Annual Reunion of the Dianova Network 2012

November 5 through 8 took place the annual reunion of the Dianova network member organizations in Lisbon (Portugal), in presence of fifty representatives of the network member organizations.  During four days of intense work, the participants have debated, trained and exchanged about the network’s various perspectives and development projects.

The general assembly meeting and the 8th edition of Dianova’s “Management and Development” training seminar were the highlights of this event.

Assembly of Delegates

After dedicating the first two days to various encounters and formal meetings of Dianova’s steering committee – or Assembly Council – the general assembly of Dianova International was organized on Wednesday. The assembly of Delegates is comprising representatives of every member organizations of the Organisation Internationale Dianova.

After the approval of the minutes of the previous assembly, Montse Rafel, Director of Dianova International’s operating division, presented the organization’s 2011 annual report, stressing in particular the numerous activities developed in partnership with international organizations. She also presented a summary of the organization’s educational and therapeutic services and informed the Assembly on the progress made in the partnership between Dianova and “Catalunya en Miniatura“.

Members representatives were later on invited to examine a proposal of modification of the organization’s bylaws, a proposal which aimed to meet the requests of international organizations to become members of the Dianova network through another category of associate member, in addition to the existing categories, including ordinary and affiliate members. Associate members may include any nonprofit organization, registered with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations and on condition that human rights be fully respected within all of their initiatives.

In addition, following the expiry of the term of the outgoing Assembly Council and the president of the organization, the delegates proceeded to the election of a new Assembly Council. Mr. Luca Franceschi was elected President of Dianova International for another 4-year term, in addition to a new assembly council comprising five new members on a total of eight persons.

8th meeting “Management and Development”

The next day, the 8th annual training seminar was presented by Dianova three main speakers:  Luca Franceschi, Rui Martins and Rafa Goberna, specialist in management and business administration, member of the Assembly council of Dianova International and member of the Mediterráneo Consultores group.

Storytelling, a Modern and Efficient marketing tool

After a warm welcome address by Mary Christine Lizarza, president of the reunion’s host country, the first speaker addressed the theme of storytelling as a tool for communication, marketing and organizational change.

Historically, the art of telling stories has played a vital role in the transmission of memory, passing from generation to generation, but also for education purposes: stories mirror human thought as humans think in narrative structures and most often remember facts in story form. Stories can stimulate the development perspective and therefore, imagination and innovation.

In addition, these techniques are widely used in the world of organizations to manage conflict or crisis situations, but also as a key component of a modern and effective marketing, in a perspective building customer loyalty. After reviewing the various elements of modern storytelling, Rui finally addressed the use of these techniques in the Dianova network in terms of brand management, comprehension of the sources of conflict or tension, strategic development and cultural change. Download presentation (in Portuguese)

Dianova, the Story Continues

The following intervention was presented, or rather told by Luca Franceschi, on the topic of history and the future of the Dianova Network and its perspectives in a world that is rapidly changing. Luca invited us to reflect on the role that should be played by NGOs in a world that remains focused on its supposedly infinite growth in a world which is having only limited resources.

Networks and Innovation

The last intervention before starting work group was dedicated to examine what levers could utilize an organization such as ours in order to confront challenges.

Rafa Goberna began by a worrying depiction of the average level organizational commitment. On a total of ten people in a given organization, it is estimated that 2 present a high level of commitment, 4 a moderate level, and 4 show levels of commitment which are considered low or absent! This situation typically originates from three interrelated factors: ignorance (not knowing what is going on), indifference (not feeling concerned by what is happening) and finally helplessness (not knowing how to change things) which eventually lead to routine in the worst sense of the term.

Rafa then analyzed what are the main qualities of managers, including obedience, diligence and competence, before describing what he called the “glass ceiling” that separates the true leader of the effective manager. Above this glass ceiling are the qualities which are impossible to demand through obedience, those that contribute the most to an organization: the sense of Initiative, Innovation, and at the top of human commitment, Passion.

One of the main challenges of an efficient and effective organization in terms of human capital management, as Rafa explained, is not to have the employees serve the organization better; it is to create, within the organization, the conditions that enable people to fulfill their potential. Creating these conditions, generating a work environment focused on the development of autonomy and conducive to the emergence of a sense of initiative, to innovation and passion, this is the essential task of the leader! Download presentation (in Spanish)

The last part of the seminar was devoted to work groups that helped people to make connections between what they had learned and the realities of Dianova in each country: how to use storytelling techniques according to various audiences (groups parents, government commission, etc.), discussions about how to enable the conditions for genuine innovation within the organization, conditions of success in the implementation of projects etc.. In conclusion, the president of the organization made a rapid assessment of the day, inviting all participants to meet again next year!

View the photos of the reunion on Flickr