The IEA was originally formed with the mission of being a hub for information regarding the development of theory and application of the Enneagram. The world has changed since that time, however, and the organization is changing with it. For example, a little thing called the “Internet” has emerged and now fills the role of “hub for information” quite nicely. Accordingly, the mission of the organization has changed to meet the needs of our members—primarily to provide opportunities for increasing professional excellence, receiving world-class education in Enneagram theory, and being part of a thriving community of like-minded people.
As part of that changing mission, and despite the proliferation of the Internet and self-publishing, the IEA has been more and more focused on providing opportunities for the publication of high-quality Enneagram-related content. We are doing this in a number of ways—until recently, primarily through the annual “Enneagram Journal” and the online “Nine Points Magazine” at www.ninepointsmagazine.org. In support of the “education” and “excellence” parts of the IEA’s mission, the board of directors decided in 2011 to set up a publishing house, International Enneagram Association Publications. The imprint just released its second book, Bart Wendell’s “Hot Leaders, Cool Facilitators.”
The IEA board thought long and hard about this initiative, wanting to ensure that the board was staying true to the IEA’s mission and exercising good stewardship of the IEA’s resources. Judging by the feedback of the membership, the board feels it made the right decision.
Lately, some questions have arisen regarding the book publishing policies, so the board would like to explain this initiative by way of this Governance Update.
Why book publishing?
The most obvious question is, why get into the business of publishing books? One of the reasons for this move was the increasing difficulty that Enneagram authors are having placing their manuscripts with mainstream publishers. The board decided to offer its members a publishing service that can be used for continuing to expand the body of knowledge about the theory and application of the Enneagram. In addition, this service can be used as a publishing outlet to authors whose already-published books need a new home because their original publisher went out of business or was unable to support the book.
Also, the board felt publishing was consistent with the nature of organizations such as ours; the American Psychological Association, the American Management Association, and numerous other associations provide this same service for their members—a publisher for authors of specialty books and a central source for the readers of those books.
How are decisions made on what to publish?
The board has set up a set of processes and guidelines to help fair decision-making concerning books. This set comprises:
- An evaluation of the merits of the manuscript from an Enneagram perspective – does it help further our mission?
- An evaluation of the financial viability of the book – we can only entertain projects that have the prospect of at least breaking even.
- In cases where a member of the board might be, directly or indirectly, personally involved in the project, the IEA’s robust Conflict of Interests policy takes effect and interested parties are not part of the decision-making process.
Is the IEA advocating a particular Enneagram theory or school of thought?
The short answer is, “absolutely not.” The IEA board is often asked to take some role in pushing the community toward a standardized or “official” body of Enneagram dogma. However, one of the guiding principles of the organization is that it provides a “big tent,” an environment in which people can come together and share their ideas, and debate those ideas if they are so inclined. However, the organization has no interest in advocating for any particular perspective or set of assumptions. Thus, you will never see something along the lines of “The IEA’s Guide to the Enneagram.” The board believes strongly that it is the role of the individuals in the community to create content (if they so desire) and it is the IEA’s role to provide forums where those ideas can be shared with our members.
Of course, there is some degree of editorial judgment involved in every content-related decision the IEA makes. Articles published in “Nine Points” or the “Enneagram Journal” are chosen by editorial boards and must meet the editorial standards the organization has set for quality of content; presenters selected for the annual conference must also pass through a robust selection process. However, the publication criteria are related to intellectual rigor and quality of writing rather than adherence to a particular dogma.
Who can have their book published?
Submissions made by any of the IEA’s members will be considered for publication. The IEA has limited resources and will not be able to publish every book submitted. Each submission will be weighed against a set of criteria including originality of the content and the financial viability of the book. For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.