This entry is being posted on behalf of Kirk St.Amant, candidate for Director in the 2019 STC election. More information about Kirk can be found on his STC election page. You can ask questions of the candidates on the STC Election Forum. The election begins 25 February and runs through 11 March.
Connection, Collaboration, and Value
I believe in the power of connection and collaboration to address challenges and achieve goals. They can provide valuable resources and offer opportunities to contribute value in new ways. During my career, I’ve worked to build connections and identify collaborations that could contribute value to the field. I would now like to continue such work as a Director of the Society for Technical Communication, for I believe I have much to offer in these areas. Specifically, I would like to focus on fostering connections and collaborations across key areas to provide the Society and its members with valuable resources and experiences. These areas are as follows:
The Society’s communities and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) represents a collected knowledge that can contribute greatly to the overall membership. Each group is comprised of talented member who have much to offer their colleagues. If communities and SIGs could share information – objectives for the coming year, lists of speakers and events, and summaries of successful activities – they could provide other members with valuable resources that could foster collaboration on everything from joint meetings to co-sponsored webinars and courses. In this way, connections and collaborations across the Society could lead to a rich body of resources and practices of value to all members. If elected a Director, I would undertake activities to foster such connections and collaborations across the Society.
There is a tendency to speak of the field in terms of “academics” and “practitioners,” and each party has much to offer the other. Realizing such potential is a matter of creating opportunities that allow for effective collaborations that benefit all involved. Doing so could contribute to educational practices and training resources (e.g., a database of prospective guest lectures or training partners) through collaborations between educators and practitioners. Likewise, resources such as a listing of research interests shared among individuals in academia and industry could facilitate valuable collaborations through research. As a Directory, I would make the creation of such resources and collaborations a priority activity.
A number of professional organizations address aspects of interest to members of the Society – -particularly the members of different SIGs. Collaborations with these groups could lead to resources that are of value to STC members and to other organizations. They would also allow organizations to tap a wider range of experience in creating such materials. The Health and Medicine SIG, for example, might partner with the American Medical Writers association to create joint webinars on areas of interest to both groups. As a Director, I’d explore ways of working with other organizations to identify opportunities for such collaborations.
The Society has members located around the world, for technical communication is an area of growth globally. The increasingly entwined nature of the global economy also means individuals need to understand how global forces can affect local practices. Connections and collaborations with individuals and organizations in other nations can provide STC members with valuable information and resources for understanding such factors. As a Director, I would seek to recruit STC members around the world to help develop such resources. I would also explore opportunities to collaborate with other international organizations in order to pool efforts to develop resources (e.g., webinars on certain international business practices) of benefit to all.
The modern world is one of connectivity, and today’s workplace often relies on connections and collaborations to complete tasks no one individual can complete alone. By identifying new connections and fostering related collaborations, technical communicators can enhance their ability to contribute value to organizations. They can also gain value from working with others. If elected a Director of the Society for Technical Communication, I would focus on developing such connections and collaborations in order to provide members with valuable opportunities and resources related to the areas noted here.