Now is a good time to take stock 

Since I joined IWater I’ve had an incredibly warm welcome into the IWater family and have learned a lot about both the Institute and the sector. It’s clear from conversations with members, volunteers, the Board and key stakeholders, that now is a good time for IWater to take stock of our purpose, our priorities and how we achieve them. Throughout 2023 we’ll be carrying out a strategic review to determine our future direction as an institute. And we want our members to help shape that future. 

Growing a thriving, impactful organization 

We have a wonderful organization, with a great deal to offer and we want it to thrive and create even more positive impact – for our members, our sector, our communities. And, we can’t overstate the importance of continuously developing the people in our sector, who have the privilege and responsibility for perhaps our most precious resource. 

However, IWater remains, as many have put it “a well-kept secret”. We know from the estimated numbers of people working in the water sector and our level of membership that we have a lot of scope for growth – in numbers, in capacity and in impact. Without growth, over time, we would begin to question our sustainability as an organization; and that’s not a future we want.  So, it’s important for any membership organisation to show people that the opportunities we offer are worth joining for, paying for and getting actively involved. 

What questions are we trying to answer? 

To be successful and impactful, an organization needs to have a clear understanding of the needs it exists to respond to and how it works to make positive change. We know that our sector faces some very big challenges and great expectations. We want to be relevant and contribute in a meaningful way to addressing those challenges. With the fast pace of change today, organizations have to be able to adapt and even change direction when needed. So, we’ll ask a lot of questions to a lot of people that will help us answer: 

– What impact do we want to make? 

– How do we grow that impact through our membership? 

We’ve recruited a great volunteer Steering Group to drive the process. We don’t know yet where this will lead.  It may mean some changes and even some tough decisions; it will definitely involve some rich conversations.  

How can you get involved? 

We want to talk to a good mix of people who are interested in our future. Our first priority is to create opportunities for our members to give their input. Each member has insights and inputs that we need for this conversation.  

We hope to have an in-person session in all areas. So far, we can confirm: 

Meet the Scottish Area Committee & Bowling Social Fri 17/03/23 15.00 – 19.30

If you can’t get to the in-person meetings, don’t worry, there will be five online consultations as well: 

Wed 15/03/2023 15:00 – 16:30 

Tue 04/04/2023 15:00 – 16:30 

Wed 10/05/2023 15:00 – 16:30 

Thu 15/06/2023 15:00 – 16:30 

Plus a session for members of the Young Person’s Network – date to be confirmed 

It’s also important that we get a good understanding of how we’re seen by our peers, partners and the wider sector. We’ll be making sure there are opportunities to have that valuable dialogue and input into the review. 

We have a terrific foundation to build on and we have a great opportunity to strengthen IWater and increase our impact. Together, we will arrive at the answers and a clear direction. 

Gaby Mandell, CEO, Institute of Water

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