Wednesday, July 16, 2014

National Speakers Association fell off their new PLATFORM, and will try another brand name

On July 7th I blogged about Will the National Speakers Association fall off its new platform? At their annual meeting they had announced that they were going to switch to a single-word name of PLATFORM.

But, Michael Hyatt already had a best-selling book published in 2012 with the title Platform: get noticed in a noisy world. I said that name change by NSA looked like a hilariously poor choice, and expected that it would not happen.

On July 14th NSA released a YouTube video titled Update on NSA’s Proposed Brand/Name Change - National Speakers Association in which they said they were going to drop PLATFORM and do something else.   

NSA has a code of ethics for members which includes:

“Article 4 - Intellectual Property

The NSA Member shall avoid using - either orally or in writing - materials, titles or thematic creations originated by others unless approved in writing by the originator.”

The text accompanying the YouTube video contained this reply (separation into paragraphs added by me for clarity):

“2. Why did NSA not adhere its own ethics and values related to intellectual property when others were using the Platform name?

An extensive search was conducted through the US Patent and Trademark Office during the development process. While there were 40 separate trademarks held by various companies throughout the US, only one of those was trademarked in the speaker marketplace and it had not been actively used in the last 15 years.

As soon as NSA became aware that someone else was actively using this brand in a similar marketplace to what we proposed, we reached out to that individual immediately to discuss the issue. While it took some time, we have communicated with all parties (including Michael Hyatt and his organization) and have worked out all issues to the satisfaction of everyone involved.

NSA takes very seriously any infractions of intellectual property and holds its ethics process and the values of the organization in high esteem and would never intentionally violate either of them.”

Michael Hyatt’s gracious reply to the announcement included this statement:

“The real test of leadership is not in whether you make mistakes. They are inevitable. I’ve certainly made my share. The real test is in what you do about them once they happen.

This is a good example of an organization that stumbled but then had the integrity to reverse their decision once they processed all the relevant input. This is extremely rare among individuals, let alone organizations. I salute them for their leadership.”

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