IOA 2021-2024 Strategic Direction

By Melanie Jagneaux, JD, MBA, CO-OP, 2020-2021 IOA President

Beginning in early 2020, IOA embarked on a strategic planning process to set the course for our near future – the coming three years. The Board of Directors engaged Solid Ground Consulting as just the right partner to guide an effective and fruitful process.

To ensure that we were addressing important interests and perspectives across our organization, we intentionally involved key stakeholders of the organization, including chairs and co-chairs of committees and task forces, members of our emerging ombuds network, former leaders, staff, as well as additional IOA members. Through a series of focus group meetings and one-on-one interviews, Solid Ground gathered a broad range of input and perspectives to inform our process. This information was collected in the form of a Pre-Planning Report, which the Board reviewed over a series of three half-day virtual retreats in late summer 2020. With support from Solid Ground, the strategic planning team presented a draft Strategic Direction document to the Board and to all other members of the Leadership Group (which includes all committee and task force co-chairs). That draft was revised to incorporate feedback and the final draft was presented to the Board and approved at its last meeting in October 2020.

I am now pleased to present the IOA Strategic Direction, which outlines our approach, goals, and strategies for 2021-2024 and sets the course for the development of a fully articulated strategic plan.

Our overarching strategic approach includes five important elements:

  1. Define the value of the organizational ombuds role and of IOA.
  2. Focus on high-value activities that advance multiple goals.
  3. Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
  4. Improve the organizational climate of IOA.
  5. Improve IOA communications with members.

We are sharing this important initial document in our strategic planning process to keep you informed and engaged. Of course, we are also interested in receiving your feedback on how IOA can best implement this strategic direction. As the strategic plan will shape the near future of IOA, where we are headed will ultimately impact you—our members. We hope that when reviewing this document, you will believe that we are on the right track. We anticipate that you will appreciate the four goals that will guide us in moving forward:

  1. Ombuds have the capacity and tools to position themselves as essential contributors and trusted advisers in their organizations.
  2. Organizational leaders in key sectors understand and value the ombuds function and IOA.
  3. IOA operates effectively and has the financial resources to achieve its goals.
  4. IOA has a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement.

Please read through the full Strategic Direction online.

View the Webpage
Download the PDF

The IOA Board of Directors and all Committees and Task Forces, including the CO-OP® Board of Directors and JIOA Editorial Board, and IOA staff, will all have a role in developing the action plan that we need to accomplish these goals. If you are not already a volunteer and would like to get involved in these efforts, please consider joining a committee or task force!

We also welcome your honest feedback and questions by email at [email protected]. As IOA’s President, I wish to thank you for your ongoing commitment to and support of IOA and look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Melanie Jagneaux, JD, MBA, CO-OP®

2020-2021 IOA President

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