EuroComm 2017 speaker line-up

Jill Allemang
Modern careers – What's your strategy?
We will explore why it matters to talk about careers directly in the business strategy as a key step in strategy communication. Strategy communication brings clarity. Clarity brings confidence and the belief that we can implement our goals (business and personal), effect change, have an impact. That’s the conversation we aim to bring directly into the business and to every employee who contributes to it. Through the pragmatic, engaging approach that inspires both insight and a smile, you will: •­ Identify elements of “my great career” ­• Explore why career vision matters to business strategy ­• Consider the impact we can make as communications professionals • Walk away with a new idea about how to communicate your own career vision in your organization
John Burger
Bootstrapping Change – The need for Organizational Self-Awareness
Organisations are complex adaptive systems, like ant colonies, but with intelligence agents as constituents. This has implications for which types of change interventions are successful. Many change interventions fail because the top of the organisations sees itself as distinct from the rest of the organization. Although they are inside the same sphere, they push, or they pull, but this does not move the sphere. They need to walk to bring the organization with them and recognise both the power and influence they have and their limitations. By developing strategies to build up organizational self­-awareness, organisations can learn to avoid many of the pitfalls of failing change initiatives.
Ezri Carlebach
WORKSHOP: Creativity and change – How to turn uncertainty into innovation
People fear change because it is unpredictable. Yet change in work, life and community is constant. How do we engage in change practices that encourage creativity and innovation? How do we recognise how fear of failure keeps us from being innovative? In this session, we will talk about what we have learned about engaging in simple, creative strategies that result in big ideas that will change and transform how we do business. Participants will practice strategies and learn to develop their own toolbox to support innovation and creativity in their work spaces. (Co-presented with Martha Muzychka)
Charlotte Ditloev Jensen
Transformation from within
– How facilitation techniques can expand the organizational impact of communication – In this session, everyday tasks will be presented via three core communication competencies; production, counselling and facilitation. The red thread that runs through the three is the concept of ownership: yours, his/hers or theirs. Facilitation is a specific set of competencies that a communicator can include in their personal toolbox. Facilitation skills are a useful tool for: • engaging and committing employees and managers alike, with the purpose of stimulating user-centric approaches to innovation and development, and • strengthening communication with both customers and employees, expecting your organization to interact in an inclusive and authentic way on social media.
Martin Gilbraith
WORKSHOP: Facilitating transformation – reviewing the past to prepare for the future
In this workshop Martin will demonstrate a participatory approach for a group to review the past to prepare for the future, by applying the ToP (Technology of Participation) Historical Scan method to reflect together on the journey of development of our profession as communicators. Martin will be joined by IABC past­-chair Michael Ambjorn (@michaelambjorn) of AlignYourOrg and Alastair Mcphail of ETF to share an award­-winning case study of the method in action "Celebrating 20 years with the European Training Foundation in Turin – #ETF20" (IABC 2015 Gold Quill Award & IAF 2015 Facilitation Impact Award). Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on how they might apply the method themselves.
Russell Grossman
CASE STUDY: Adapting, reinventing and transforming UK GCS
One of the largest cohorts of communication practitioners in Europe, the UK Government Communication Service (GCS) comprises some 4,400 people and over 300 government organisations, from the Prime Minister’s office down. It invests over £300m each year in communication. Since 2013, the service has been significantly upskilling the profession in an ongoing programme of 11 major reforms covering every facet of its communication activity from insight to evaluation, including a special focus on internal and digital comms. Russell will discuss the programme and why a rigorous management approach, commitment to external insight, and forcing the pace of delivery has significantly improved government comms while cutting its cost by over three quarters in the last five years.
Kate Hamilton-Baily
What communicators of the future will need to "know, do and be"
How do you ensure that what you do now will develop your experience and skill set to meet the challenges of the future? From geo-political changes through to technology advances, we are living in a time of considerable change. Kate will be talking about the trends they are starting to see emerge in terms of the structure of the communications function and the experience and skillset that clients are looking for when hiring senior talent and what that means for your career development.
Tim Hart
CASE STUDY: The complex life of an NHS communicator
The NHS is the UK’s largest employer and a world-­recognised brand. It sits not only at the heart of British civil life but is also a daily lightning rod for media, interest groups and politicians alike. For communicators who work there, it is a place of constant change, an often pressured environment that requires a steely will and an ability to pivot from issue to issue and from skill to skill to keep it all in hand. This presentation will describe the life and work of NHS communicators, including a look at their role in the latest hot topic, Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) – large­scale plans to meet the ‘triple challenge’ of better health, transformed quality of care delivery, and sustainable finances,­ with communications at the heart of this ambitious and contentious effort.
Neville Hobson
How to Augment Your Intelligence with Big Data
We’ve all heard the term “Big Data” but do we really understand what this means? Can we see what we must do right now to enable our competitive differentiation, operational effectiveness and early-mover advantage that are essential in the cognitive business era of the coming decade? In this session, you’ll learn how providing colleagues and customers with knowledge and insights will enable everyone to work more effectively and efficiently; to focus on achieving an outcome and not the task list; to leave the mundane to tech tools that excel at the mundane; to amplify your cognitive prowess by leveraging (augmenting) the intelligence you have with the help of machines, algorithms and computer processing power. (Co-presented with Jonathan Oldershaw)
Katy Howell
The giant step change in social
From thumb-stopping content to paid targeting, social has become a serious part of the communications mix. This session will explore the latest trends in social media, including: • The need for a content tilt and flexible messaging, • The shift to audience first and always-on, • How this effects interaction with the public, and • Why trolls don’t matter and fake news needs a plan. We’ll look at the new era of serious social media – the data, the art, the psychology and the everyday.
Sharon Hunter
Future Fit: #IABC1720 Forward Look
Sharon has served eight years in IABC executive leadership roles where, as the incoming Chair of the International Executive Board (IEB) 2017-18, she is leading development of the association’s next three-year strategy, #IABC1720. In this session, she will give us a sneak preview of the IABC forward strategy and some of the insights about communications role relevancy we are drawing on for it, including member survey data and other industry opinions gleaned through an appreciative inquiry process and thought leader interviews across the globe. The results of which point to what communicators need to evolve toward to stay relevant into 2020 and beyond.
Mike Klein
WORKSHOP: From collecting to connecting
– Next-level networking for communication professionals – Networking is one of the most critical skills of communication professionals. Indeed it is the engine that causes information to flow, knowledge to be obtained, and relationships to be initiated, sustained and grown. Much of what is being pushed in today’s networking industry is purely transactional – of the “collect lots of business cards” variety. For communication professionals to progress in organizational centrality and career influence, we must become adept at giving to people in our networks as well as receiving what they offer. This session will look at what it takes to develop network building habits, and will provide participants with hands­-on practice and coaching in how to practice these habits and spread them among their peers. (Co-presented with Lin McDevitt-Pugh)
Alan Lane
CASE STUDY: Managing comms and reputation during high-profile crisis and disasters
In May 2016, a wildfire raged through Northern Alberta, forcing the evacuation of over 80,000 people. The fire destroyed 2,500 structures – the largest natural disaster in Canadian history. As part of its emergency response, the Government of Alberta used Virtual Town Halls to communicate directly with evacuees who had dispersed all across Canada, to keep them up to date on the latest information: condition of their neighbourhoods, distribution of financial assistance, predictions for when they could return to their homes and what to expect once they were able to return. The government conducted 17 events over five weeks during the evacuation and early return of residents back into the city. (Co-presented with Carl Mavromichalis)
Victoria Lewis-Stephens
Harnessing digital to engage employees globally
How do some of the world’s most iconic brands leverage digital platforms and gamification to engage employees? Join Instinctif Partners to learn how to foster a connected global community, inspire brand fans and drive change for your organization, globally. Key insights include: • How to use gamification to engage a disparate global audience in your strategy; • How to capture your employees’ imagination using social platforms; • Techniques to help drive change during periods of business transformation; and • How to leverage digital to create a connected brand (Co-presented with Alys O’Neill)
Dr Clare Lynch
Whose language is it anyway?
– Communicating effectively in a globalised world – Business communication should be clear and direct, right? As any professional communicator will tell you, to get your message across you need to keep things concise and jargon­-free. But this view of communication isn’t universal. Rather, it reveals deep­-seated, culturally determined attitudes to the way content and ideas should be structured, phrased and presented. People whose first language isn’t English may have different ideas of what constitutes ‘good’ communication. Clare will highlight some of the challenges professional communicators face when providing advice in a cross­-cultural context and explore how you can adapt to a world where ‘ownership’ of the English language itself is increasingly shared by speakers around the globe.
Carl Mavromichalis
CASE STUDY: Managing comms and reputation during high-profile crisis and disasters
In May 2016, a wildfire raged through Northern Alberta, forcing the evacuation of over 80,000 people. The fire destroyed 2,500 structures – the largest natural disaster in Canadian history. As part of its emergency response, the Government of Alberta used Virtual Town Halls to communicate directly with evacuees who had dispersed all across Canada, to keep them up to date on the latest information: condition of their neighbourhoods, distribution of financial assistance, predictions for when they could return to their homes and what to expect once they were able to return. The government conducted 17 events over five weeks during the evacuation and early return of residents back into the city. (Co-presented with Alan Lane)
Robin McCasland
Bad Bosses Be Damned!
A key tenet of strategic communication and engagement is that both are more effective when organizational leadership is onboard and involved in your efforts. Can you still be successful without their support? Yes! All is not lost when you work with or for a leader who doesn’t understand the transformative nature of great communication. You simply have to work around them to demonstrate how your efforts can influence behaviors and improve culture. It involves greater ingenuity – and sometimes a bit of bravery – but it can be done! You can even win over the most stubborn of leaders so they’re willing to participate in future. In this session, Robin will offer practical tips and share examples of how she and her teams have moved past leader roadblocks to provide the real value of creative, effective communication. (And they did it without getting fired.)
Lin McDevitt-Pugh
WORKSHOP: From collecting to connecting
– Next-level networking for communication professionals – Networking is one of the most critical skills of communication professionals. Indeed it is the engine that causes information to flow, knowledge to be obtained, and relationships to be initiated, sustained and grown. Much of what is being pushed in today’s networking industry is purely transactional – of the “collect lots of business cards” variety. For communication professionals to progress in organizational centrality and career influence, we must become adept at giving to people in our networks as well as receiving what they offer. This session will look at what it takes to develop network building habits, and will provide participants with hands­-on practice and coaching in how to practice these habits and spread them among their peers. (Co-presented with Mike Klein)
Antonio Meza
KEYNOTE: The burning question …
What gives meaning to my professional life? It is the burning question that people ask themselves when engaging with a company or brand. Professional communicators must be ready to offer answers. Corporate values used to be a "nice to have" piece of text displayed on the walls of an office. But as companies transform and evolve, they are becoming much more customer-centric, they want to listen to the real needs of the end-user of their services. And they are also concerned with finding and retaining the best new talents. Today, companies need to embody their values and act congruently – internally and externally. The corporate communicator's role is transforming, from somebody who shapes the output of a top-down message, to becoming the bridge that permits the creation of true value.
Rachel Miller
Power of One – benefits of being an independent practitioner
Rachel will be sharing how she has adapted, invented and evolved her career. A former journalist, she spent a decade working in-house before establishing her consultancy four years ago. Through this session, Rachel will be revealing the twists and turns her career has taken and how she has made up the rules to create her career path. She’ll be highlighting the importance of creating and maintaining personal brand to build a business and why blogging is a good use of time. In a world where we know the power of peer-to-peer communication, what’s the reality of working independently? What are the challenges, why are 47-page documents essential, and how can “the power of one” be multiplied? Rachel is going to share insights into all these areas.
Martha Muzychka
WORKSHOP: Creativity and change – How to turn uncertainty into innovation
People fear change because it is unpredictable. Yet change in work, life and community is constant. How do we engage in change practices that encourage creativity and innovation? How do we recognise how fear of failure keeps us from being innovative? In this session, we will talk about what we have learned about engaging in simple, creative strategies that result in big ideas that will change and transform how we do business. Participants will practice strategies and learn to develop their own toolbox to support innovation and creativity in their work spaces. (Co-presented with Ezri Carlebach)
Siobhan Newmarch
Employee engagement in the digital workplace
The presentation will use existing and exclusive research to describe the evolving relationship of employees with communications in the workplace, in light of increased digitalisation of channels, and the blurring of boundaries between private and professional life. It will use case studies encountered at Portland to identify the best ways for communication professionals to understand, target and engage internal stakeholders.
Alys O’Neill
Harnessing digital to engage employees globally
How do some of the world’s most iconic brands leverage digital platforms and gamification to engage employees? Join Instinctif Partners to learn how to foster a connected global community, inspire brand fans and drive change for your organization, globally. Key insights include: • How to use gamification to engage a disparate global audience in your strategy; • How to capture your employees’ imagination using social platforms; • Techniques to help drive change during periods of business transformation; and • How to leverage digital to create a connected brand (Co-presented with Victoria Lewis-Stephens)
Jonathan Oldershaw
How to Augment Your Intelligence with Big Data
We’ve all heard the term “Big Data” but do we really understand what this means? Can we see what we must do right now to enable our competitive differentiation, operational effectiveness and early-mover advantage that are essential in the cognitive business era of the coming decade? In this session, you’ll learn how providing colleagues and customers with knowledge and insights will enable everyone to work more effectively and efficiently; to focus on achieving an outcome and not the task list; to leave the mundane to tech tools that excel at the mundane; to amplify your cognitive prowess by leveraging (augmenting) the intelligence you have with the help of machines, algorithms and computer processing power. (Co-presented with Alan Lane)
Sheila Parry
Take PRIDE: Building organizational success through people
This session will invite you to think differently about life at work, from the dual perspectives of the organization and the individual. It will bring together the interests of the employer and the employee in an exploration of five key components – ­ Purpose, Reputation, Integrity, Direction and Energy –­ that together achieve organizational and personal performance. The PRIDE model has been built on more than 15 years of experience working with outstanding people and organisations. It is accessible, intuitive, pragmatic but also supported by a rigorous diagnostic and set of proven methodologies. Sheila will share her inspiration for the model, briefly explain each component part and then discuss case studies and implementation ideas.
Caroline Sapriel
From Crisis Response to Crisis Leadership
– Understanding what’s at stake to steer your organization through disruption – In today’s highly volatile and unpredictable world, crisis management must do more than help organisations respond to crises. Having the ability to detect, prevent, mitigate and recover from a crisis is the only way to build resilience successfully. Taking an integrated approach by connecting the dots between risk management, crisis management and business continuity will help build a robust contingency framework for your organization. Communicators have a key role to play in crisis preparedness and crisis leadership and can help executive teams build the right mindset to prevent a reputation train wreck.
Hilary Scarlett
KEYNOTE: Supporting transformation – insights from behavioural science
Work has changed hugely but our brains have not; they are not designed to deal with the 21st century workplace. Although behavioural science and applied neuroscience are still in their infancy, they are already providing significant insights into people, teams and organisations. They bring to light what enables us to be focused, learn and perform at our best, especially during times of transformation and uncertainty. Communication professionals need to understand what helps the brain at work and what gets in the way. This presentation will be ‘brain­friendly’ so we will use film and exercises to illustrate points, provide research and scientific evidence, and allow time to reflect and discuss (when the real learning is done) and encourage you to apply the thinking to your organization.
Warwick Smith
Brexit: What are the big questions for communicators?
With Brexit looming, the rules for news media being rewritten, and the expectations placed on us as communicators to manage it all with a clear head, this session will be one of the highlights at EuroComm. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March, so communicators now need to shift into high gear to understand the impact this will have on people and businesses in the UK and across Europe, especially those that employ foreign workers. In this session you’ll hear what every business communicator needs to know to weather the Brexit storm, including: • The process • The players • The timescales • How to be heard and influential
Danielle Spencer
The future of IC is OD?
In the past 5-­10 years the lines between communications and HR have blurred, with HR practitioners coveting the creativity, planfulness and audience orientation of comms and IC practitioners seeking to expand our influence to important cultural levers that are usually the domain of OD practitioners –­ leadership and line management behaviours and capabilities, performance management and behaviour change. Often the two disciplines come together (or come into conflict) around an organisation's change management, engagement or employee experience approach. In this presentation, a former IC Director who 'crossed over' into OD and HR roles describes her career and personal journey, ­how and why she made the change and what she has learned and observed along the way that may be helpful to others.
Jasna Suhadolc
B2B companies: it is time to transform with inbound marketing?
Generating quality leads, better conversion rates and increasing awareness of the brand are just some of the results created by changing the perspective with inbound marketing and truly focusing on target audiences and their needs. By consistently providing helpful, relevant information, creating useful content and using digital tools available, inbound marketing can help transform B2B companies’ marketing that goes beyond trade fairs, cold calling or adverts in trade publications.
Tereza Urbankova
CASE STUDY: Our transformation journey: building trust comes first
Global engineering project management and consulting firm Amec Foster Wheeler has embarked on a huge transformation journey that represents a major change for the organization. This includes restructuring the company, improving efficiencies, systems and processes; basically turning the business around. And of course, employee communications and engagement are paramount to the success of this transformation. The ongoing transformation of the business is about adapting to challenging markets, reinventing itself and creating a sustainable business based on strong existing foundations. This session will focus on the journey they are taking employees on and will outline the challenges, successes and even failures along the way.
Dik Veenman
Speaking Truth to Power
– How to work with leaders to create a 'speaking up' culture – This session will explore the recent series of scandals where corporate wrongdoings were seemingly well known by those inside the organization but where these were not discussable. The session will present the findings from a unique 18-month research programme conducted by The Right Conversation in conjunction with Ashridge / Hult Business School on the subject of “How Truth Speaks to Power”. You will be invited to consider the five dimensions of how, as leaders, we silence ourselves and how we silence others, and explore how they can start a conversation about 'speaking truth to power' in their own organisations. The session will be a mix of presentation and highly interactive discussions.
Louise Wadman
CASE STUDY: Revitalising Lloyds Bank and You
– A gripping story of change against the odds – Faced with a business that needed substantial change to become more customer-centric, Louise created a three-year behavioural change programme. By activating the workforce, stimulating managers and using emotional triggers, the ‘revitalisation programme’ has resulted in enduring change. In her presentation, Louise will provide a high-level overview and then as an audience you can decide which aspects of the programme you want to learn more about.
Susan Walker
Measurement Evolves to Evaluation
Why just ‘measure’ when you can identify the value of communications to your organization? Evolve your research programme on to proactive evaluation with three essential steps. Make a real link with the organisation’s strategy, vision and values to ensure it becomes an integral part of business planning. Excavate that goldmine of data to gain deeper understanding and reveal where to focus for greatest impact so you can identify ROI. Ensure that effective action brings practical benefits to the business. Advancing technology, social media, listening not telling and new business models all bring changes which mean the old traditional annual survey is being transformed into the more proactive, flexible, relevant and effective evaluation.