Agreeing on common communication does not get harder than this: Breakthrough Message is a global competition to find the one message that represents all of humanity to extragalactic creatures. Unsurprisingly, the prize of 1 million US-dollars is higher than most communication budgets.

Down on earth however, communication differences abound: press conferences this month with leaders stepping down from a mess they created looked very different in Japan than in Switzerland. At FIFA, Joseph Blatter frantically demanded “where is my security?” and walked off stage after being interrupted by a protester. At Toshiba, Hisao Tanaka took a 90 degree, 15 second bow to apologize for overstating profits.

But look closer and you will find a universal communication challenge: hubris. Communication serves no organizational strategy when leaders put themselves before their cause [Tweet this] and just creates a limelight that should be reserved for the organization. Therefore, to contain hubris communication managers must protect the precedence that organizations take over their temporary leaders [Tweet this].

Our over 40 member organizations of the Global Alliance are discovering commonalities while celebrating the differences between countries and regions. One such discovery project is the Global Body of Knowledge that could become a basis for global credentialing. I enthusiastically encourage you to join the debate

Learning from each other’s differences will strengthen our common cause. The prize may not be $1 million US-dollars, but an invaluable breakthrough of our profession’s messages.


Gregor Halff, Global Alliance Chair