#IABCleaders: silos are so yesterday

ByMichael Ambjorn

#IABCleaders: silos are so yesterday

How do you get people across the world to work together collaboratively in pursuit of a shared aim? That’s a tricky question when you have 1,000 leaders distributed across the globe. Anybody who has worked for a large organisation will recognise that silos can quickly develop. Silos that slow things down at best, or confuse and cause wasted effort at worst.

Traditionally organisations rely on cascade – but in today’s interconnected world we know that doesn’t always work. Just look at the standard open rates for mass email. Sobering. Then look at the click rate. Doubly sobering.

I am pleased to say that IABC’s monthly Leader Letter (put together by our hardworking staff at HQ) has an open rate that far exceeds the industry average. We know it is valued by the many leaders who engage with it. We also know that amongst the readers – and those who do not – there is an appetite for more communication: realtime conversation in addition to the traditional asynchronous cascade. The Chair of the board’s Communication Committee, Katie Macaulay, has in fact written a whole book about it, but that’s another story.

In last Weekly Venn we looked at timezones, today we’ll look at a practical way we hope to connect leaders across the world to share and learn. It is called the #IABCleaders Forum – and here’s a snippet preview from the plan:


To provide an opportunity for peer exchange and share messages with the broad IABC leadership globally. It will
enable two-way communication between the various leadership levels and geographical locations of IABC.
Content to focus on themes, projects and good practice that has international relevance – and can advance the
association, and the profession.


  • Provide a new channel for leaders across IABC to connect, share and learn across all levels.
  • To increase the sense of collaborative leadership – and cross-pollination of ideas, insight and good practice – across IABC.
  • To further share international initiatives and products to enhance understanding, and enable two-way
    discussion/feedback on approaches and implementation.


  • Primary: current chapter and region leaders at all levels (not only chapter presidents/ regional chairs).
  • Secondary: other highly involved audiences (e.g. Fellows, ABCs, etc.).

The aim is to be on-theme with regard to approach of what is advocated in this month’s Communication World: authentic leadership.

You can expect Vice Chair, Dianne Chase; our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher CAE MBA, and I to be on hand to answer questions as well.

Look out for the invite if you’re a leader working to advance the profession locally, regionally or globally (and if you’re not currently a leader, maybe now is the time to step up).

Look out for the invite if you’re a leader working to advance the profession locally, regionally or globally.

Big thanks to Melissa on staff who helped develop this initiative – and big thanks to the leaders on the Council of Regions and the #IABCieb who also gave input.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

P.S. I promise it won’t be anything like this – we’ll follow a format closer to a radio show, something I’ve effectively used to drive cross-departmental sharing at Motorola back in the day. And Dianne of course has a background in broadcast. So be sure to tune in and contribute.

About the author

Michael Ambjorn administrator

Michael is a past chair of the International Association of Business Communicators. He is also founder of Align Your Org where – with a participation-centric approach – he and his colleagues enable effective strategic planning, communication – and clarity of execution. He has held leadership roles at IBM, Motorola and the 260–year–old Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. A consummate connector, speaker, facilitator - and mentor - he is also active in a number of further networks. You can follow him @michaelambjorn

2 Comments so far

September ’15 Board meeting | Thoughts from the IABC ChairPosted on8:59 am - Sep 11, 2015

[…] In line with good practice, the board regularly reviews its outreach work and the policies that support that. During continuing times of austerity, the policy has been tightened to focus on travel to places where there is a critical mass of leaders: IABC conferences and leadership institutes. Visible leadership continues to be a top priority for the board – both in-person – and virtually. […]

September IABC Leadership Forum: Your Questions Answered | Thoughts from the IABC ChairPosted on5:37 pm - Sep 24, 2015

[…] the inaugural IABC Leadership Forum – an initiative I first covered in an earlier post titled silos are so yesterday. They connected to a Google Hangout on Air, checked in via Twitter or checked out the replay (which […]

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