Dear ProductBC Members,
As we turn a new leaf to 2023, we desired to update our volunteer and member communities on the areas that the current board aims to focus on for 2023 and beyond.
Before getting into the specifics, we wanted to acknowledge the continuing challenges that our members across BC are facing, while also reviewing what has worked well despite the challenges during the uncertainty of the last 3 years.
As the pandemic shifts from being the focal stress point for members personally and professionally to now perhaps being a back seat to economic and political uncertainty worldwide, we wanted to double down on what made the last 2 years most meaningful: bringing together our localized product community (virtually or otherwise) to support each other through challenging transitions. This is even more important in 2023 than ever, as we have seen more members of our community, regardless of experience or level, impacted by downsizing and uncertainty than we have seen from the previous two decades of product in BC.
The product community is privileged to have shifted to a remote or hybrid-friendly working environment at an accelerated pace, and our events and program areas have shifted to match, taking advantage of in-person when possible, while acknowledging that a more virtual world gives our members new options for developing their craft as product professionals, based on an explosion of virtual communities, conferences and learning opportunities.
With that reality, we made a subtle shift in our Vision from:
To be British Columbia’s premier community of diverse product professionals who inspire, challenge, and support each other to build the world’s best products.
To a Vision focused on the support and engagement from our now well-established localized community:
We are an engaged and diverse community of product professionals in BC coming together to inspire, challenge, and support each other.
We hope our member’s ability to craft the world’s best products is a combination of being supported by peers within ProductBC, while also partaking in the multitude of global resources focused on Product Management growth, and being active in growing the overall tech and product scene across BC and Canada.
Our larger shift is within our new Mission. We believe our community has made a strong difference in removing systemic barriers to building a more inclusive community, compared to when many of us started our product journeys. But the hidden cost of our progress is an outsized ask on the time and energy of our volunteers past and present. First and foremost, our volunteers across our events, committees, and board are amazing individuals. They come from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, career progression, and personal life phases, and graciously put in the energy that a volunteer-based non-profit demands. For anyone that has volunteered past or present, we thank you deeply for everything you have done to move our community forward. To continue to serve our members at the level of quality we expect, we need to expand our volunteer base and better support our volunteers to autonomously take action. Our updated Mission reflects this new focus:
Our mission is to create collaborative, volunteer-driven communities where product professionals can learn and connect.
With that updated mission, we are challenging our volunteer committees to focus their efforts on four major Objectives:
Create meaningful connection opportunities for members.As we sort out what a local community means in a hybrid/remote world, especially as more and more members work outside the office siloed from other product peers, we want to renew focus on feeling connected to Product professionals going through similar experiences that still have a unique “Product in BC” flavour.
Make volunteering sustainable with repeatable and simplified programs.As alluded to above, we want to streamline our programs for this year and future years, so that the demands on our wonderful volunteers are manageable, while also taking the best of what works and making them more repeatable going forward.
Support members across all stages of their product careers in finding their fit.We have many members looking for a new fit, whether that’s a new job or company, a new challenge with a more senior or expanded role, a new community to join after moving to BC from across the world, or getting into Product for the first time from either an educational program or an adjacent role. These career and life transitions are challenging, and we aim to reduce the stress that comes with change.
Make membership fun and compelling.If there’s a year to bring some fun back to distract from the seriousness, this is the year. Our community is successful based on the engagement of our members and making sure that engagement is compelling and enjoyable is key to the success of our programs
We look forward to collaborating with and supporting our members and volunteers throughout 2023 with our renewed focus.