A couple of weeks ago I said here that many IABC members want to know and would find out what happened to their trade association this year. Only after they're satisfied with a reasonable accounting of what went wrong over the least year, I wrote, will they begin to listen to leaders talk about how they're going to make it right.
An entirely reasonable-sounding accounting has been written, by former communications VP Paige Wesley, one of the victims of IABC's big layoff in the fall.
Wesley, who I told after last year's conference that she was the best media relations pro IABC ever had, begins her story this way:
In everyone’s life there are days that define who we are, and who we will become. For me, Thursday, November 29, 2012 was one such day.
On that day the normally quiet atmosphere at the International Association of Business Communicator’s (IABC) San Francisco headquarters was downright silent. There were strangers scurrying around the office, and normally open doors were shut tight. By the end of the workday ten staff had lost their jobs and another five had been given three months’ notice.
This is my story surrounding the circumstances of the layoffs and events that may have impacted the eventual resignation of IABC’s executive director, Chris Sorek.
Of course Wesley is also bound by strict California laws surrounding discussion of personnel issues, so you finish her account knowing you haven't seen all the details. But you feel you have seen the shape of the thing, and in seeing it, you feel more empathy for almost everyone involved.
Assuming it isn't attacked or dismissed by the executive board, Wesley's piece is a valuable document: The story of a mistake, that the association can now go about trying to correct.