WASHINGTON – As a sixteen-year member of the International Association of Business Communicators, I have always found my involvement worthwhile, but often became frustrated with a culture that has leaned towards taking itself too seriously.
Now, advancing the cause of business communication and those who practice in an often-hostile marketplace is a genuinely worthy matter, and IABC has often done a great job.
But the Association has had a historical and cultural tendency to emphasize IABC for IABCâ€™s sake, and particularly, to see other communications organizations as competitive or even hostile.
Indeed, IABC had the following passage enshrined in its Bylaws, that its mission was to:
â€œunite the communication profession worldwide in one diverse, multifaceted organization under the banner of the International Association of Business Communicators.â€
Today. IABC at its Annual General Meeting here overwhelmingly voted to delete this passage.
In its stead is simple new language:
- Vision: Professional communicators at the heart of every organization.
- Purpose: To advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators.
- Philosophy: IABC pledges to:
- Represent the global profession.
- Foster a diverse community.
- Focus on insights and results.
- Honor our Code of Ethics.
- We will achieve this by being open, contemporary and professional.
The new language is more inclusive and respectful in tone. It illustrates a focus on members and other communicators.
Most importantly, it comprehensively abandons the ill-fated and toxic goal of shaping the communications world so that IABC is at its center.
The great American Mark Twain once said â€œthe two most important days in oneâ€™s life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.â€
Has IABC finally figured it out? Its new vision, purpose and philosophy give reason for optimism.
One thing is certain. Iâ€™m in.
Iâ€™ve agreed to take on the role of Vice Chair of IABCâ€™s Europe Middle East North Africa region.
Itâ€™s a significant, three-year commitment, on top of continuing to drive my influencer research and strategic messaging business. And itâ€™s a commitment I am taking because I would like to see IABC build community and partnership with people and organizations considered â€œrivalsâ€ and â€œcompetitors.â€
Over the last few years IABC has turned a corner. Today, as it starts its 2017 World Conference, it turns the page.