As much as we love SA, we know we need to look outward. IPEd is full of great resources and great initiatives, and we recognise that we can achieve so much more if we don’t double up on the fabulous work already being done by others. In the same way, we can coordinate our efforts to further contribute to the strategic plan and vision laid out by IPEd. SA also has a proud history of showing up for standing committees and working groups, and we hope to see our contributions continue. 

3. Member engagement and benefits for members. This should really be our number one objective because our membership is at the core of everything we do. We don’t just want our members to show up to events; we want them (you) to suggest/plan/run them as well. We believe that if we are giving you what you want out of your membership, you will feel more connected and invested in what we do. We want you to show up, tell us what you want, suggest ways in which we can be more involved and help us do it, too. With this, we recognise the need to connect and network, and we will offer some face-to-face catch ups in the near future, starting with our Christmas picnic on 13 December.

I fully recognise that putting this in our newsletter is absolutely the best way to hold us to account in keeping these goals at the forefront of what we do — and please feel free to keep asking us about them, suggest ways we can achieve them, and even offer us the occasional encouragement.

Our next steps will be planning our events calendar for 2021, so if you feel you have an area of knowledge you can share, or would like us to consider a particular topic for a workshop, we’d love to hear from you. My thanks go to the Editors SA committee members who gave up their Sunday (Jo, Mike, Adele, Sumudu, Kirsty and Alice) to think big. My favourite quote of the day was, ‘We need to become more notorious!’ So watch out, IPEd.

Melanie Dankel, Editors SA President

On a more personal note, I hope to see some of you at the Editors SA Christmas quiz night on 10 December. And don’t forget to wear your best Christmas outfit.

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