(This blog originally appeared on 7/20/2009 here: http://www.massageprofessionals.com/profiles/blogs/on-mtbok-independence)
Early July is the right time to talk about independence, at least in this country - don't you think?
You have read some about the fact that the MTBOK is sponsored by six organizations well known to the profession (see the previous post with our Press Release.) In a later post I will talk a little about the many other related organizations who we will continue to include in our goal to be as inclusive as possible while we build the MTBOK. But today I wanted to say a little about the other side of the coin - the concern that one organization or another may have undue influence over our work.
I'm happy to say that in the establishment of the MTBOK development project the Steward organizations were aware of this possibility, and took steps to be sure this didn't happen. In the "ground rules" set forth by the Stewards is the following agreed upon concept:
"Independence - The initiative should be conducted by a taskforce independent from the control or undue influence of any stakeholder group or other professional entity. As part of its independence, the taskforce should share its results with the profession broadly, and should not seek “approval” or “ratification” from any stakeholder group."
In my dealings with the Steward representatives, I can tell you that these aren't just empty words - they have certainly taken them to heart.
I felt I should talk about this early on because I want to be sure you don't think the MTBOK is being driven by the agenda of any individual or group of organizations. In this way I hope to build your support for the project, and get your participation as we put out our work for vetting and comment.
So - our Steward organizations have charged us with being as open and inclusive as possible (more about these later) while assuring us that the products we produce will not come under undue influence.
Of course, we all have opinions, some of them strong, and I do expect to hear a lot of them. Its our goal to listen to them all, and then produce a baseline Phase 1 of the MTBOK. It isn't going to be easy, but the strength of an independent MTBOK is that it will be built by representatives of the broad community based upon input from as much of the profession - and allied fields - as possible.
If people participate, and a solid foundation for the MTBOK is built, it can become a living Body of Knowledge that grows with and in response to the needs of the full range of stakeholders.
And that's our vision, and how independence contributes to its success.
More about where we are in the start up process next time.