Thirteen Ways to Kill the Voluntary Standards Industry

(Originally published in the IEEE Standards Bearer, circa 1997)
Compiled by Clyde R. Camp
who chaired the New Standards Committee (NesCom) and Review Committee (RevCom)
of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Standards Board
and who admits to possibly having committed one or two of the below.

  1. Never respond to anything until the fourth reminder - then turn it in late and follow through with complaints about how the process takes soooooooooo long.

  2. Complain about the process but refuse to participate on committees that are trying to improve it.

  3. Keep in mind that it is much easier to find reasons why something can't or shouldn't be done than to find innovative solutions to the real problem.

  4. Be amazed and vociferous when people don't recognize that your document (which you've been working on for five years!) simply must be given the highest priority by staff for balloting or publishing. An additional week's delay could be disastrous!

  5. Never volunteer for officer positions - they're too much work. The management of the process is far too boring and only of interest when it obstructs your desires. Besides, someone else will do it.

  6. Ignore policy and do what you want to do. You can justity any procedural violations that might occur on the basis that they were restrictive or unfair.

  7. Never read your correspondence, but be sure to complain when things happen around you.

  8. Only attend meetings that are held in interesting places - like Vail or Sydney.

  9. Go to meetings just long enough to get your name on the attendance list - then leave to take in the sights.

  10. Quickly accept responsibility and then forget about it - somebody else will eventually do it and maybe you can claim credit for it.

  11. Hold firm in your belief that it will get done without you - after all, what difference does one person make?

  12. Remember that your way is the only way to really do it right - people with other viewpoints obviously don't understand all the issues.

  13. If you can't be in charge or win all the time, then quit - hey, it's only volunteer work!