Future Fit Communications 2018 – integrating technology, people and organisations

In its fourth annual edition, IABC UK’s Future Fit Communications 2018 will focus on the impact and implications for people of rapidly evolving technologies and organisation. Is technology helping us improve engagement with stakeholders, or are we in danger of running ahead of our ability to use it well? Are we losing sight of the human touch in our eagerness to embrace technology, or will cognitive technologies, augmented reality, and new organisational structures liberate people to engage and perform more effectively than ever before?

Sessions will focus on:

  • New organisational forms and the shift from hierarchy to networks; the implications for autonomy, self-responsibility and decision-making.
  • How augmented reality will transform interfaces and the risks and opportunities that creates.
  • What can we learn from each other from our personal responses to change and new ways of interaction, and how can we become better leaders and communicators.

Our Speakers:

Katherine Woods, Meeting Magic. “Technology and new organisational forms: why companies need a clear objective more than ever”

Victoria Lewis-Stephens, Managing Partner – Engagement, and Sarah Harrison, Instinctif Partners. “Creating and nurturing an influencer network: a new application of McKinsey snowball model”

Matt O’Neill, Futurist. “Computerisation and humanisation model”

Andy Gibson, Mindapples. “Managing change and health in rapidly changing environment”

TICKETS

  • IABC member £50
  • IABC non-member £100
  • IABC member + non-member (booked together) £100
  • Partner organisation member £50

Book at https://futurefitcommunications2018.eventbrite.co.uk 

Keeping ahead of the extraordinary pace of change, we have no time to lose and this event will provide you with a unique opportunity to hear from our excellent speakers and discuss your practical questions and experiences with your fellow seasoned communication professionals.

Reflections On A Conversation Across The Ocean

I’m just reflecting on a great conversation (#iabcacrosstheocean) we had between the IABC members in San Francisco and the UK. We will post a full recording of the conversation soon.

We set out to explore how we manage communication in the UK and in the USA. Rather than having an expert come to talk to us about the cultural differences and the implications of these we decided to use the knowledge and experience of our members to explore the theme.

So, what came out? First of all, thoughts on the role of communication:

  • We all agree (not just on the panel, but also in our pre-conversation survey) that communicators are increasingly acting as business partners and that our role encompasses
    • Helping to connect people to make them feel part of one company with shared goals
    • Helping leaders communicate effectively so that they share that narrative
    • Support line managers by supporting leaders – more effective leadership communication helps provide the knowledge and role models that support line managers in making connections with their people
  • What it is not: communications professionals should not be responsible for the communication skills of line managers, but we influence through the way we help leadership communication

On the challenges facing communicators today the conversation covered:

  • It’s important especially in large global organisations to be very clear about the boundaries and responsibilities in communication teams
  • One of the key challenges of new technology is helping leaders understand how they need to adapt to exploit it fully. This is not just about responding to an “always on” environment by managing different channels, media and responsibilities; it is also about a change in mind-set and a change in style. We talked about the need to be bolder and more informal
  • Demographics is an issue. Young people strain at the leash and are keen to learn and get involved, older people provide an invaluable resource and pool of experience that we would be foolish to ignore

What do communication people need to help them in their roles?

  • Less of us may now come from journalistic backgrounds, but we need to keep the key competencies and values of attention to detail, checking facts, being truthful and honest
  • We need global mind-sets. It’s not just about managing large organisations with offices all over the globe, it’s about sensitivity to the needs and demands of people in different places operating in different time zones and in different cultural environments

What are the cross-cultural perils?

  • We need to pay attention to language. Catherine supplied a great story of an acquisition in which the American parent celebrated the UK company’s habit of an annual event in which UK employees threw pies at leaders (don’t ask!), describing how they wanted to honour the tradition of tossing at the boss

It’s difficult to capture in a few bullet points the richness of the conversation that we had. These points are my take outs from the discussion. There were lots of us involved so please add your comments below.

We did not address in depth the central hypothesis that there are major differences between the UK and the USA in how we manage communication, other than Catherine’s story about the language problem. We also ended up focussing on internal vs external communication challenges – a reflection perhaps of the experience of the panellists. So, there is much more to explore in this debate and we hope to have some more of these conversations designed to put the I into IABC at the chapter level.

Finally, a big thank you to the panellists who helped in the conversation and who were brave enough to face a live audience. They were:

  • Catherine Rudiger, Vice president of ICF in San Francisco
  • Howard Krais, Communications Director, GSK plc and President Elect IABC UK
  • Daniel Schraibman, Independent Consultant and Board member IABC UK

I’d also like to record a big vote of thanks to Gay Flashman and her team from Formative Content whose technology made the whole thing possible

Mike Pounsford

President IABC UK

 

 

 

Building and running your own business

NHS, Lower Marsh, 13 March, 2018

IABC UK piloted a new approach to learning using an Ideas Exchange to explore issues about building and running your own business.  A wide ranging group including experienced business people, in-house professionals, interim consultants and students from the London College of Communication met to debate topics that concerned them including:

  • What are the key things to create, maintain and sustain a great professional reputation?
  • What approaches do people take to building and using networks that add value to the network and help develop business?
  • What should you charge for your services?
  • Is time the right basis for charging for your services?

The format meant everybody learned from each other in small and then a larger group.  David Gifford from Inscript Design helped capture some visual notes from the session.   Everybody thought the event had provided value, had been a good use of their time and had helped them understand more about how to build their business.  On key objectives for IABC:

  • 89% thought the Ideas Exchange helped people connect with other communicators
  • 78% thought the event had helped develop their skills

So, a good evening all round and a great set of visual notes to capture the discussion for those who were there, and a teaser for those who could not make it!  We will use the format of the Ideas Exchange again as it worked well.  Thanks to Tim Hart and the NHS for hosting!

Mike Pounsford

IABC UK President 2017 – 2018

IABC UK event on 25 April: Improvisational Storytelling, University of Leeds

 

 

              

 

After a successful event by Paul Z Jackson on Improvisation in Storytelling in February, for the benefit of members outside of London, we’re delighted that Paul will be running another session on this topic at the University of Leeds Business School on 25th April. More than 100 people attended our last IABC event in Leeds and we are expecting places to go quickly for this event too.

 

After a Q&A session with Paul, there will also be a chance to network with communication industry colleagues. Thank you to our friends at the University of Leeds for generously hosting and organising this event.

 

If you would like to come along, register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/improvisational-storytelling-leeds-tickets-44200353447

A Conversation About GDPR- KPMG, London, February 8, 2018

 

Guided and advised by Anne Murphy, Director of Banking Operations at KPMG in London, we had a great discussion about the implications of the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for businesses in the UK.

Key issues discussed included the risks involved in:

  • Manging the security of the data companies hold on individuals
  • Being able to demonstrate clearly the need for this data
  • Ensuring consent obtained to use the information in outbound marketing activities
  • Communicating the implications and needs created by GDPR to all employees

We had people from GSK, State Street, Madano, Zurich, Axon Communications, B&CE (benefits), Vivid Homes, AWE, Leeds University, and Gallagher amongst others.

Many thanks to KPMG for their support on this and Una O’Sullivan who organised it for the UK membership and her colleague Anne who provided the expertise.

Mike Pounsford

IABC UK President