As you may recall 10 days ago there was a post on the NKBA LinkedIn group from Mary Gut CKD. This was the post:
"I just got word that NKBA has drastically lessened the requirements for the AKBD exam. Only 70 questions with no experience required? Comments NKBA?"
This post incited a firestorm of comments that were against the NKBA lessening, or rather removing just about all the requirements other then money to obtain the AKBD level certification.
Now, I think back in the day when the internet was more like the "wild wild west" this would have been a rather childish outpouring of commentary. Chat rooms and forums were dominated by those who used the anonymity of the internet to release anger about a particular topic in a generally childish way.
What happened after Mary Gut's post was quite the opposite. The 80+ comments that followed were all very well thought out, mature assessments of the situation. After a few days, the first NKBA officer chimed in with an explanation for the changes in the certification. If you look here at my original post on this, you can see that her comments were received about as well as a pie in the face.
The comments continued, and finally the president of the NKBA, Mark Karas chimed in both on LinkedIn and on this blog. He offered a rather luke warm solution: Keep the amount of test questions at 70 instead of 200, and only require 2 years of experience.
More negative comments ensued. Members still weren't satisfied. The consensus was that lowering the requirements for the AKBD certification "cheapens" the certification and makes the NKBA less valuable professionally.
A few days later, Mark Karas again announced another change: He stated that the AKBD certifications would remain exactly as they originally were! Rather then paraphrase, you can see his official post here.
I think the NKBA took many mis-steps in their process. For starters, from what I understand only one person made this change. It was not discussed or voted on by the NKBA board. The NKBA also didn't enlist the advice of its members, their most precious resource on this rather big decision.
I have been a big proponent of social media for a while now. I think this is a great example of how using social media can empower those who want a voice. How would have people from all over the country have been able to voice their opinions in a open forum such as this 15 years ago?
The NKBA seems a bit being as an organization in the social media field. I hope this incident was a wake up call for them, and a door to a new opportunity to seek better communication with its members.
I am glad the NKBA decided not to change the requirements for this certification. I am glad to be a part of an organization that listens to its members, even if they made the wrong decision first.
I'd like to leave you with this really compelling video about the value of social media.