The new IABC strategy: Low expectations, or pyramid scheme?

The author, a chapter and regional board member for IABC, disagrees with the association’s decision to allow the paid staff to write the strategy.

Editor’s note: In response to a recent discussion on David Murray’s Shades of Gray blog about IABC’s new strategy, IABC member and regional board member Michael Klein questioned the association’s new practice of having the paid staff—rather than the elected executive board—write the organization’s strategy.


For those who are unfamiliar with IABC’s headquarters city of San Francisco, it is best known for not one but two major architectural marvels. The first is the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, a flowing, elegantly simple structure connecting San Francisco to the world. The second is the Transamerica Pyramid, a tall, narrow skyscraper with a lot of bulk at the bottom supporting those with a view at the top.

After reading the “Strategic Goals” and “Objectives” prepared for IABC by the San Francisco-based staff, their intent may be less mysterious than it appears at first glance—they reflect perhaps a bit too little gazing at the Golden Gate, and a more covetous view of the Pyramid as an operational design for IABC’s future—where an endlessly growing membership generates increasingly more dues to support an ever “stronger” staff apparatus.

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