Message from James Sobieraj, LESI President

Read James Sobieraj's latest message.

June 2015

Focusing On The LESI Value Proposition

James SobierajBy James Sobieraj, President, LES International

My goal as the president of LESI for the next year is to focus on the LESI value proposition, i.e., the LESI deliverables that attract new members and retain existing members.

This project actually began several months ago during the Winter Planning Meeting held in Cancun, Mexico. While a bright sun was warming the beaches on Sunday, January 25th, thirty-five members of the LESI leadership team spent the entire day in a windowless conference room working on ways to improve the LESI value proposition. The attendees included the LESI Board, several past presidents, national presidents and committee chairs. The agenda for this Winter Planning Meeting was threefold: first, to review the various deliverables (i.e., a service or benefit that LESI offers to its members) that make up the LESI value proposition; second, to prioritize those deliverables; and third, to identify specific things we can do to improve the four deliverables of the LESI value proposition that have the highest priority.

During the morning, a current or past committee chair or board member led a discussion on a specific deliverable that is part of the overall LESI value proposition. We addressed eleven different deliverables that LESI provides to its members. We then spent 15-20 minutes discussing how each different deliverable contributes to the LESI value proposition for existing and prospective LES members.

At the end of the morning session, each attendee completed a ballot containing a list of each deliverable discussed. The attendee could assign a ranking from one to ten (ten being the highest) for each deliverable. After all of the votes were tallied, the total scores for each deliverable reflected its respective priority. The four highest ranked deliverables would help us answer the question, “What should be the focus of our limited time and money during the next LESI year?”

After the votes were counted, the deliverables with the highest vote tallies were meetings, publications, communications and eduation. The attendees then spent the afternoon exchanging ideas on how LESI can improve on these deliverables.

Over the next 12 months, the chairs of the Meetings, Publications, Communications and Education Committees and the LESI Board will focus on action items to improve our value proposition in these four high-priority deliverables. I plan to report on progress in future editions of this publication.

Our primary focus on meetings, publications, communications and education does not mean that we will ignore the other deliverables that LESI provides. On that note, April 26 is World IP Day. John Paul and Gary Keller are coordinating with our 33 societies in organizing a program in conjunction with World IP Day. I hope that you find a way to do something special in connection with World IP Day with your local society.

Speaking of societies, I would like to congratulate and welcome our newest society, LES Thailand. The LESI Board of Delegates officially approved the admission of LES Thailand on April 12, 2015 at the Annual International Delegates Meeting in Brussels, Belgium. LES Thailand has a great leadership team, and a solid foundation for a vibrant LES chapter. It is great to have them as part of the LES family.

I also want to congratulate LES Benelux for organizing an outstanding LES International Annual Conference in Belgium on April 12-15, 2015. Another exceptional LESI Annual Conference is planned for May 15-18, 2016, in Beijing, China. Please mark your calendars. You will not want to miss this one.

I am very proud to be the president of LES International. I count it as one of the highest honors of my professional career because LES is such a prestigious organization of highly accomplished IP professionals. I am very grateful for all the help and support I received from many past-presidents, board members and other LES members along the way, and most of all from my wife and best friend, Jacki.