The IET’s one team approach is about staff and volunteers working together, not telling each other what to do, but rather working as one single, unified team.
This way of working has been embraced more and more across the organisation over the last few years and has been a huge success across IET Communities, where people are working together to make the best use of the available resources.
One team working is key when it comes to the success of the IET Community Model for example. Its aim is to create an environment to enable the IET to support an expanding portfolio of communities and get more people engaged and sharing knowledge. By working together the IET staff and volunteers are making sustainable growth possible, allowing the volunteers to become more self-sufficient and making sure growth isn’t limited by the available staff resources.
“In Communities we have always worked closely with volunteers – all the funding decisions about allocating budget to the local and technical networks are made by committees of other volunteers, with staff support, which gives them credibility and prevents a ‘them and us’ mentality from creeping in,” explains Alex Taylor, Senior Manager, Communities.
“We have a team of Community Relationship Managers (CRMs) who work closely with communities to help them identify opportunities and develop their activities. Often this is about providing ideas, guidance and advice, volunteers can then decide how best to interpret or apply that advice based on their local expertise and understanding of the topics that will be of interest to engineers in their area, we try and establish a good relationship and sense of teamwork.
“Part of the reason the IET has a senior staff member as a full member of each of the Boards and Committees is in support of this way of working,” she adds.
There are many one team projects in this area including the communities’ planning and budgeting process, the allocation of funding and also volunteer communications.
A great example of the success that comes from one team working are the Community Volunteer Conferences (CVCs).
Each of the five IET Community Committee (CC) regions - UK, Americas, South Asia, Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa - host their own CVC, which gives regional volunteers the opportunity to come together to share best practice and keep up to date with the latest IET developments.
Information and support is provided by IET staff, however the strength of the regional CVCs is that the content is largely decided by the volunteers themselves.
“The staff help with advice and logistical support, but the volunteers have the power to set their own agendas that are relevant to the issues in their region,” Alex explains. “Most try and deliver them so that there’s more discussion and interaction and less PowerPoint presentations – people ‘being told’ from HQ!”