After nearly a decade of ongoing complaints about the poor communication with respect to the CFP Board and changes/initiatives that it launches, it appears the organization, under the guidance of its "new" CEO Kevin Keller, has turned over a new leaf for 2009. Or at least, it's off to a good start.
Last Friday, the CFP Board sent out a communication that appears to have gone to all CFP Board stakeholders, requesting comments on proposed revisions to its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. To my knowledge, this is only the second time in recent years that the CFP Board has even used a comment period process to gather feedback about proposed rules changes (the first was in response to the Second Exposure Draft for changes to the CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct). Unfortunately, like the last time, this comment period has only come about after some initial changes were implemented, leading to an en masse resignation of many members of the then-current DEC, and creating an outcry of complaints from a segment of the CFP certificant community. Nonetheless, the CFP Board appears to be further clarifying some of last year's rule changes with respect to the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (DEC), while giving CFP certificants the opportunity to share their own thoughts and suggestions, before the final rules are implemented.
The invitation to CFP certificants to comment on the proposed changes appears to be a great step towards the CFP Board's commitment to improve communications with its stakeholders in 2009. And notably, this follows on the heels of a recent resolution passed by the CFP Board's Board of Directors to more formally acknowledge the significant of CFP certificants as stakeholders of the organization. From my perspective as a CFP certificant, these all appear to be good steps.
I haven't yet digested the details of the current form of the proposed DEC changes, and I'm sure there will be some additional buzz and discussion amongst the CFP community about this in the coming weeks on several of the issues involved, ranging from the formal empowerment of the CEO to select members of the DEC (formerly, the DEC selected its own members), to the appointment of members of the public to DEC positions. But in a straightforward manner, the CFP Board has laid out the exact details of the proposed changes with a side-by-side comparison sheet of the current and proposed sections of Article 2 of the CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.
But regardless of what changes come to the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures themselves, this positive step in the CFP Board's communication cannot be overlooked. Poor communication has been a complaint from the CFP certificant community about the CFP Board for years, and it appears to finally be improving. And with the CFP Board's focus in recent years on the Carver Model of Governance, vesting significant authority in the organization's CEO, I have to believe that the CFP Board's "new" CEO Kevin Keller (who replaced Sarah Teslik and the subsequent interim CEO Don Tharpe in May of 2007) must lay at the heart of these communication changes and how they're being implemented. As I wrote in the spring of 2008, the confluence of a new CEO and the CFP Board's use of the Carver Model would be likely to bring about a lot of interesting changes as Kevin Keller re-staffed the organization after its move to Washington D.C. and began his role, for better or for worse. Well, thus far, it appears to be for the better. So kudos to you Kevin, and to the CFP Board's Board of Directors. This is the 4th CEO in about 10 years for the organization - maybe we've finally got the right one.