Interview with OPSA’s CEO, Bianca Filmalter
OPSA usually starts its National Office Professional of the Year Competition in June. Why haven’t we heard or seen anything?
After a number of conversations with our stakeholders, OPSA Ambassadors and amongst ourselves, OPSA’s leadership has taken the decision to break with tradition and move our competition to May from now on. The first one will take place in May 2018 and there will not be awards this year in September.
Why change what obviously was working?
We have decided to separate the award from National Secretary’s Day to highlight that this competition is aimed at recognising the unsung heroes in all administrative fields.
Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants and Secretaries are and will remain a very large and important part of our membership and we would never under estimate the tremendous contribution they make to the success of OPSA and in their own organisations. However, the new OPSA National Administrative Excellence Awards will recognise a commitment to administrative excellence in the entire administrative field. For example, a project administrator who has diligently and consistently supported the team and demonstrated commitment to detail and service delivery can be nominated for this award. Other examples of eligible award candidates could be a receptionists or HR administrators who have gone out of their way to show their commitment to administrative excellence and professionalism.
I should highlight that the new approach and focus on administrative excellence definitely does not exclude any individual in a secretarial support role. It simply focuses on the entire administrative field and is based on outcomes and not job titles.
Ultimately this is a value-based decision. It supports our values of diversity – respecting the dignity and value and contribution of all individuals and, creativity – passionately pursuing innovative approaches which enhance service standards in the administrative fields.
The announcement of the winner of OPSA’s National Award was previously made on National Secretary’s Day, the first Wednesday of September. There was always a great OPSA event on this day. Does this mean we can’t look forward to anything on Secretary’s Day from OPSA this year?
We have something even better than a Secretary’s Day event. Starting on Secretary’s Day, which is on Wednesday, 6 September this year, we have our 3-day (6 to 8 September 2017) Leaving a Legacy Conference in Rosebank. The themes are To Live, To Love, To Learn and To Leave a Legacy. We will also be hosting the same conference in Cape Town later in September this year.
The conference focuses on the principles that are needed to be effective in life and at work. I have no doubt that it will change minds and more importantly change lives!