The Value of Membership – Co-Creating a Community of Practice

Support and ConnectionPresident’s Message

One of the greatest values of membership in VI Coaches, from my perspective, is the opportunity of co-creating a vibrant and dynamic community of practice.

Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. – Etienne Wenger-Trayner

According to Wenger-Trayner, who coined the phrase with Jean Lave, three characteristics are critical in cultivating a community of practice.

  1. The domain: A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of connections between people. It has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest – in our case that of standing in services as coaches and advancing the coaching profession. Membership implies a commitment to this domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members.
  2. The community: In pursuing their interest in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other. Having the same job or the same title does not make for a community of practice unless members interact and learn together. An example that Wenger-Trayner uses is that of the Impressionists, who used to meet in cafes and studios to discuss the style of painting they were inventing together. These interactions were essential to making them a community of practice even though they often painted alone.
  3. The practice: Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, and ways of addressing recurring problems – in short a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction.

We encourage you to engage with us in developing and contributing to these elements. As we do this together, our VI Coaches community of practice will flourish.

A heartfelt thank you for who you are and what you do in our community!

Sarah Evans, President, VI Coaches

PS Please remember to renew your ICF membership

President’s Message: Call to Engagement

Support and ConnectionCoaches have an amazing gift to create positive change in the world, and to build capacity in individuals, organizations, and communities. When we work together to contribute, serve, and reach out into our community, we magnify our message and our work.

As we begin a new year, we invite all of our members to get involved. If you are someone who holds and lives the values of commitment, contribution, and service; and are attracted to working collaboratively in co-creating something that will be rewarding to you, to others, and to our community – we want you!

There are a variety of ways in which to engage with your VI Coaches community in the upcoming months:

  • We are seeking to fill a board member vacancy and several committee volunteer roles
  • On February 12th, there will be an opportunity to join us in giving back to the community through random acts of kindness & service
  • There are a number of opportunities to volunteer with the ICW Committee as well as get involved during International Coaching Week the week of May 20th. Our theme this year is Bridging Communities.
  • We are thrilled to be able to support a non-profit organization, Bridges for Women, in bringing volunteer coaches and coaching to complement their new Self-Employment Program (SEP). We will soon be putting out a call for volunteer coaches.

As you volunteer, there are rich rewards in contribution and service as well as the opportunity to model a coach way of being. You will grow as a coach and build an incredible network and community of practice.

May 2013 be one of great possibility!

Sarah Evans
President, VI Coaches

VI Coaches Board of Directors Establish Strategic Goals

VI Coaches 2012/13 Board of DirectorsIn alignment with the core purpose and vision of the International Coach Federation (ICF), your Board of Directors gathered in September 2012 to discuss the governance and strategic direction for the Chapter for the upcoming year. Your feedback from last year was instrumental in shaping our conversation – thank you for your insightful comments and candid suggestions. At the end of our busy and fun day together we came away with a robust list of goals and priorities that I believe reflect the values and interests of you, the membership of this Chapter.

The myriad of goals fell into eleven categories, and these were sorted into four overarching themes including: Value-Adding Membership, Strategic Alliance, Image and Awareness, and High Performance Chapter. Hopefully you’ve noticed that we continue to build on our past successes and that these strategic goals are well underway!

A Value-Adding Membership is about you, about providing the events, services, and array of learning and growth opportunities that make it worth your while to join this Chapter and participate in Chapter activities, including Board and Committee work. It’s about listening to you and encouraging you to share your creative, innovative and thought provoking ideas and talents as we build our coaching community together. It’s also about communicating to you in a timely and meaningful way.

Establishing Strategic Alliances is about reaching out to other Chapters and to organizations in the community, as well as creating collegial and collaborative partnerships. It also includes the creation of partner sponsors, in the business

and academic sectors. Creating and maintaining these alliances provide us with the unique opportunity of scanning our environment for opportunities to further strengthen the Chapter.

Enhancing the Image and Awareness of both coaching and this Chapter includes active participation in community-based events and philanthropic activities, such as pro bono coaching opportunities. It’s about the Chapter and its membership standing in service and being viewed as the resource of choice for professional business and personal coaching.

A High Performance Chapter and specifically a high performing Board strives for a level of excellence that meets and exceeds the expectations of members and the community. This includes clearly identified authorities, roles and responsibilities, as well as open and transparent operations.

As a Board, we share a unified purpose to stand in service of our membership. Our key priorities are to engage members, explore new ideas, expand conversations, and contribute to our community. This Chapter belongs to you and its ongoing success depends on your feedback and active participation.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our events and activities!




Looking Ahead – A Message from our New VI Coaches President

Image_of_Spring_BloomsIt is my honour and privilege to serve over the 2012-13 year. I am proud to begin my term with an amazing, inspiring, dedicated team of volunteers who bring a diversity of backgrounds, skills, knowledge and ideas to the leadership of the Vancouver Island ICF Chapter. As we are your representatives, our shared vision is one of service and contribution – to our communities, our profession, and to each of you.

It is an exciting time to be involved in the coaching profession. Our visibility is higher than ever, our chapter numbers continue to grow, we are being called to serve and contribute in a multitude of ways in our communities, and professional development and educational opportunities are plentiful.

We have heard from many of you that we should continue doing what we are doing. Message received! We are committed to building on the successes of this past year, and in order to set our goals for 2012-13 the VI Coaches Leadership Team will be engaging in a full–day planning retreat to prepare the coming year for our membership. We

welcome your feedback and suggestions, so please feel free to contact any of your VI Coaches Leadership Team members.

2012-2013 Leadership Team

VI Coaches 2012/13 Board of Directors

President: Sarah Evans
Past President: Sherry LeBlanc
Vice President: Annette Siewertsen
Secretary: Phyllis O’Grady
Treasurer: Ingrid Abma
Membership: Maureen Clarke
Marketing: Doug Lawson
Events: Tracey Gibson
Communications: Delaney Tosh


Sarah Evans
President, VI Coaches

Looking Back to Celebrate the VI Coaches Year

Image_of_Sherry_LeBlancIt is hard to believe that it was about 8 months ago that I wrote my first President’s Message for the first newsletter of this year. It has been a very eventful year to say the least.

I can honestly say that it has been a privilege and honour to serve as the President of the Vancouver Island Coaches Association. As I did in 2005, I am leaving my term with fond memories that I will reflect on for years to come.

Our membership has increased, our profile has been raised and we have created a culture of support and camaraderie for the coaching community here on Vancouver Island.

Of course, none of this success could have happened without the support of an amazing Leadership Team. Time is a precious commodity and I acknowledge and appreciate the gift of time, dedication and energy that has been given over the year from the coaches who held a role on the Leadership Team. It has been a privilege to work with an inspiring team of devoted volunteers who brought a diversity of skills, backgrounds and ideas to the Leadership Board.

As I reflect on my role as Board President, I had the confidence that we would be a Board of action and use our collective talents to grow and to be of service to the VI Coaches membership and the coaching community.

We began our Board term with the understanding that we needed to connect with our membership to hear how we could be of service to the Vancouver Island coaching community. Prior to coming together for a facilitated planning session at Royal Roads, we conducted a telephone survey with our membership. Based on the survey results, and conversations with the membership, we were able to formulate the feedback into tangible goals and actions for the year whilst staying in alignment with the vision and mission of the VI Coaches Association.

I believe we have achieved the goals we established for our term as a number of significant foundations for the association have been strengthened, developed and created. I believe our community has been served with integrity, purpose and passion.

Please take the time to view the power point presentation that was shared at the AGM on May 15, 2012 to see the highlights of the year.