Standards are critical strategic tools for both pushing and pulling technology throughout the economic structure of the world. They serve to ensure the safety of the public and users of the covered products. Standards facilitate interoperability between various components of systems used in all walks of life. Compliance with standards, international or domestic, greatly improves the odds that your product will be afforded market access. Not participating can result in standards that lock your product out of competition. The importance of the strategic nature of standards has been recognized by many companies and organizations. Quotes from some of the industry leaders can be seen in IEC - E-TECH > January 2008 - "INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: The View from the Top - CEOs speak out on the IEC" at the following web site:
So what can you do? You can support staff from your organization to participate in standards development efforts. Within the US, the interface to the IEC is the USNC, a committee of ANSI, that facilitates the operation of over 100 TAGs which mirror Technical and Subcommittees of the IEC. Your staff can volunteer to be US experts to IEC working groups and maintenance teams where the core development work is done, working for consensus on the fundamental requirements applied to electrical equipment. Non-electrical product areas are handled by ISO. Whatever you do, join the fun, and keep your company alive.