COVID-19 Info

16 March 2020

Dear colleagues,

How does our leadership work inform us in times of crisis? The themes from two of our previous global conferences come top of mind. In 2017 we addressed the theme "Leadership in Turbulent Times" and this past year in Ottawa the theme "Leadership: Courage Required." Both are so appropriate for what the world is experiencing today. In the leadership field we know that in today's interdependent and connected world there are benefits and challenging downsides. This is one of those challenges.

As I write this letter, I am sure you have received many letters updating you on steps being taken in response to COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. While much remains unknown about COVID-19's epidemiology and impact, health officials are projecting that we should assume that the virus will spread more broadly despite collective strategies being undertaken to slow the spread of the virus. As of 11 March, the World Health Organization has declared it as a global pandemic that is impacting 100 countries. This is a global crisis not limited to any continent.

Our commitment to our members is to:

At the ILA, we will monitor closely, consult with experts, and revise policies and practices when appropriate. Our goal is to support the mission of the ILA with our core activities of providing trusted resources and creating trusted spaces for leadership learning for our members, partners, and the public. We are continuing to plan, subject to appropriate health and well-being practices, our gatherings unless it is not feasible or appropriate to do so. The ILA has conferences and events beginning in June with the Women and Leadership conference, followed by the Leadership Education Academy (LEA) in July, the Power of Purpose (PoP 3.0) symposium in September, and the annual global conference in November. Mindful that circumstances will continue to evolve we will communicate any changes to our events and related policies in a timely manner.

While the ILA's global conferences and other specialty events provide unique opportunities and benefits to our members and partners, we recognize that these are extraordinary times that require measures for our collective safety and well-being. For that reason, we are looking at creating and supporting alternative approaches of coming together. As an agile organization we will be working to redefine and stretch our understanding of trusted spaces.

"In times of crisis, people reach for meaning. Meaning is strength." That quote by Viktor Frankl resonates with all of us and may be particularly relevant at this time. As leaders in leadership we will look at ways to make meaning and explore ways to leverage our collective knowledge in the ILA community.

I appreciate that this is a difficult time for all of us. I also understand that there will be no single way of responding in which everyone will be comfortable. And yet, I also know that we are part of a larger leadership community that cares for the greater good of all. I thank you for your patience and assistance as we work through this uncertain, ever-evolving situation.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Cherrey, PhD

President & CEO


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