President’s Message – August 2020

By Renee Hoekstra, CVS – President, SAVE International

The summer is in full swing and for those of us that live in the Southwest, it has been a hot one.  Staying inside to keep cool is the best bet.  With everything going virtual, staying inside has been pretty easy to do.

I do want to talk a little about virtual things these days and I would like to start with talking about you.  The virtual approach to communication, meetings, workshops and training is making us accessible almost 24-hours a day.  This can be tough on our psyche and our families.  This instant access will eventually take its toll.  Please remember to take care of yourself.  Take time to tune off and tune out!  We need to stay strong both physically and mentally and it requires that we have the ability to recharge.

During this time of year, many of us are used to going on vacation, spending time with family and having fun.  COVID has made this very difficult for many reasons.  Let’s get creative, try and figure out how you can disconnect from our busy lives to take care of yourself, even if it is taking a drive to somewhere you haven’t been in a while, hanging out in the yard with family, or just turn the phone off and read a good book.  Stay healthy!

Now that we’ve taken care of ourselves, let’s briefly chat about workshops and training.  We are in the process of preparing a few new documents to aid our membership in their efforts to conduct virtual VM workshops and the Value Methodology Fundamentals 1 (VMF 1) course.  We’re hoping to get something out within the next week or so as we continue to see some great efforts by our practitioners and our owners.  I do want to share that although we are seeing some positive outcomes, we are also seeing some difficulties and challenges.

It has been interesting to see how the virtual format brings to light the importance of facilitation skills.  Kudos to the SAVE International Certification Board for bringing facilitation skills into the certification process.  What we are experiencing is that facilitation is much more difficult in this virtual environment.  We have individuals not using cameras, team members not using or don’t have access to cameras and challenges with engaging team members.  What I want you to think about is, what is the experience for the attendee or team member.  How would you feel based on the way you are conducting workshops or training from their perspective?  I think this is a great opportunity for all of us, entry level to CVS-Life to spend some time trying to hone our facilitation skills in this new and challenging environment.

The way we have always done things, is not what is going to build cohesive and productive teams that provide successful outcomes.  Think about if you were leading a workshop and as someone came up with an idea you heard, “but that’s not how we do it”.  What would be your response to this statement?  We have to think about it in this manner.  We can’t continue to work in the same manner.  We need to break out of our own paradigms and embrace and learn how to use new technology and collaborative virtual tools in an effective manner.  Don’t let the technology hinder your ability to lead teams.  It’s time for all of us to be willing to learn and apply these tools so that we can be on the leading edge versus dragging us along, kicking and screaming.  Look for the Virtual Update emails from the SAVE business office that will be coming.

Speaking of virtual, that seems to be the continuing approach for our various SAVE Board meetings.  We welcomed our new Board members in a meeting in July.  We were able to address a few pressing issues including the release of the VM Guide in various formats.  (The e-book was to be released but it seems we are having format issues.  We will let you know when it is available.)  We are so excited about having this fabulous tool to continue to Spread the Word consistently about VM.

I’ve received a few comments about the fact that SAVE is charging our members for the VM Guide.  Please understand, although the Technical Committee members volunteered their time to put this all together, and they did a terrific job, there were costs for professional formatting, graphics, editing and management that has to be covered.  If SAVE is going to continue to provide tools, training and educational materials, we have to have the money to invest.  We would love to provide everything at no cost to our members, but it is not realistic and I’m hoping that everyone continues to support our endeavors.

One very important aspect of the VM Guide is that it is NOW time for ALL of you to adopt the VM Guide into your everyday activities.  We are going to be using this as our “ONE voice” to ensure that we are all speaking the same language.  It’s time to ensure the story that SAVE is telling is the same.  Looking into the future, our new Board member, Javier Masini, is working on a plan to integrate the language of the VM Guide into our training and education.  We know this is important in our overall endeavor of adopting the VM Guide.  Thank you all for starting to make this change, I know change can be difficult, but it will be fabulous for you and SAVE.

Other happenings within SAVE can be found in the articles, including an update on future educational webinars, future virtual Summits, and of course the 2021 Value Summit in Glendale, Arizona.  We are still planning on being in-person in Arizona, so hopefully all of you will plan on supporting SAVE – and more importantly it will be so nice to see all of you in person.  These virtual hugs are just not the same.

Make sure you’ve got June 5-9, 2021 on your calendar! As I had briefly mentioned in previous articles, there is so much to do at this venue, you’ll either want to come early or stay late, just to experience it all.  They just opened a new Top Golf and the Desert Diamond Casino just down the street.  I do want to assure everyone that we are keeping all of our options open, just in case COVID continues to be a challenge, that way we will be ready this next year.

Because our virtual Summit was so successful, we are looking at having an in-person Value Summit every other year.  The in-person Summits will help us focus on delivering presentations and educational materials that require hands-on activities and personal engagement from the attendees.

In closing, just a reminder, stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and all my thanks to everyone for all your hard work in helping to continue to make VM a great success!  Keep Spreading the Word, and the Word is VM!