Monday, March 21, 2005

What do we want of our professional organisations?

I'm based in the UK and belong to the UK's largest internal communication professonal organisation. But it's dominated by publications professionals and is in danger of retreating up its own cul-de-sac if it doesn't grow up soon and embrace the real challenges affecting communicators today.

Now I find that the IABC - the American-dominated organisaton also for internal communicators is having a similar period of angst.

Is it time that organisations such as these realised that internal communication means much more than glossy magazines and the corporate intranet?

I want to be part of an organisation I can be proud of. I want it to challenge my thinking and give me opportunities to learn from the experts and debate with my peers. I want it to stretch my knowledge and engage me in debates around change and progression in organisations where great communication can make the difference between success and mediocrity. I want my organisation to be thought leading not self-serving. I've held out hopes that IABC may fill this spece - but now strangely it seems that CiB may take the lead if it can sideline a few dinosaurs who still stand in the way.

Of course I can carp from the oputside or work from the inside to make a difference. While there's a large part of me that absolutely hates to be part of a committee of any kind, maybe it's time to work within one or both of these organisations to effect change.

1 comment:

Mark Shanahan said...

Right, so I'm standing for council on CiB - and my platform is unashamedly modernist.

While I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water, the organisation has to move on from a constant circle of entry-level debating.

Organisational communication today can't confine its conversation to worrying about whether print is to be outdone by electronic or vice-versa. Sure that's part of the debate, but only ONE part.

Communicators these days largely don't arrive in the job with inky fingers. They're not all steeped in years of newspaper or magazine experience and are just as likely to arrive with a freshly minted MBA or a strong grounding in HR, marketing or general business management.

CiB isn't connecting with these people. It's offering ground-level solutions for ground-level thinking. Consequently it spirals in publication-led thinking.

I'm no guru by any stretch of the imagination. But I can see that it's time to move on. Look what happened to the dinosaurs.