Cultural Relevance — Vital to an Association’s Survival

IAEI 2023-2035 Strategic Plan Now Officially in Action


In November 2022, the IAEI Board of Directors held a two-day Strategic Planning Retreat with two outstanding professional facilitators. The previous strategic plan was set to expire at the end of 2022, so it was time to put a new plan in place to guide IAEI into the future.

Picking up where the previous Strategic Plan left off, the board spent the majority of the first day completing the S.W.O.T. analysis, which identified IAEI’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities (goals) and Tactics (objectives).  The second day was spent wrapping up and finalizing the major points of the Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan Goals:

GOAL: Reestablish the IAEI Brand and Reputation

Objective: Regain control of the IAEI brand through a top-down IO management model (“laying the foundation”)

GOAL: Establish IAEI as a leader of electrical safety education and publications

Objective: Enhance and expand all educational offerings and publications

GOAL: Enhance and grow membership through a diverse offering of services and benefits

Objective: Grow new membership by 5% year over year

GOAL: Strengthen and expand partnerships

Objective: Leverage the strengths of other organizations to help IAEI achieve its goals, objectives, services and mission, and likewise


The foundational components of the Strategic Plan were the Critical Priorities that were finalized on the second day. The following is a direct quote from the final Strategic Plan that was unanimously adopted by the IAEI Board:



  • It is an absolute priority that IAEI gain control of its brand identity by implementing best practice policies that are adopted, and enforced, by the IAEI Board of Directors.
  • It is an absolute priority that IAEI Board of Directors adopt, and enforce, policies to reverse the current inverted pyramid franchise operating model with the SCDs and that best practices should come from the International Office and Board and flow down to the SCDs.


It was agreed that these two critical priorities serve as the very foundation of the Strategic Plan and that all the other goals and objects will only achieve limited success until they are addressed.    


With this in mind, the IAEI Board will soon be adopting corporate best practice policies for the entire organization. These best practice policies are designed to ensure that the organization is operating in a first-class business model and will enhance the IAEI brand internationally.  Ultimately, these policies are going to provide guidance and relief to our SCDs and the many volunteers who ensure that IAEI remains the Electrical Safety Leader.

I anticipate that when these policies are announced they will be met with resistance by some.  But the Board of Directors that you elected have spent many hours reviewing and revising these new best practice operating policies to ensure that the entire organization operates as one, not as fragmented segments. The years of operating as fragmented segments has contributed mightily to diminishing the IAEI Brand. The IAEI brand is not just its LOGO, it is the entire organizational culture top to bottom.

So, what does that mean, well let’s use one of the biggest and most successful name brands in the world as an example, McDonald’s. Imagine if you walked into a random McDonald’s restaurant and ordered a Big Mac, French Fries and a soda. But the person behind the counter tells you they don’t serve French fries and sodas, just tater tots and grape juice. Shocked, you may wonder if you have stepped into the wrong restaurant. Isn’t this McDonald’s? Surveys show the number one reason people go to McDonald’s isn’t because the food is the best, ITS BECAUSE THE MCDONALD’S BRAND IS SYNONYMOUS CONSISTENCY…consistent menu, consistent service, consistent dining rooms, consistent drive-through, consistent theme, consistent pricing, etc.

IAEI has long lacked consistency across the organization.  It is positive and amazing that our members have taken “ownership” of the SCDs because this leads to passion, commitment and dedication for IAEI.  However, IAEI is not an “US” and “THEM” …there is only “WE.”  WE are a family.  We are one organization made of many parts, but we cannot continue to operate without any organization best practice policies.  We cannot have some of our SCDs serving tater tots, while others serve French fries. IAEI needs consistency across the entire organization to grow and succeed…and most importantly to reestablish the IAEI brand.

Over the past three years the IAEI has undergone some significant changes. Change is never easy, but as I travel across the country visiting with our members almost every member, even those who were the most skeptical of the changes, express how they now see the benefits of the changes we made and are happy they were made. The Board of Directors knows these new policies may be hard to accept for some of our members.  But the members of the IAEI Board of Directors are focused on doing what is best for the entire organization, and sometimes that may not be popular with everyone.

I personally want to ask for your patience as the policies are implemented. At first, they may appear ominous, but I assure you that over time everyone will see the benefits they provide to the entire IAEI organization.


Rudy Garza,
President and CEO