By Brian Gresham

Publishing within your professional organization is critical to the forward movement and development of the organization. It not only builds the food bank of industry knowledge, allowing others to grow and nourish their minds, but also further develops the author’s knowledge on existing platforms of thought. It also promotes exploring different avenues of thought that can lead to roads less traveled.

Publishing with your organization is a step toward becoming a pillar of the community and setting an example for others to follow. It puts your name further into your professional organization, and it builds your professional portfolio and shows future clients and companies that you have a strong understanding of your industry.

Publishing with peer-reviewed journals such as Performance Improvement Quarterly delivers facts and data that can be translated and used in working situations and scenarios.

Publishing with journals such as Performance Improvement delivers “how-to” guides, job aids, research, models, and interventions that will assist your fellow practitioners in their daily professional and personal functions.

Despite the complexity that is associated with publishing, it is more than worth the time and effort for a writer to develop and it is essential for any organization.

Recently I have read a few postings and blog articles suggesting self-publishing and blogging are easier and more cost effective. In some instances this can be true–it is easier to write your thoughts down and press the “post” button on a blog. But that does not necessarily mean anyone was there to review your work for accuracy, edit grammar and sentence structure, or promote and advertise your material, and you could face the risk of not having reader or customer trust that is associated with a larger publisher that is backed by an organization. It is free to blog; it only costs the time and energy to write.

Self-publishing has the same consequences; however, the cost and development can be substantially higher. The time and energy required for purchasing an ISBN number, producing the content for print, and producing the different digital formats usable for iPad, Kindle, and Nook (to name a few) are substantial. As an author, you still will run into the issue of having a limited audience. Without a large publishing name behind your article, you may not necessarily get your book on shelves in major book stores and promoted to universities and colleges.

I ask my fellow readers: “What is the next step in your performance improvement career going to be? Are you going to share your knowledge with your community and allow us to let your content, knowledge, know how, and industry knowledge reach as far as it can, causing your professional portfolio to expand?”