How do we build strong teams to support the membership and the management in meeting IE’s goals?
We weren’t totally sure but it seemed a good idea to start with getting the people in the Coordinator Sandwich (the filling or glue between the management and the rest of the wider membership) together in person so that we could start to make a plan.
IE is still a young organisation and our structure and processes are still evolving. The idea to have coordinators to support the management was introduced in 2016 and we now have 32 coordinators, many of whom are also surrounded by a team.
So, to Bratislava we went, where 20 of us got together to see the real people behind the emails and Skype chats.
In the University Library (https://www.ulib.sk/english/), this collection of coordinators came together to make some noise, listened to by Franz Liszt (who played his first concert there in 1820 at the age of 9 so he’s probably heard a lot in his time, but we wondered what he thought of having us around for two days!)
We had some short presentations to all better understand what is expected of us, we discussed some of the points raised in the vision papers (each team has been tasked with thinking about their goals for the next year or so to help meet IE’s wider goals), we did some exercises from the CIG course to keep our minds and senses active in the field of meaning making (and the cold and snow also helped to keep us feeling fresh during the busy two days), we played some games to get to know each other better to strengthen our team spirit and we had a guided tour of the historic old town, enjoyed a reception hosted by the Slovakian National Trust (www.nt.sk/sk), and ate lots of lovely local food to fuel our discussions.
And, what did we conclude?
Well, that we have a great network of dedicated, enthusiastic coordinators; that we are all proud to volunteer for such an organisation to further the understanding and practice of heritage interpretation across Europe and beyond; that even though we have a long road to travel we have already made some good strides and the journey together will be a good one if we are bonded more strongly together. There are some specific action points which will hopefully make our connections to everyone stronger and you should start to see and hear our voices and actions throughout the organisation.
I’m sure you know that the structure includes management coordinators, subject coordinators and country coordinators. You can find out more about the individuals in each role here on the website and we will be adding more information about each team and what they do. If you have ideas to propose, would like to join a team, represent your country if it does not yet have a coordinator or start a subject team, we would love to hear from you: email@example.com. Please make use of the IE Coordinator Sandwich to ask questions or give feedback!
Marie Banks is IE’s News Coordinator and works as a freelance interpretation consultant and proofreader/editor. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To cite this article:
Banks, Marie (2018) ‘Coordinator sandwich’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2018, 10.