Tag Archives: #globalprofession

Transforming IABC

For the last three years, IABC has been under a transformation – revitalizing programs to improve membership retention and achieve financial sustainability. As we transition from the 2014/2017 strategy to the 2017/2020 strategy, we reviewed IABC’s vision, mission, purpose and philosophy statements to give clarity to who IABC is, what IABC does and the value we bring to communication professionals.

We started the review last fall with a global listening tour, holding appreciative inquiry sessions in every region, and then opened the conversation on this blog for input back in January. Armed with your input, vice chair Sharon Hunter and I presented draft statements at Leadership Institute in Dallas.

Knowing that these statements need to work at the chapter, regional and international levels, the input we got in Dallas from IABC leaders crystalized our path forward. We knew which statements were right, and which ones needed work. We also had a better understanding of what each statement should accomplish and who the intended audience was for each one.

A few times I heard members say, “I need to explain to my CEO the business value of IABC.” Your feedback, gave us our new value proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me to the people and insights I need to drive business results.

Here are all the statements that will be added to the IABC bylaws and voted on at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 10, 2017 in Washington D.C.

  • Vision: Professional communicators at the heart of every organization.
  • Purpose: To advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators.
  • Philosophy: IABC pledges to:
    • Represent the global profession.
    • Foster a diverse community.
    • Focus on insights and results.
    • Honor our Code of Ethics.
      We will achieve this by being open, contemporary and professional.

In addition, this statement will be updated in our Brand Guidebook. It is our elevator speech and will be used in marketing and communications materials.

  • Value Proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me with the people and insights I need to drive business results.

All of these statements use the work of the Brand Task Force, led by Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CMP, IABC Fellow, as a foundation. That, coupled with your guidance, gives us four strong statements that can serve to unite us and guide our work. They reaffirm our strategic intent as an association to stay relevant into the future, underpinning the 2017-2020 new strategy framework that is currently in development. Stay tuned for more updates as we countdown to kick-off at World Conference in Washington, DC this June.

Thank you to IABC members around the globe who participated in this process and helped get us to a better, stronger place.

A brief sampling of feedback from Twitter:

Creating the IABC Vision, Purpose and Philosophy

What an incredible conversation we had at Leadership Institute about updating the IABC vision, purpose, philosophy and value proposition. Any time you look at change, you always expect push back – not spontaneous applause! I think we are all ready to have a statement that is our rally cry and that will keep us on track – at our chapters, regions and at international.

When we got home from Dallas, Sharon Hunter and I recreated the white board on my office wall. We took the time to go through each note and reflect on how it might change the message. It made us aware of a few things that we needed to keep in mind:

  • Remember who the audience is for each statement: Different statements have different target audiences. We need to keep that in mind as we incorporate all the comments and create the next draft.

For example, the vision statement is for us. That statement needs to set out our ultimate goal as an association so that professional communicators know, in a moment, what IABC is trying to accomplish. That is why the statement, “a professional communicator at the heart of every business,” resonated with so many members. It is what IABC is trying to accomplish

However, the value proposition is for our external audience – perhaps a fellow communicator about why they should join, or a business leader on why they should support our involvement. It definitely needs to include the business value and expected outcome. Great input.

  • Combine the mission and purpose statements: There was agreement that having both was redundant and since we are trying to simplify, we will combine these into one statement of purpose.
  • Business communicator vs. professional communicator: should we align with the name of the organization or The Global Standard that we support? Since we are trying to establish the business value of what we bring to the marketplace, it’s probably better to support The Global Standard – so “professional communicator” or “communication professional” will be the language used.
  • Review the statements as a whole. Each statement does not need to contain all the facts. However, as a group, they should reflect who we are as an association – and hopefully, start a new conversation.

We want a vision, purpose, philosophy and value proposition that resonates with our members and becomes our rally cry. The world café showed us that the three areas of our proposed purpose statement – advance the profession, create connections and develop professionals – work for chapters, regions and international. Now we need to work on the words around them.

We got clear feedback that “a force for good” does not resonant with our international audience. We took that to heart and the phrase is now on the cutting room floor (basically, my office floor).

Contributing at the World Cafe for IABC’s vision and purpose statements.

This has been an incredible experience – from getting your input in every region on the Listening Tour, to our hands-on work at Leadership Institute. Your voices are in our heads. We will continue to brainstorm, edit and tweak away. Good governance dictates that an association review these statements every three to five years, in conjunction with a new strategy cycle. So check back for updates posted here. Chapter delegates will vote on any changes at the Annual General  Meeting at World Conference in Washington D.C.

In the meantime, if you have an idea or suggestion, please send it to us, ginger@ziacommunications.com. We are updating these statements as part of our work to develop the next three-year strategy. Below is a chart that shows how all the pieces interconnect.

Recording ideas to take home.
Recording ideas to take home.

Together we can align the vision, purpose and philosophy statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.

Together we can align the vision, purpose and philosophy statements so they guide our actions for the future, help us see the opportunities and ultimately, deliver enduring value to our community.

Thanks for all you do.

How Everything Fits

September Leadership Forum

Here we are on the cusp of October! Wow- time flies when you’re having fun and everyone is in high gear for our IABC. We’re entering a busy time of the IABC year with three region conferences and regional leadership institutes coming up in the next four weeks, along with the all-important October Membership Month which is going to be stellar this year!

For all the scoop check out our September Leadership Forum featuring our Awards Committee Chair, Lynn Barter, ABC.

Some important links and hashtags for you:

Also, please mark your calendars for the upcoming Leadership Forums. We’re staggering the times for these monthly conversations with leaders so as to engage as many time zones as possible with as little “pain” as possible. We definitely want you to get your sleep!

Here are the dates and times coming up:

26 October at 2 p.m. Pacific Time

16 November at 10 a.m. Pacific Time

14 December at 2 p.m. Pacific Time

25 January at 10 a.m. Pacific Time

In the meantime, please do reach out with any questions, input, suggestions, recommendations and insights. Your contributions are encouraged and most welcomed. Let’s #createconnection and #engage2excel like never before!

With deep appreciation for all you do for our IABC,

Dianne
chair@iabc.com

Bringing out the best in us: #IABC1720 Strategy sessions kickstart in Brussels today

Regional leaders launch our global conversation campaign to shape IABC’s next 3-year strategy at the Europe Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) leadership institute today.

  • What do you value most about IABC?
  • What works?
  • What do you want more of?
  • What brings life to our brand via the engagement and satisfaction you feel from being part of our professional communications community?

These questions frame the appreciative inquiry approach we’re using to create a shared vision of the future into 2020 and beyond.

Michael Nord, IEB member facilitating
Michael Nord, IEB member facilitating

Today we launch the discovery phase of this strategy process. It’s a global listening tour that will travel through a series of world cafes at regional conferences, leadership institutes and select chapter events over the next few months.

These sessions aim to engage our community to explore the best of what we are with an eye toward what more we could be.

Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair
Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair

IABC runs on a rolling three-year strategy cycle.  The #IABC1417 strategy closes out this year.  This new plan for 2017-20 will kick-off at World Conference in Washington, DC. Mark your calendars for 11-14 June 2017!
Alex Malouf
Alex Malouf, EMENA Vice Chair

The new plan will look to capitalize on gains, strive for continuity and build for the future based on the foundational assets we’ve secured. This is thanks to the prudent work of our predecessors. We managed a turnaround these last years through a focus on financial recovery and sustainability.  This guiding principle is one that we will commit to maintain moving forward.

Next steps will include a master session at the International Leadership Institute in Dallas, Texas happening February 23-25 2017.  Save the date!  The board will then review three iterations of the new plan before it lands at the AGM next June.

It is the Vice Chair’s role to lead this process. It’s a duty I’m honored to advance in collaboration with co-author Ginger Homan, ABC, IABC Secretary/Treasurer, Chair Dianne Chase and the Executive Committee, the entire board and all who will bring their passion and ideas forward to help us along. I thank you all for the time and energy that you will bring to this community effort.

Follow #IABC1720 for tweets coming out of EMENA today. Fellow IEB member Michael Nord is leading an inspired group including Nikki Edwards, EMENA Chair, Alex Malouf, Vice Chair and dedicated leaders from across the region.

Check back here often for ongoing updates. The conversation will continue through sessions in Heritage, Southern and Pacific Plains regions in October, South Africa in November and other area events to follow.

Have an idea, question or experience to share? Email vicechair@iabc.com – we’re listening!

With appreciation for all that you do,

Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair

 

Leading the profession on the certification journey

Guest post by Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR

Neil Griffiths, ABC
Neil Griffiths

Some time has passed since IABC first embarked on the journey towards a new global credential for communication professionals: the CMP (or Communication Management Professional, for those who are ‘acronymed out’!).

The program is in full swing, with graduates around the globe now able to include these all-important letters after their name. IABC has of course been dedicated to setting a standard for professional communication for decades, most notably with the development of the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation that is still held by hundreds of professionals worldwide. This commitment to setting a global standard for professional communication practice paved the way for the association to enter into the development of the new CMP credential.

So, why is certification the right choice for IABC?

This is a question that came up back in 2013 and people are still asking us. For me this was the result of a number of threads that all became intertwined at the same time. If we cast our minds back to the 2011-14 strategic plan, the IEB sought to align all IABC’s programs in support of communication professionals’ careers. At the same time, the Accreditation Committee had highlighted several key issues for the long-term sustainability of the ABC program. In looking at the various options open to IABC in response to this, certification emerged as an avenue that could meet the association’s needs in many ways:

  • Assessment for certification depends on a body of knowledge for the profession – this could also be a basis for other programs for professional development, awards, etc. and for the association’s content strategy. (This body of knowledge is developed by and with the profession to make sure it represents what we should know and the skills we should have.)
  • Assessment is based on an exam and evaluation is in no way subjective
  • The volunteer commitment to run the program is much less intensive
  • The process around certification (as opposed to accreditation or other similar programs) reduces liability for the association, as it is related only to the body of knowledge
  • The ISO 17024 standard for professional certification programs provides a framework for building the program; meeting this standard sets our program apart from any other in the world

Why does ISO matter?

Once certification was determined to be the right way of moving ahead, IABC had a decision to make: figure this out on our own or follow the international standard for the management of professional certification programs. It chose the latter for a number of reasons:

  • No other communication association has an ISO-standard certification program; this differentiates us from the competition by having a built-in level of credibility
  • As an international association, IABC wanted a truly global credential, not one that only met the standards of one country
  • The ISO guidelines apply to the management of the program and provide quality assurance for the administration and development of the credential. This is critical in showing people, particularly those outside our profession, that all aspects of the program conform to international standards of best practice
  • It provided guidance as to how to establish the program (we didn’t need to figure this out on our own) and would avoid having to retrofit the program later on and make (potentially costly) changes to how the program is administered
  • Recognition of ISO standards in industries and markets across the globe is very high, which would give visibility to our certification program. Many organizations have to meet ISO standards (for compliance with health & safety, for example) and there is increasing interest in setting standards for professions at the ISO level
  • The pursuit of the ISO standard is voluntary and shows IABC’s commitment to meeting the highest possible standards for its certification program

Given that IABC is seeking to establish the value and impact of this important new program, I think that its focus on making it the best it can be from the outset is admirable. It will help build credibility amongst anyone who is trying to learn more about it, not least of which the hiring managers around the world who are going to be curious to know what is behind the new set of letters they are seeing after communication professionals’ names in years to come.

I am honestly thrilled to see the progress that has been made with the certification program and I am impressed with how much it is being embraced by our organization worldwide. This is all thanks to the commitment of the series of IEB members since the journey began, as well as the hundreds of people who have been involved in bringing certification to life. I have been lucky to witness this from the inside, from my time on the Career Roadmap Committee where I saw all the various streams begin to align, and then as part of the inaugural Global Communication Certification Council (where I co-chaired the exam committee). The current GCCC is in the process of developing the next level of exam to bring the designation to an even broader group of professionals. It’s incredible just how far things have come in such a short space of time. Learn more about Certification.

I can vouch for the passion and drive that has been a huge part of realizing IABC’s vision for certification and I am still massively confident in what it will do for IABC, for communication professionals around the world and for raising awareness of what we do to people who are far less familiar than we are. The journey is far from over, but I hope you’ll join us all on it.

Neil is Past Chair of IABC EMENA and has served on numerous IABC committees, notably the inaugural Global Communication Certification Council. Neil is a Regional Leader of the Year and in 2015 received the Rae Hamlin Award for services to professional certification. He is currently Vice Chair of the Program Advisory Committee and will chair the 2018 World Conference in Montreal.

Places to #createconnection

At IABC, we connect communicators to a global and local network, career opportunities, resources and knowledge – using communication to engage, influence, counsel and execute.

One of the most tangible ways we do this is through our events programme, which runs throughout the world. Here’s a roundup of what’s coming for communicators in general, and for our leaders specifically.

Where to develop your communication skills

Local

Check your local website for events coming up – and don’t forget, if you’re on the road, you’re welcome to attend events in other cities. For example, if you’re in London September 23, come along to ‘Making Global Communications Work‘.

Prefer the shorthand of Twitter? IABC Detroit maintains a handy list that allows you to keep the finger on the pulse of 70+ chapters around the world.

Regional

Conferences run throughout the world and across the year – London and Johannesburg earlier this year and here are three more coming up:

  • Calgary – ‘High Octane’ – 15-17 October 2015
  • Denver – ‘Taking it to the extreme’ – 15-18 October 2015
  • Baltimore – ‘Re:ignite’ – 18-20 October 2015

Dianne Chase, IABC Vice Chair, will attend the Canada East conference in Calgary – and I am honoured by the invitation to close the Southern Region conference in Denver. Carlos Fulcher and I will also run a highly interactive workshop and meet with the #IABC16 Programme Advisory Committee – and then it is straight onto Baltimore to open up the Heritage Region conference. Hope to see you there.

Global

Missed #IABC15? Worry not: The new Best of Show webinar series is a global virtual learning experience that takes the highest rated sessions from the World Conference and brings them directly to you.

The program builds on the success of this year’s event and offers participants access to the best presentations from 2015’s conference. For those who have never attended an IABC World Conference, it provides the opportunity to preview the kind of high-quality learning to be expected at World Conference.

If you're an IABC leader, get the Best of Show marketing toolkit on the Leader Centre
If you’re an IABC leader, get the Best of Show marketing toolkit on the Leader Centre
Mark your calendar for World Conference in 2016!

And if you’ve got what it takes to speak at our flagship event of the year, get your pitch in now. Want some advice from previous speakers first? Check out this exchange on our LinkedIn group (and add your own advice too).

Where to hone your leadership skills

Local

Even though the 2015-16 board year is well underway, your local Chapter board might very well be looking for an extra hand. Reach out to them. There’s nothing like hands-on practical experience.

Regional

Klavs Valskov
Klavs Valskov

The Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) Region is running a Leadership Institute in Basel, Switzerland at the end of this month. Regional Chair Klavs Valskov is pulling out all the stops for this one and Dianne Chase will be participating to take input for the ongoing work to implement our three year strategy – aka – #IABC1417. The conferences mentioned in the section above also have a Leadership Institute element, which will have leadership attendance. Carlos Fulcher, our Executive Director, and I are also excited to be participating in a workshop with the Programme Advisory Committee for the 2016 World Conference – #IABC16.

Ron Fuchs APR
Ron Fuchs APR

The EMENA event is kindly hosted by #IABCieb member Ron Fuchs APR from Roche. A great example of how members often leverage organisational support to help advance the profession – and in this case the leadership within the association.

Global

The annual International Leadership Institute – #IABCLI – will be in Los Angeles, February 4-6, 2016 – again, one for the calendar.  Looking forward to seeing you there.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

P.S. As an IABC leader, need some practical tools and templates to advance your work? Log into the Leader Centre where you’ll find a whole library of useful information:

  • Brand Toolkit
    Information and resources for IABC’s brand
  • Awards
    Develop your local chapter awards programs
  • Finance
    IABC’s financial management guidelines
  • Governance
    High level tips and tools for board support, encouraging volunteerism and documentation
  • Marketing
    Market your chapter and IABC membership in your community
  • Membership
    Membership marketing made easy
  • Professional Development
    A guide to event planning, budgeting and management
  • Sponsorship
    Generate revenue for your chapter through sponsorship

 

 

 

It’s the economy … but perhaps not as you know it

‘Gig Economy’ and ‘Sharing Economy’ are two catchphrases that have recently been in the press a lot – the first because of negative connotations and the later for more positive reasons.

Neither are new concepts, but they are increasingly being felt as forces of change. There’s a third popular term, the ‘Collaborative Economy’ which sits at the intersect.

And then you have the ‘Traditional’ setup of fixed, 9-5 employment.

Confusing right? Yes. Especially when there is change afoot. This post will hopefully shed some light on these.

The most memorable outrage against the market changing I’ve come across was at a panel discussion in 2009 at London’s Frontline Club: A set of professional photographers practically mauled the BBC’s editor of user-generated content for threatening their profession: accepting photos for news stories from the public – taken by amateurs on non-pro cameras.
Then, from the edge of the packed room, a seated lady of some considerable age and experience weighed in – bringing about complete silence: she shared her story of how she started out as a writer, reminding the assembled group that fance tools don’t equate to talent, professionalism and craftsmanship. Anybody can after all pick up a pen and start writing… It is not the typewriter that makes the professional (or indeed the camera).

A much longer term shift well beyond the semantics has been underway for quite some time – what is happening is it is hitting the mainstream.  And it has implications for how communication professionals operate – and advance. In this week’s Venn we’ll look at the intersect – and I’ll be keen to hear your experiences of how you have adapted, as well as any implications you feel it has for associations such as ours.

The latter is highly topical this week as the IABC Executive Committee and our senior staff convene in San Francisco for a summit set to focus and prioritise the work underway as part of the #IABC1417 strategy.

The Gig Economy explained

Strategic advice on communications has been around as long as Aristotle but the way it is secured has changed over the years. Think of ten communicators in your network five years ago vs. now and I expect you’ll find that quite a few have increasingly been working ‘gigs’ at least part of the time rather than in ‘traditional’ full time employment.

An informal poll of my own network also shows that those who remain in ‘traditional’ employment increasingly supplement their project teams with ad-hoc assistance, either drawn from their own network, or through intermediaries such as VMA, Harkness Kennett and equivalents. You could call it small-scale outsourcing.

Some also turn to platforms such as guru.com (around since ’01), elance or Upwork – and you may even have visited the Crews Control exhibitor stand at World Conference – they act as an intermediary between corporates and video teams having facilitated an impressive 84,000+ shoots!

The advantage for professionals operating in this space is potentially more freedom, self-determination – and ideally higher pay. The drawback is that each needs entrepreneurial skills, in addition to their communications expertise.

The Sharing Economy in context

Where the gig economy is about short-term transactions, usually with a financial element to them, the sharing economy is a much broader concept.

What really sets it apart is the ethos.

Whilst your Airbnb booking might not be that cheap, you do expect a less commercial experience than you might in a hotel. In other words, whilst the gig economy is at least old as the Guilds that used to govern the medieval professions, the sharing economy is as old as hitching a ride and on that note, I’ve got a Field Notes companion piece to this one based on my insight from a week working my way from Frankfurt to Florence, via Prague and Vienna – where I’ll talk more about insights from what you might call the bleeding edge of all three economies. The intersect known as the collaborative economy.

The collaborative intersect – from a global profession point of view

Associations sit naturally in the intersect between the ‘gig’, ‘sharing’ and the more ‘traditional’ economy.

Through providing professional standards, a code of ethics – and a career roadmap – IABC caters for all of them.

Let’s dive into each in a bit more detail:

Traditional

This is the place where standards, the career roadmap, certification etc. (as set out above) at first feel the most familiar – but they have an important role to play in the…

Sharing economy

Through our ethos of collaboration and freely sharing experience and advice, our members advance their careers.

This happens through hundreds of local events; our big conferences (London, San Francisco, Johannesburg, Baltimore, Denver, Calgary etc. this year alone); mentoring programmes – and of course our 42,000 strong LinkedIn group.

What ties it all together and makes it work is that shared objective set of frameworks: the Global Standard, the Career Roadmap etc. and of course for our leaders, the IABC Leadership Competency Framework (you’ll quickly come across the latter if you apply for one of the current opportunities to step up and lead).

Gig economy

It looks like it is here to stay, and railing against it like the photographers in the story from ’09 might consign us to the fate of Kodak (who incidentally is in the news again for suppressing an invention in 1975 which could have put them in pole position for the future).

In fact, I would argue that through the diverse community that is our membership, professionals have been finding and exchanging opportunities for as long as we have been around (45 years and counting!).

We’ve been looking more at how we might best step our support here – and see the P.S. below for one thing on that front you can do right now. Meanwhile…

In conclusion – I’m keen to hear your experiences of:
  • how you have adapted to this changing environment?
  • if it changed your working relationships?
  • what implications do you think it has for associations such as ours?

Please help #createconnection – share your story.

Michael Ambjorn

P.S. If you’re thinking of dipping your toe into the market on your onw, here’s a worthwhile workshop by one of IABC’s most highly decorated communicators – who has comprehensive across all three economies.

…and as usual, here’s a ready-made tweet for you:

 

The year ahead: greater interaction, greater connection

SAP CEO Bill McDermott thanking his comms advisor on stage at #IABC15
SAP CEO Bill McDermott thanking his comms advisor on stage at #IABC15

If the financial crisis didn’t teach us anything else, then it hopefully taught us that it is not just commercial firms that need to operate professionally and with a solid business model.

Non-profits need to do that too, and increasingly we see expectations like this put on government departments as well. What is common across all of these? These organisations need solid professional communicators to support them. Don’t take my word for it. Take SAP’s CEO – our keynote speaker earlier [at #IABC15] – take his word for it.

The Global Communication Certification Council will, under the leadership of Sue Heuman, ABC, deliver the next level exam. Meanwhile the Academy will step up under the leadership of Theomary Karamanis to meet the need for new skills in fast changing landscape.

What can you expect from me? I will follow the path Russell has forged for visible leadership at IABC. At the time Russell took over we needed a strong central figure to continue to hold things together. Looking at this room, and reflecting on the progress we have made – as challenging as it has been – I would like to venture to say that we now need a thousand leaders to stand up and be counted.

We have a thousand leaders in this association.

You’re a highly engaged bunch. You’re kind. You’re hard working. And you’re demanding.

So what will I do to help you? I will do my utmost to live what we want the tone around here to be:

Accessible          Open         Lighter         Contemporary         Professional

To that end, and accompanying the now once-again regular quarterly reports I am instituting a quarterly progress call – the corporates amongst you will know it as an earnings call – but we of course have no shareholders. We do however have stakeholders and we need to continue to have regular exchanges, as piloted this year as ‘open mics’. Look out for an invite to a Google Hangout where you can hold me, and the board, to account, ask questions and get straight answers.

I will also kick off a new conversation once a month – aligned with the IABC editorial calendar – and I encourage you to participate, or indeed, kick off your own.

What do I hope to review with you when I stand here next year?

Continue reading The year ahead: greater interaction, greater connection