Eating the Elephants - Part 2
Observations - Federation Meeting, Wednesday September 6th:
While not exactly called out by name, the elephants were acknowledged in the room
The smaller group discussion with a diverse mix of affiliates at each table allowed for us to start taking bites at the elephant(s) at a micro level, which really helped to keep the room from getting fully emotionally tainted.
I gained a sense that not even a small minority wants the “I” removed from AP2.
It seemed clear to me that individuals among the Australasia contingency recognized and acknowledged that they are either not happy with the unilateral move they made with training, or they know they must do something that will keep the IAP2 federation intact.
The idea of a fixed percentage for the federation based on some type of equitable measure gained some traction in the room.
The acknowledgement that in the history of the federation there have been fits and starts, and other errors was helpful. As was the acknowledgement the federation has always found a way to learn from those situations and fix that problem in time, and then move forward recognizing the need for continuous improvement, and periodic gut checks.
Wednesday’s session genuinely seemed to commence in this spirit!
I cannot make a judgement that there was a deliberate act of bad faith on the part of any affiliate, nor the Federation’s response to their actions, and will assume everyone was trying to act in good faith.
Yet, it’s clear that there are now two wrongs, which do not equal right. The road to hell (for “I” in AP2, and brand protection) is paved with good intentions. We must set the bar higher than good intention. We must have good faith actions that lead to sustainable policy and a sustainable organization. In other words, we must practice what we preach.
The status quo is unsustainable for the Federation, and without remedy, there could be a free for all, drop the “I” and its every affiliate being an AP2 unto itself with wide open intellectual property right infringement and nothing to stop that because of the precedent already set.
While not my preference of an option from the onset, our table was asked to outline a path forward using a Strong International and weak regional organizational structure. For the sake of the exercise, I chose to play the game straight and seriously tried to envision a positive and workable construct for this model. Others at the table did too.
Listening to our conversations, it sounded like we were forming a franchise type model. McDonald’s was thrown out there as an example to the room, but I also mentioned within our group that the Red Cross might be a more appropriate example for a non-profit, and the room should have heard that too.
Successful non-profits and industry/trade organizations can stay both true to their passion, mission and values, and still run like a top tier business.
Money isn’t bad if used for the right reasons and we should not kid ourselves that we’ll reach our aspirational goals without the funds to get there.
Recommendation - Path Forward:
The IAP2 brand and its intellectual property must be protected at all costs, without that.. IAP2 is dead
There cannot be competing products introduced by affiliates that directly dilutes or undercuts the revenue to operating a sustainable Federation. This doesn't preclude localized adaptations of materials if done with proper sanction.
The Federation must be agile, and highly responsive to the needs of its affiliates to determine localized innovations that can further bolster all aspects of the organizations and the practice of P2 without diluting the brand, or the appropriate and agreed upon revenue of affiliates and the Federation alike.
The Code of Ethics, and Core Values must be evident by the conduct and actions of all parties at all times in all circumstances.
Vigilance, quality control and credible methods of enforcement for all the above must be in place immediately.
A good fresh start moving forward is that an equitable revenue formula where all affiliates appropriately contribute must be put into effect immediately to fund a sustainable Federation operation, and any affiliate failing to do so, will be publicly stripped of all IAP2 branding and affiliation, and risk further exposure to litigation to protect the Federation’s IAP2 intellectual property rights.
A better restart will include all the above, with Australasia making an appropriate financial contribution a good will and good faith gesture to address the condition the Federation is now in, and necessarily further enable the Federation to be more quickly on the proper footing we aspire for this organization to be on.
The greatest restart would be all the above, plus any new innovative products could be shared throughout the Federation and it affiliates, with appropriate compensation and recognition for the innovator, and for the greater good of the practice of P2.
All boats rise with the tide
I prefer the Strong International – Strong Regional model
Doable, reasonable, sustainable, and within our reach right now
The Strong International – (Don’t want to use weak) Regional Franchise type model is appealing
This is an attractive option if done correctly, but we are not anywhere near ready for this at this time