A new business model IABC should consider to fix its mess

The International Association of Business Communicators’ mission and business model is at the heart of its current crisis. Here’s a new model to consider.

For the last several weeks, leaders and numerous members of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) have found themselves in a crisis. Ostensibly, the crisis stems from the mishandled release of plans to overhaul IABC’s cherished but struggling accreditation program and relegate IABC’s magazine from print to online publication, and from the weeks where IABC Chair Kerby Myers and President Chris Sorek declined to address objections to these and other related proposals.

But the roots of the crisis run deeper. They stem from a business model that aims to be a communicator’s one-stop shop, providing a disparate range of goods and services, ranging from continuing education to professional companionship to certification of one’s competencies to compiling best practices to claiming a role as the industry’s “official” champion.

Such self-described “multifacetedness” (or inability to focus) is central to the IABC’s mission:

(a) Provide lifelong learning opportunities that give IABC members the tools and information they need to be the best in their chosen disciplines.

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