Between the Lines: ISBA must move with times

In appointing its new director-general, ISBA has had to resolve a common dilemma facing many trade associations (page 6). How do you find somebody mature enough to command the respect of your members, but dynamic enough not to regard the job as a run-in to retirement? How do you find the grey hair with the will to bring about the changes needed to keep the organisation relevant?

In Mike Hughes, 55, ISBA has a new chief with proven marketing experience. Whether he has the determination to lead ISBA into the new digital world remains to be seen.

The very title "director-general" has fusty associations and, according to some in the industry, is indicative of ISBA's need to better reflect the challenges that the huge changes in marketing communications have precipitated.

Hughes' experience of digital, latterly as a non-executive chairman of Infinite Thinking, could not be called extensive. This may not matter as long as he understands ISBA needs to change and will put the right people in place to facilitate it.

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