Ralph Hogan is president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
Every five or six years, the SBE steps back to take
a comprehensive look at how to meet its members’ needs, by conducting a
strategic planning conference. We did just that on June 23, with the intention
of evaluating the condition of the broadcast engineering profession and determining
how the SBE can best serve the industry.
The Society of Broadcast Engineers was formed to
support and promote broadcast engineering, and has helped build the careers of
thousands of engineers working today. The SBE must take stock of industry
changes and assess what the society needs to do to help members continue to
progress in their field. It must routinely consider ways to continue this
meeting, held in Indianapolis, ran a full day, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The 36
participants included members of the SBE and staff from across the country.
There were 16 SBE chapter representatives, 14 directors, six members of the SBE
staff, plus two facilitators participating in the day-long event.
overall objective of the strategic planning session for the society was to
create several proposals that could be taken to the board for action.
SBE enlisted the services of a professional independent facilitator team of
Charlene Sullivan and Kenneth Harling to lead the participants through the
strategic planning process. The facilitators helped the group to recognize and
articulate the society's needs while building consensus on the best ways to
chart the SBE's course over the next three to five years.
To raise a set of critical action items, the
participants in the session were taken through a series of activities that
allowed the assessment of internal strengths and weaknesses as well as a
summary of external opportunities and threats.
The participants in the planning session were
divided into teams of six. Throughout the day, the membership of each team
shifted several times by design. All the facts and data collected were produced
by the teams.
most important objectives of the organization are professional recognition of
the competence of broadcast engineers, promotion of the broadcast engineering
profession, and to stimulate interest in the profession. The second most
important category of objective was classified as education and professionalism
of broadcast engineers and includes the creation and dissemination of knowledge
of broadcast engineering. The third and fourth most important objectives were
the promotion of ethical standards and to create alliances with all elements of
the broadcast and communications industries.
Several discussions focused on programmatic
efforts, such as increasing support to chapters, a reinvigorated effort to
attract youth to broadcasting and revamping the awards program to involve more
towards the future, the group thought SBE needed to identify whom the members
of the society should or could be and reach out to them, understanding that
technology and other factors continue to
change the roles its members play and the skill
sets they are expected to have.They
also believed SBE should look at how the society brands itself to reflect these
Finally, the group recommended that the SBE
should use the unique opportunity of the society’s 50th anniversary, which will
come in 2014, to demonstrate to the broadcast industry and the public the
significance that its members contribute to broadcasting.
the fall 2012 SBE Board of Directors meeting in Denver, the final report will
be discussed and the board will review each of the action item recommendations.
Then after ample study, the board will make decisions of what, if any, of the
items to implement.