Is PLAN a noun (the name of a thing, person or place), or a verb (an action word, or a state of being)? Perhaps Leonard Bernstein saw it as a noun (“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan and not quite enough time.”), as did Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Plans are useless, planning is indispensable.”) and  Anatole France (“To accomplish great things, we need not only act but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”)

But Brecht must have considered it a verb (“Plans are always ruined by the littleness of those who ought to carry them out.”) as did Donald Trump (“I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focussing exclusively on the present. That’s where the fun is.”)

The Board of Directors of Arts Consultants Canada / Consultants canadiens en arts (ACCA) – like all good consultants – would like to offer a somewhat balanced viewpoint!  It is both – a noun AND a verb; as the following summary indicates, we have been planning our work, as well as working our plan:

ACCA Strategic Plan (2012-2015) Summary

We are a professional association of consultants, established in 2006, with the common dedication to advancing excellence in the field. We are all acknowledged arts consultants who adhere to the association’s Code of Professional Conduct, and are accepted through a peer-juried process.Our association’s founding objectives assist both arts consultants and the arts and culture sector at large, by providing networking opportunities and facilitating a forum for discussion of issues of concern to the arts and professional consultants.

OUR  MISSION:  To advance and promote ethical, excellent and effective consulting in Canada’s arts and culture sector.

OUR  VISION:  ACCA is nationally recognized as the nexus of arts consulting practise in Canada.

OUR  VALUES:  We believe that the arts play a crucial role in the development of individuals and society. We are committed to: high professional standards, integrity and leadership.

ACCA’s strategic goals are:

Goal 1: Clients find consultants
Connect clients with ethical and effective consulting by (1) raising awareness of ACCA and its members with potential clients, and (2) improving the consultant selection process and client/consultant suitability.

Goal 2: Consultants find colleagues
Increase networking and mutual knowledge exchange among consultants by (1) increasing/enabling/facilitating collaboration amongst members, (2) strengthening members’ practice, (3) increasing membership, and (4) aligning membership fees and categories.

Goal 3: Consultants find (more) work
Increase professional opportunities for consultants by (1) increasing RFPs posted by ACCA over three years, and (2) building the case for arts consulting.

With minimal but efficient staff resources, ACCA has relied – and will continue to rely – on the time, talent and effort of its committees (Professional Development, Membership Recruitment and Retention, Marketing and Communication), made up of both Board and volunteer members. The Board reviews and updates this strategic plan annually.

What are our next steps? In concert with ACCA’s AGM (September 18, 2015; 3:30 PM; Metro Hall, John Street, Toronto), the Board will take time to review the past three years, and refresh goals and strategies for the future.

I ask the membership of ACCA – what do you want to see in our next plan/ongoing planning?