Final Report from the 10th WASummit

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Eth Lloyd details the outcomes of the final day of the World Administrators Summit

This article sets out the outcomes of the discussions of the business plenary session on the final day of the 10th WASummit. With 41 delegates from 22 countries represented, those present felt that these decisions would be binding.

The final session is where delegates vote on a range of items relating to the WASummit.  These items cover whether there is to be another WASummit, how long the term between summits should be, whether they wish Administra to continue to be updated and some other items.

1. Administra

Did the delegates wish to continue updating and using Administra?

Administra is the Action Plan for the WASummit. It has four goals which are worded to be used either by associations or individuals. It was developed in 2006 and gained its name through the Australian Institute of Office Professionals (AIOP) purchasing the naming rights to a new star. This star is named for all administrative professionals around the world. To continue to be relevant Administra needs to be updated after each WASummit. It can be found on our website http://www.worldadministratorssummit.com/adminstra.html

Outcome

That Administra is accepted to be updated in its current form by all countries present with consideration to be given to the format being changed in the future. ACCEPTED

2. Future of the World Administrators Summit

Did countries present support continuation of WASummit in its present form?

Discussion

The organisation must become bigger, wider, better. Is it not possible to have the summit more frequently?

Outcome

That WASummit events are continued to be held. ACCEPTED

3. Timeframe and frequency of WASummit

The timeframe between WASummit events has changed over time to two years, three years, four years, two years, etc. so change is nothing new.

Outcome

That the frequency of WASummits moves from a three year to a two-year cycle. ACCEPTED

4. Structure of the Advisory Council

The Delegates need to consider a more sustainable way of continuing; consider a different model to make the organisation more sustainable and resilient.

Discussion

USA: The world is moving very fast. We need to look at a model that will be a way to keep up, lead up. How do we move the profession ahead, elevate, accentuate? Look at a model much like a strategic plan.

Canada: What does the WASummit look like post-today? What do the next steps look like and what are we looking at? How do we take the work already done and build on it to continue the work and the walk?

Ambassador (Lucy Brazier): discussion must involve all of you (delegates). It shouldn’t be just a few of us being involved. How do we continue to have those conversations in-between? Communication must be ongoing.

Germany: The Chairman of the Advisory Council has given us an opportunity. Everyone needs to accept the opportunity given to us.

New Zealand: This is my 5th Summit and I agree we need to continue to do them well. In the last few years, this forum has been run by volunteers. Thank you to the Chairman and those involved in facilitating this Summit, it has been amazing.

Chairman: The Advisory Council will not make changes without consulting you, the delegates.

Outcome

That the WASummit continues with the structure as it currently is, with a new structural model to be further investigated over the next 12 months by the Advisory Council.  Suggestions/outcomes from this investigation will be consulted on with delegates before being agreed and put in place, preferably no later than 2020. ACCEPTED

Post Event Note

The process of change is already well underway with a survey of all delegates and associations having been undertaken. The survey has led to approval for the new structural model to be set up as a non-profit trade (profession) Association under the name of the World Administrators Alliance (WAAlliance). This new structure will work in similar ways to the Advisory Council but with a more formal and resilient structure. The WASummit in its current form, will continue to be held every two years. The survey asked for questions about this process from which a Q&A sheet has been produced which will be available through social media and on the website shortly.

5. The Advisory Council Regional Make-Up

In 2003, it was agreed that a representative from every country would make the council unmanageable. Therefore, the world was broken into regions, where each region was invited to provide two representatives for the Advisory Council. The regions are open for discussion at every summit. These regions and representative numbers have been amended over the past 15 years to better reflect actuality. You can check the Advisory Council Terms of reference at http://www.worldadministratorssummit.com/important-forms.html

Two of the African countries present (Uganda, Angola) asked for wider representation. South Africa was established as representing Africa as a region with two representatives. All the continental African countries present were asked to discuss and provide suggestions of how their regions should be made up.

Post Event Note

Immediately after the WASummit Ghana, who were unable to be present, separately approached the Chairman with a suggestion of West, East, South and perhaps North Africa. The Chairman forwarded this email to Uganda, Angola, Nigeria and South Africa. These countries have agreed to these four regions each with one representative, totaling four for the continent of Africa, better reflecting the make-up of other regions.

The European region currently includes Ukraine and Russia. The two delegates present from those two countries were asked to discuss and consider collectively providing two representatives from that grouping (one from each country) as a new region. To date Ukraine has taken up this offer.

The Advisory Council also enlists and co-opts individuals with special skills where those skills are not available on the Council. If a Delegate wished to have a Certificate of Attendance, they needed to email the Chairman (Eth Lloyd).

6. International Credentialing Task Force

Wendy Rapana (New Zealand) will continue in her role to take this work to the next stage. Her current team were to advise her if they wished to continue working with her on this team. This team is currently being built.

So, what does this mean to you as an individual?

The WASummit will continue to be held to discuss matters of importance to you and to give a voice to all administrative professionals around the world. You need to be sure that your country is represented on the Advisory Council; as noted above the Advisory Council structure is to change to become more resilient, responsive and sustainable as a Non-Profit Trade Association called the WAAlliance.

Also, ensure your country sends at least one delegate (each country may send up to three) to every summit event. If you do not have a national professional association or they choose not to be involved, then consider putting yourself forward as an individual delegate for your country. Make sure that the voices of administrative professionals in your country are heard.

The next summit, the 11th WASummit, is to be in Wellington, New Zealand 30 August to 1 September 2020. The 12th WASummit is to be held in the USA in 2022.

The 10th WASummit achieved a great deal in the two days of meetings held in Frankfurt. The facilitators were awesome, and the delegates were very well prepared. This led to discussions that were valuable, deep and provided tangible outcomes. These outcomes have led to further work for many of the delegates and the Advisory Council and this work has been willingly taken on. Every individual who volunteered to take on a task is aiming to give you the tools you require and to give you a voice, to ensure the work you do is recognised as a profession.

The WASummit is a huge international team effort, all aimed at supporting you as an administrative professional and to meet the purpose of the WASummit from Administra “…to guide, influence and positively develop this profession.”

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About Author

Eth Lloyd

Eth Lloyd, MNZM, worked for 30 years as a Personal Assistant. Her passion for administrative professionals and their value in the workplace is shown by her commitment to encouraging them to value themselves and their roles. In 2018 Eth was awarded the New Zealand Queen’s Birthday honour MNZM for her services to administrative professional development. Eth is the Chairman of the World Administrators Summit Advisory Council and author of The Executive Secretary Guide to Conference and Event Management, available now on Amazon.

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