We're Listening

By Mr. Bruce Belmore P.Eng., PTOE, AVS posted 14 days ago

I would like to share a few highlights of the listening sessions conducted by ITE International at the recent round of District meetings. During the meetings, we conducted ITE Town Hall sessions to explore what ITE does well and what it can do better. We also conducted listening sessions contemplating how to shape our newest Institute Initiative—Mobility as a Service (MaaS)/Mobility on Demand (MOD)—to best meet member needs.

I was able to attend nearly all of the District meetings this year, along with a rotation of one or more of the other Executive Committee members. This International presence at the District meetings was intentional, and something that you are likely to see more often in future years. In keeping with ONE ITE goals, this presence is essential for fostering relationships within the ITE family and the sharing of information. During the sessions, we did a lot of listening and we were able to gather useful input on what members want.

The ITE Town Hall sessions were organized to hear back on four specific questions:

What should ITE keep doing? Members expressed that they like ITE for the networking opportunities, interaction, and as a way to give back to the profession. LeadershipITE was also seen as a cornerstone program for ITE.

What should we change? Knowing that ITE is in the middle of the largest organizational change in more than three decades, we heard that we need to keep changing to stay relevant. Collaborating with other organizations, increasing diversity, and fixing disconnects among the Chapters, Sections, Districts, and International were all mentioned. We talked about improving our ITE brand and our name. We heard that we need to change the perception of ITE outside of the organization and need to market to a wider spectrum of transportation professionals—economists, planners, big data firms, health providers, and police.

What should ITE stop doing? We heard ITE Journal should be less U.S.-centric and showcase different transportation solutions from across the globe. We also heard there should be an ability to opt out of receiving paper copies of ITE Journal, as a growing number of members get their information digitally and want to be environmentally conscious.

What should we start doing? Lastly, we heard a reoccurring theme that many Sections and Districts have difficulty keeping their websites current. ITE was asked if a shared website platform could be made available for use by the Districts and Sections. This would make it easier to make updates, have a consistent look, and increase ITE brand recognition—all consistent with the principles of ONE ITE. Next, we should share Section and District best practices for things that have both worked and failed. We should also consider a wider form of presentations at meetings, including more in-depth discussions through roundtables and more efficient presentations (i.e., have a speed session of the top 10 meeting presentations running six minutes each).

Later this year, a committee will be struck to form the ITE 2021–2023 Strategic Plan, which will review notes from the Town Hall listening sessions, along with results of a comprehensive member survey. The MaaS listening session results will be shared with the MaaS/MOD Committee to start framing up next steps for this initiative.

Thank you to all that participated in the International listening sessions over the past several months.

This blog post is from the President's Message in the August 2019 issue of ITE Journal.