Strategic Steps Toward a Better JCI

May 12, 2011

Through the direction of the 2008 JCI Strategic Planning Committee Recommendations, JCI has been working at all levels to improve our global organization. In 2008, a Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) representing JCI members from all regions of the globe convened. The committee was formed in accordance with the JCI Constitution to “consider in detail the future and long-range policy, procedures and finances of the organization, and the revision, if necessary, of its organizational structure.”

The SPC provided recommendations on seven key areas of the organization, which were approved by the General Assembly at the 2008 JCI World Congress. The team at JCI World Headquarters, JCI Officers and JCI members across the world have been hard at work to take action on the strategic plan in our fast- changing world. It is the responsibility of every JCI member and officer, as part of one global team, to ensure the strategic plan’s successful implementation.

Mission, Vision & Values
After careful evaluation of the JCI Mission and Vision prior to 2008, the SPC provided alternative recommendations, which more concisely conveyed the core purpose of the organization. JCI has implemented the recommendations on the international level and continues to encourage JCI National and Local Organizations to update their documents to reflect the current JCI Mission and Vision.

This renewed emphasis on the JCI Mission and Vision is key to JCI’s global success. Though separated geographically, JCI members are united through the JCI Mission and work towards the JCI Vision. JCI is committed to celebrating and sharing the common values of JCI with members and non-members across the world.

JCI has also created a framework to help JCI members align their projects with the JCI Mission. The JCI Active Citizen Framework provides a methodology for JCI Local Organizations to run sustainable projects that create measurable results in communities. The process starts with assessing community needs in health and wellness, education and economic empowerment and sustainability. By engaging partners and evaluating results, JCI members ensure their projects are relevant and deliver effective positive change. Local project directors are encouraged to download the description and the infographic of the Framework and apply the methodology to their next project.

JCI Programs
Recommendations from the SPC on JCI Programs included maximizing relationships with partners to enhance programs and to align each program with the JCI Mission and Vision. These efforts will ensure that every JCI Program creates a profound impact and advances the goals JCI sets for building positive change.

Starting in 2009, JCI realigned the JCI Best Business Plan Competition (JCI BBP) to the JCI Mission and engaged the support of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-WCF). The program moved from an international competition to a local program run by JCI Local Organizations, often in cooperation with the local chambers of commerce, to promote economic development directly in communities.

The 2010 JCI Awards Review Committee evaluated the JCI Awards Program and recommended changes, which were approved by the General Assembly at the 2010 JCI World Congress in Osaka, Japan. Officially launching in 2012, the new Awards Program will renew focus on creating impact at the local level, along with a more efficient system.

Another JCI Program receiving updates this year is JCI Twinning. New tools for building and sustaining meaningful international partnerships within the JCI network are being developed now and the updates will be implemented throughout the next two years.

Also, new and relevant topics will be introduced to the JCI World Debating Championship at the 2011 JCI Area Conferences and JCI World Congress. Realigned with the JCI Mission, topics will now focus more on regional and international issues to promote awareness among participants and audiences. JCI Local and National Organizations are encouraged to adopt topics of significance in their local communities to provide a forum to discuss how to better address those issues facing our world today.

JCI Events
As with JCI Programs, the SPC recommended that all JCI events be used to further the JCI Mission. Among their suggestions were to market Conferences and Congresses to external audiences and to broaden the appeal of events. The SPC also suggested making the General Assembly more relevant to and focused on JCI members.

JCI World Headquarters has worked hard with Conference and Congress Organizing Committees to implement the strategic plan to bring fresh and relevant content to JCI events. New programs were introduced to the 2009 JCI World Congress in Tunisia, including the JCI Morning Show, which have also been included in the subsequent events. The JCI Global Partnership Summit has also continued to grow and attract more high-profile speakers every year. These changes help to better engage attendees both within and outside JCI while providing everyone involved with new ideas and inspiration to create positive community change.

JCI Finance & Revenue
In order to preserve JCI World Headquarters services during years when membership does not grow, the SPC advocated a decreased reliance on membership dues for operating budget. Even before 2008, JCI had been cultivating relationships with many organizations and companies to help finance events and projects.

JCI World Headquarters is continuing to develop partnerships with organizations committed to conducting business responsibly while helping develop communities and employees by aligning with the ten principles of the UN Global Compact. JCI is also implementing a new self-sustaining plan for the 2011 JCI Global Partnership Summit, which will not draw any funds from the organization’s operations budget. JCI continues to work with outside financial experts, who are assisting the organization in identifying corporate partners to finance programs and events.

JCI Training
Prior to the recommendations of the SPC, JCI Training was called JCI University. The change was made to avoid any confusion with an accredited educational institution and to more accurately represent the types of courses offered to JCI members.

JCI Training offers increased opportunities for members to develop the skills necessary to organize effective projects and run JCI Organizations professionally. Course structure was streamlined and the certification process for new and advancing JCI Trainers has been simplified. JCI is also building relationships with businesses to satisfy the SPC recommendation that JCI Trainings collaborate more with professional organizations and companies to develop additional relevant course content.

Membership Recruitment and Retention
The SPC stressed the importance of reaching out to external individuals when evaluating the membership recruitment and retention tactics undertaken by JCI prior to 2008. Their recommendations for improvement included expanded marketing to non-members to emphasize the quality of programs offered by JCI and community and global projects performed by JCI members.

Since 2008, JCI has developed a new website geared toward non-members, expanded marketing efforts in social media, including Facebook and Twitter, and created the JCI Marketing Manual, which provides Local Organizations with a guide to building and marketing a brand that attracts young people.

JCI World Headquarters
Recommendations from the SPC regarding JCI World Headquarters hinged on improving communications, efficiency and fundraising. In addition, members of the committee emphasized the importance of aligning marketing materials, communications and publications with the JCI Mission and Vision.

JCI World Headquarters has undergone a restructuring since the SPC meeting, resulting in more clearly defined roles for each department and staff members have been assigned to specific tasks to improve working efficiency. Marketing materials, toolkits and action guides have also been developed to help enhance Local Organization communications and operations. The JCI members’ website has been overhauled with many additional features and a more streamlined structure. Funding has also been reevaluated and is continuously updated as JCI builds partnerships with other organizations and companies who are aligned with the JCI Mission.

Provided by JCI members, JCI Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for JCI Officers, JCI World Headquarters and all JCI members. Do your part today by downloading the complete SPC recommendations and align your Local Organization’s plan. We must act as one global team now and in the future to achieve the goals set in this plan.

Do you have any ideas on how we can make JCI even better? Share them on the JCI Facebook page.

Read more about the Strategic Planning Committee’s recommendations.