New ECAO Mission and Vision statements create an identity of purpose and collaboration
“Rather than merely stating what we do, these statements add why we do it and how we do it.”
By Anthony Capkun
October 14, 2020 – “To create a community of electrical and communications contractors that band together for support and advancement of the electrical/communications industry in Labour, Government and Public Relations.”
That’s the new Mission Statement of the Electrical Contractors Assoc. of Ontario, so I reached out to Graeme Aitken, ECAO’s executive director, to learn what prompted the change, and what the association aims to achieve.
“Although the changes to the statements may seem small at first glance—particularly to those outside our community—they are significant,” Graeme says. “In our view, these changes create an identity that is more than simply service; it clarifies purpose and encourages membership collaboration.”
Along with the new Mission Statement, ECAO also updated its Vision Statement to read:
To differentiate ECAO contractors and their IBEW partners across Ontario as being industry leaders in delivering safe, stable, predictable, high-quality electrical/communications construction and maintenance services.
When taken in combination, Graeme notes, these two statements “more properly capture the need for resilience and constantly keep excellence at front of mind”.
Whenever I read about new Mission and/or Vision Statements, I’m curious as to what prompted the decision to do so in the first place.
After analyzing the association, Graeme says ECAO determined that “while we performed well in certain areas, we needed to develop additional core competencies to allow us to sustain our competitive advantage and continue to optimally serve our members—and community—notwithstanding any future disruptions”.
“As a result, we felt it critical to properly reframe ECAO’s identity. After all, identity speaks to purpose, service, and membership collaboration and engagement.”
“In our view, the new statements are ambitious, seeking to ensure that ECAO continues toward improvement for our members, our industry, our community,” Graeme says. “Rather than merely stating what we do, these statements add why we do it and how we do it. I think it also balances the pride of past accomplishments with the plan to accomplish more in the future.”
After comparing the old Mission Statement against the new one, I noticed that “Communications”—as a field of work—does, in fact, appear in both. (At first, I thought it was a new addition, but Graeme corrected me on that point.)
He says it was important for ECAO to reinforce its members’ expertise in providing both Communications and other low-voltage work. ECAO and IBEW CCO are also working on ways to increase the number of qualified workers to support this ever-growing sector, he added.
I have long been a proponent of electrical contractors doing Communications work, rather than having someone else do it, so I asked Graeme whether he thought most electrical contractors now recognize the importance of doing this work.
“In short, Yes. I have noticed that research, training, education, and interest in this area of our industry have increased significantly, even in just the three years I have been with ECAO. The importance of this work is also a subject matter being collaboratively approached by ECAO and IBEW CCO.”
While we chatted, Graeme mentioned some other exciting news from ECAO’s recently developed strategic plan.
“I cannot overstate my pride with the addition of a Diversity Group that was a direct result of our strategic planning. Although the details, terms of reference, etc., are currently being developed, I expect this will come to fruition very soon.”
The association is also expanding the types and modes of delivery for member training and education, and exploring ways to expand its market share.