The third IABC Leadership Forum was pulled together from across two continents: Carlos was in Philadelphia, Dianne in Charlotte, and I was in London – and Melissa helped with the Q&A from San Francisco.
Here’s the replay:
Be sure to tune in for the next one.
When & Where
Wednesday 16 December: 1pm PST / 4pm EST / 9pm London / 8am Sydney (Thur). Click here for time zone conversions in your part of the world. Full details here.
This week I’ve been at #SLUSH15 in Helsinki – a start-up focused event that has grown from a few hundred people to 15,000 in less than seven years.
So whoever tells you that people no longer go to conferences are wrong. People are just expecting a different format than they used to – and here are a few ideas I took away from this monster-one:
People come because of people
1: Because they can meet likeminded people. Not just the fancy keynotes and all that.
SLUSH gets it – they’ve put the whole shebang in one hangar-sized space: 15,000 people milling, talking, connecting – all at once.
2: They’ve also dispensed with the bright lights – making an airport-sized experience feel intimate. Oh and they have lasers. And smoke machines. But I digress.
A good conference is a marketplace for connection
Not just content.
3: SLUSH have a great space set aside for connecting – where people can meet, discuss and kick off new collaborations. Because innovation is all about cross-pollination of ideas.
4: Also, speakers such as Google’s Sarah Drinkwater (Head of their London Campus) offer to spend time with people 1:1 to share advice. Adds a nice peer-to-peer touch – making everybody behave in a more accessible manner.
This week I’ve been at #SLUSH15 – an event that brings together 15,000 people interested in start-ups: entrepreneurs, investors, academics and of course the raw talent who power it all.
Here’s one of the things I took away – advice given to start-ups, but just as applicable to communicators operating at the strategic advisor level:
Paper folding segmentation
‘Impossible is nothing’ said Muhammad Ali – and whilst that is true, he did take a rather meticulous approach.
The same goes for start-ups (and communicators) who succeed: they don’t try their luck across all the weight classes.
They pick their fights carefully.
The first step? Segmentation.
Kim Väisänen brilliantly brought this to life with a visual shorthand: and no, I’m not talking about boxing gloves. Rather, something you’ll most likely have to hand: a plain sheet of paper.
Now just imagine that piece of paper is the whole world.
Tempting, yet hopefully obvious that you can’t address all of it.
Kim’s advice? Keep folding until you have enough specificity to make it meaningful – but also realise that you can’t fold infinitely.
The average piece of paper can only be folded 7-8 times.
If you want to geek out on more on start-up advice – including Rachleff’s Law of Start-up Success, then there’s a useful write-up here. For those just starting out, this simple ‘business plan basics’ Prezi which I’ve taken on the road in the past may also be useful.
The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its sixth board meeting of this term and here’s a quick recap of what was on the table in addition to the usual reports from the Chair; Vice Chair Dianne Chase (with a specific focus on the work of the Council of Regions (#IABCcor)); Financials from Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and last definitively but not least, the report from our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE:
Portfolio Review & Organisational Alignment
Our on-going work to ensure a strong and sustainable future for the association – one where the sum is greater than its parts – continues.
At this board meeting Cindy Schmieg ABC reported on the work of the Awards Alignment Task Force which has been looking at how the recognition programmes at the different levels of IABC can better work in synch.
Meanwhile, do help promote this year’s Gold Quill.
One of the cornerstones of the current three-year strategy is increased reputation in the profession and better brand positioning – and one of the routes to achieving this is by stepping up our own practice of communication. Katie Macaulay and our Director of Global Communications, Melissa Dark ABC, joined the board meeting for a generative discussion to further advance this work. They will bring back a practical strategy for review in December.
The board discussed the latest membership figures and Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE reported on the latest work on the iabc.com website.
Moving IABC’s technology infrastructure into the 21st century after ten years of underinvestment continues to be hard work, but progress is being made. I continue to be in awe of the effort being put in by our hard-working HQ staff – and our leaders in the field – to serve members around the world. Thankyou!
Linked to this Claudia Vaccarone shared an update from the Membership Task Force. One of the early recommendations to come out of that group is a call for additional investment in updating IABC’s technology infrastructure.
This groups is also doing an analysis of the wider competitive/collaborative arena that IABC is playing in. If you have a contribution to make here, do get in touch with Claudia.
Registration for the 2016 Leadership Institute is now open. We are looking forward to an energetic event at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach, CA from 4-6 February 2016. The program for the Leadership Institute will offer leadership training, professional development, and networking for IABC chapter leaders coming from around the world. Additional information about LI can be found here. We look forward to seeing you in Long Beach!
Don’t forget to submit your Chapter Management Award entries by 1 December 2015. The CMA winners will be presented at LI.
This week is #trusteesweek here in the UK where I am based. It is an opportunity to take stock of the opportunities available to leaders looking to impact the non-profit sector.
For the IABC International Executive Board – who also serve as Trustees of the IABC Foundation – it is also an opportunity to step back and reflect. Why? The annual board evaluation is coming up at today’s board meeting.
We’ve committed to doing this annually in line with good board practice for non-profits – and in fact, it is good practice for all types of boards. Whether public, commercial or charitable as messrs. Cameron & Archer outline here . Do also see the Venn they’ve kindly lent me for this purpose (used as the header for this post). A sober change from the usually more colourful Venns). It sets out the three elements of board effectiveness.
I’ll go into a bit more detail about the framework we have used (with expert assistance from our Governance Coordinator, Kirsten Peterson) once we have had the discussion. You’ll be able to find that filed under #IABCieb Notes & Queries in the next week or so.
Before that, I want to emphasise that whether you serve on a full-fledged board – or indeed as part of any group doing oversight- at the simplest level, it is about self-reflection. The group can’t perform if the individuals don’t.