Pigs, Winston Churchill, and the Stockholm Accords

Those of you who know me personally will know that I am unusually fond of pigs.  But I never thought I would have the opportunity to blog about pigs in a professional context.

Winston Churchill was a big-time pig fan as well.  Aside from using the pig silhouette as shorthand for a self-portrait, Churchill made a famous comment about the different ontological perspectives adopted by various species.  “Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us…but only pigs look at us as equals.”

Such a porcine perspective becomes relevant in light of the recently adopted Stockholm Accords.  In explicitly acknowledging the role of communication as central to value creation, the Stockholm Accords subtly but firmly challenge professional communicators as the equals of the other key players at the leadership table–operations, finance, etc.

That those other players may not yet be ready to believe we are their equals does not make us any less so.  It doesn’t mean we have any entitlement to be recognised by these folks as equals, particularly if we aren’t acting as if we believe and know our work and our insights to be of equal value and import.

Conversely, our own recognition of our own equality need not be conditional or contingent on being elevated by “the leadership” or given a seat at “the table”.

Leadership and strategic centrality are given by words, thoughts, actions and results, and by the nature of organizational momentum.  In this recognition one finds the real beauty of the Stockholm Accords.

As for the beauty of pigs, or the role and value of the communicator, it is not merely in the eyes of the beholder, but in the mind, heart and actions of the beheld.   Who says pigs can’t teach us a few lessons?

For more information about the Stockholm Accords, visit http://www.stockholmaccords.org/

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1 Comment

  1. Don’t miss Paul Seaman’s eloquent opposition to the Accords. http://paulseaman.eu/2010/06/stockholm_accords_are_useless_for_prs_future/ Last of 3 posts (!)


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