Engage and be Relevant

I’ve been talking a lot lately about talking. If you’ve followed the AIA’s Repositioning efforts you’ve notice by now that much of the focus is on not only how we work but how we talk about our work; how we tell our story.

One of the dangers that any professional organization or business can face is the trap that we fall into when we spend more time talking to each other than we spend talking to clients, customers, partners, friends and family.

We have our own issues and our own lingo, our own language that no one outside our group fully understands.

The American Institute of Architects will be most successful when we learn to adopt a more accessible language. We cannot abandon our level of professionalism but we need to speak in inclusive terms and frame compelling arguments.

Let’s focus on how the general public benefits from our work; on our impact on everyday lives.

As we move forward, let’s invite others into the conversation. Let’s engage with people outside of our organization. After all, they are our future clients and partners and users. Let’s remember that they may not understand the language that we use when we’re in our committee meetings and at our conventions. They may not understand our issues.

Our success will come when we understand and speak their language; when we understand and help solve their issues; when we become relevant in their world.

How are you engaging with your clients and your community? I’d like to know. Tell me by leaving a comment below.

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