img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="")

Strategy is choosing to be different

Jane Duncan

Your buy-in is what will make our next five year plan work

The RIBA will shortly publish its second strategic five year plan ‘Advancing Architecture.’ The implications for a change in focus are exciting and aspirational, but success depends on us all buying in to it.

The consultation and shaping of the RIBA Strategy 2016-20 has brought members, staff and colleagues together with purpose and dynamism to outline an inclusive trajectory that makes me quietly optimistic for our future.

The stated vision, ‘A global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture’, challenges us to use our globally recognised brand to proactively seek and enable the significant international opportunities which exist for our members. It puts at centre stage the support and services we provide to members and prioritises excellent communication, facilitated over the next few years by a new digital interface, as the key to opening and developing iterative dialogue between the institute, members, academia, our clients and government.

Shared knowledge and evidence based practice are imperative to future innovation and intelligent architectural practice, which will facilitate our first core  strategic aim of ‘A Strong Profession’.

In the fast paced world of technological advancement, climate change legacy and mobile populations we need to hold tight to a shared bedrock of values

This is an invitation: it calls on us all to contribute to a more mature dialogue and to become a less adversarial, more collaborative and open profession, where students and staff at all stages of their careers are valued, enabled and supported, and diverse practices compete on the strength of their innovative networks rather than the paucity of their fees.

For some this is not the future – it already exists – and the rest of us need to catch up.

Indeed, directed by the messages from our members, equality and inclusivity, social purpose, resourcefulness, professional and ethical core values are the themes which must run through everything we do.  In the fast paced world of technological advancement, climate change legacy and mobile populations we need to hold tight to a shared bedrock of values.

The second objective of ‘A Strong Voice’ reflects a core aim to develop as thought leaders of the sustainable profession which we represent. This means raising and celebrating intellectual debate, collaborating and cooperating with our construction industry colleagues, influencing local and national government and enabling the contributions and cohesiveness of the wider community.

‘A Strong Organisation’ is our third objective and a vital tool to deliver the success of the others. It ensures that we are a well-run and well-led business and that we provide the right support to our excellent staff team, whose skills, energy and drive are critical to the delivery of this new strategy.

It is disciplined effort that has produced the fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what the RIBA needs to become, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. The effective strategic planning now in train articulates not only where the RIBA is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how we will know if we are successful.

We must continually remind ourselves that this new strategy is an empty document if it does not take performance into account, and bring us all along for the ride. The implementation of the strategy is only the beginning of a long process of activity, measurement, re-evaluation and, most importantly, impact.

Together we can and will be strong.

Tomorrow belongs to you

Help shape the future of architecture by becoming a member of RIBA Council. The deadline for nominations is 25 May. Find out more at