We now live in an age of truth, openness and honesty. I would say it all started when the papers started publishing details of MP’s expenses which then caused an almighty and disdain from the general public for their elected officials.

From there, it has grown into a massive movement which has seen a plethora of usually private information now being public. Banker’s bonuses for example, pay packets of the highest paid people in Britain, many more Freedom Of Information requests etc. I think it is fair to say that almost everyone is part of this movement and is in favour of it. We all pay out a lot in taxes and other expenses for goods, services and industry bodies, so I think it is only fair that we get to know as much as we think is necessary.

See where this is going? The double glazing industry is moving on towards the future, and is going to be part of a more open and transparent society, and the bodies and groups associated with our industry need to move with it. Over the last week it has been discussed on here and on Twitter that the groups seen as ‘old boys clubs’ and ‘elitists’ are no longer required and are likely to cause a hindrance rather than progression to the modernisation of the industry.

Every time you open an industry magazine you will see the same old faces in there and the same old stories. Are we dealing with PR hungry individuals who just must be seen and heard or is this really all the industry has to offer? The industry has more to offer and there are more individuals writing, blogging and contributing in many different ways now to a few years ago.
All of these organisations have recently been asked if they would welcome fresh new contribution, help and involvement and it seems as though the door very much remains shut!

What many of you don’t realise is that there are some immensely talented people in this business who unlike others choose not to be so public yet have made a huge difference to the industry, its products and its service. And for some reason these people appear to be shut out.  Why?

The GGF and things like the Top 30 Most Influential are two such examples. The Top 30 list has long been populated with the same old faces, patting each other on the back, just for being at the top of their businesses, arguably not being that influential at all. Being at the top doesn’t mean you are. The list needs young new blood, showcasing the people behind the scenes doing the real work; being truly influential.

Now I know the GGF does some very good work. It does some hard lobbying of the Government on behalf of the industry, trying to look out for it’s best interests. But why then should the couple of hundred or so who pay to be part of this old fashioned and undesirable system get to see the info that is necessary for the whole industry weeks before everyone else? If the GGF works on behalf of the industry, then the whole industry should get to hear what it has to say as a group, not the clique first then everyone else later.

People are going to come on here and say “well it’s a group for private membership in which people pay for the privilege of having that information first.” I’m sure this is true, and this is not what is the problem for me. It is in my opinion that private groups exist and create a two tier system within the industry when we should all be working together to make the best of what ever the situation or issue is at the time.

Look at it this way, out of an industry which is over 16,000 companies strong, why is it that just a few hundred are members. Surely if the industry thought that being part of such a group was worth it then membership would be at similar levels as FENSA or Certass? What I would like to see is a body which is open, minimal fees, consulting everyone and not just the select few who hand over a proportion of their turnover to be part of it. That’s how a modern and open society works, so our industry should be the same.

The industry wants inclusion, not exclusivity for those rich enough to be able to pay for it.