UPDATE: IABC's chair Kerby Meyers lets us know IABC has offered some specifics on the restructuring, which are now available on IABC's website.
On Thursday, November 29, 10 people were let go from the IABC headquarters staff. Another six were told that they would be let go at the end of the first quarter of 2013. This was part of the restructuring plans IABC leadership has been discussing since earlier this year and reflects the need for different skillsets within the staff as IABC aligns its operations with its overarching strategy.
Leadership's initial communication regarding this difficult decision was confined to IABC employees, board members, and regional and chapter leaders primarily out of respect for the employees being let go.
Since the announcement, there has been some speculation about the extent of the lay-offs, the financial well-being of the Association, and the future of the World Conference.
Follow the link for useful details about how the staff shakes out. But to sum up their clarification: Everything's fine—only a net loss of five people after 11 new hires have been made, the World Conference planning steaming right along, and "IABC is in great shape financially."
In other words, what were you all worried about?
Well, IABCers what were you all worried about?
Let IABC leaders know—here, or there.
More than a thousand curious communicators visited Writing Boots over the weekend looking for the scoop on the IABC layoffs.
What really happened at IABC?
I think know most of it, actually. Aside from executive director Chris Sorek's callous non-announcement of these layoffs, the details of the story may not be too terribly gruesome, and the restructuring may wind up being productive.
(See Sorek and volunteer chair Kerby Meyers describe their game plan in this November video.)
Of course I'd like to interview some of the laid-off staff, question Sorek in detail about which skill sets he didn't need and which he's bringing in and talk Meyers and other board members about whether the style of this layoff indicates a changing culture at IABC.
But I have too many other things happening at the moment to do that story justice. Maybe someone else will do that.
Maybe you will do that. When I asked Sorek on Friday for permission to get back in contact with him in case any of my readers asked questions I couldn't answer, he told me, "Have them call me." You can reach him through IABC's switchboard, at 415-544-4700.
What I will do is keep an eye on all the coverage of this issue and comment where appropriate. I'm also pleased to hear and publish perspectives on what's happening at IABC. Write to me privately at writingboots at gmail dot com.
And next summer when I'm in New York to speak at the IABC World Conference, I'll hope to interview Sorek, Kirby and the incoming chair about what IABC has been achieved during Sorek's first year, where the organization has failed, and where they think it is headed.
I do believe IABC is the one professional association closest to the soul of our soulful profession, and I will continue to follow its progress as closely and constantly as I can, in the best interests of all of us.