LONDON – Mikkel Wiese, a Danish communicator on the LinkedIn Group from whom I stole the headline with permission, got it right. Enter Harlequin, ranting under a jingling of bells.
It’s a drum I’ll keep beating so long as professional associations from IABC to IoIC to Melcrum to CIPR to CIPD ad nauseum keep missing the point that while inward focus on the “how to” competencies, so-called “best practices” and tools is a threshold issue/hygiene factor, the real beef is in what CommScrummers call the “top of the T”, not the downstroke. Award submissions “judged” by people one wouldn’t hire to work for you … expense-paid trips to exotic destinations to hear the same presentation given 10 years ago (by a different person, if you’re really lucky) … presenters who pay a fee to get on the speaker’s platform, but neither they nor the conference organisers disclose this clearly … so-called gurus who earn their money selling seminars, not by delivering client work … positions awarded based on how long one has hung around the association, not on merit … the list goes on and on. As busy as I am I did a back of an envelope spreadsheet of recent conference topics and the results were, well, deeply disappointing. We are repeating ourselves and have been for 10 years. Why hasn’t anyone cottoned on to this? Is there that much turnover and career change in the industry that the conference platform and training agenda remain unchanged? For surely by now competence in these 11 topics has been well documented and you don’t need to go to a conference to learn about it?
For those who see the benefit in the above approach, that’s wonderful and I do not wish to rain on your parade. I, however, shall continue to attend non-communication conferences and take non-communication training from non-communicators to learn more about how people in business communicate to get results.
It’s simply too important to listen to any more reheated practices from a profession hell bent on ever increasing scrutiny and debate of meaningless minutiae. Anything with sponsorship from a communication agency, a human capital company, a recruitment advertising firm, or a social media guru shall be unceremoniously binned. Oh, we might pay to play and promote to play the game, but expect fireworks, not the same old crap. I will confer with CMOs, CTOs, CIOs, CEOs, CFOs and then apply my craft.
In for a penny, in for a pound – I plan to make myself the world’s happiest pariah and persona non grata.
Lyndon, I am on the outside of the tent…
Exit, pursued by a bear.