Monthly Archive January 2016

ByMichael Ambjorn

My knowledge packing list for #IABCLI

Leaders from around the world are heading to #IABCLI in Los Angeles next week. It is one of my favourite events of the year. It is a real opportunity to look to the horizon, get inspired – and make practical steps forward. Let’s start with a few pictures from 2015:
2015 Leadership Institute

Now before attending any event I try and do a little bit of prep to make sure I can both add – and get – maximum value. As the old saying goes: you get out what you put in, and being well briefed helps with that.

I thought I’d share my knowledge packing list in case it is useful for any other IABC leaders prepping for a meeting with other leaders, whether next week in LA – or in fact anytime… because I believe true inspiration sits at the intersect of what you know, what others can help you with – and what you can help them with.


Let me put it differently:

It is through creating connection with others that we help each other realise what’s truly possible – and how to get there.

Take time to explore the intersect. It is where the magic happens.

2016 01 #createconnection venn - #IABCLI

Travelling light? Here’s what I’ve got in my carry-on – the four most recent newsletters from IABC:

  1. CW Observer – the weekly round-up of the latest from Communication World…
  2. IABC Weekly Digest – goes to all members, lists all the global social channels, regional conferences and much more…
  3. IABC Leader Letter – goes to IABC leaders monthly and has the latest on leader events, membership month etc.
  4. The ‘Steal Sheet‘ has handy ready-made stuff for tweeting etc.

In for the long-haul? Here are a few things I’ve also packed for in-depth reading and reference:

  1. Who does what. In Venn. What’s not to like.
  2. IABC Leader Centre – your one-stop resource for the good practice library and much more.
  3. The most recent quarterly report – embedded below for easy scanning. The next report will be released at LI.
  4. Notes from recent Leadership Forum Q&As.

Want something social for checking on the phone whilst in the check-in queue? 

  • #IABCLI – for the event backchannel
  • #IABCieb – for the latest from the International Board

Like any good communicator, you’d also expect me to check that I’m up to speed on Tone of Voice…

2016 IABCLI Guidebook app screenshotThere’s plenty for us to grapple with – and I can’t wait to get there. It is going to be an amazing programme.

Install the app to see for yourself – and connect with fellow leaders.

Big thanks to the Council of Regions – and staff – who have been pulling out all the stops to prepare for this.

Hope to see you in LA!

Let’s create connection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

ByMichael Ambjorn

January Leadership Forum: Certification + Ethics

The fifth IABC Leadership Forum was pulled together from across three continents: Carlos was in Philadelphia, Dianne in Charlotte and Barbara Puffer was at large in Florida. I was in London – and Melissa helped with the Q&A from San Francisco.

Here’s the replay:

Quick recap of key topics covered

Special guest(s)


Dianne Chase also shared the latest from the Global Communication Certification Council on behalf of Sue Heuman:

  • New Communication Certification Professional (CMP) profiles coming soon
  • Next certification level will cater for the Strategic Advisor level of the global career paths (scroll down to see them)

Find upcoming CMP exam dates and much more here.

Barbara Puffer

Barbara Puffer

IABC Fellow, and Chair of the IABC Ethics Committee, Barbara Puffer joined to talk about the work to update the Code of Ethics. Join the discussion on the Chapter Leader forum on LinkedIn – or pitch in during the upcoming Leadership Institute in Los Angeles. The plan is to complete the revision in time for the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM).


By the way, if you have ideas for how we can make the AGM more engaging, reach out…

Q&A Highlights

Thanks to all who attended. See you on the February Leader Forum.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

ByMichael Ambjorn

January ’16 Board Meeting

The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its eigth 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); Financials from Treasurer Ginger Homan ABC and last but definitively not least, the report from our Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE:

The 2014—2017 strategy says, in a paragraph:

“Financial recovery and sustainability is primary, as is the loyalty and development of our members and leaders and consolidating gains from the 2011-14 strategy. Increased reputation in the profession; better brand positioning; and greater interaction with business as a revenue generator are then the big opportunity to be grasped”.

Financial Recovery and Sustainability

HQ Relocation

Terry Cerisoles

Terry Cerisoles

Michael Ambrozewicz

Michael Ambrozewicz

Jan Hoover

Jan Hoover

Ginger Homan

Ginger Homan

Carlos Fulcher

Carlos Fulcher

Carlos Fulcher reported progress on the imminent move of IABC’s headquarters.

This move will save IABC $350,000 in its first year.

In line with strategy, IABC now operates as a virtual organization, with staff located in many places around the US.

This means a smaller office space is required, with the additional benefit of lowering the cost of rent and other overheads.

The relocation process started more than a year ago with the creation of a HQ Relocation Task Force to educate the board on the decision, financial and operational model, and location criteria.

This has been a collaborative effort from staff and the International Executive Board.

Big thanks goes out to Carlos Fulcher and staff – and Terry CerisolesMichael AmbrozewiczGinger Homan and Jan Hoover who also made a significant contribution to this work.

There may be some delays in responding to member queries during the move process, and there will be a phone outage on moving day (29 January 2016) when the phone system is relocated. Your patience is appreciated.


George McGrath

George McGrath

Separately, the Investment Committee, chaired by George McGrath, reported that IABC investments are performing in line with current market expectations.

Loyalty and development of our members and leaders

Leadership Institute

The 2016 Leadership Institute is coming up early February and the board is grateful to the Council of Regions who are the programme advisory committee for this strategic investment in our leaders. If you haven’t already, do register now.


Brad Whitworth

Brad Whitworth

Anna Willey

Anna Willey

Robin McCasland

Robin McCasland

The Fellows Task Force, chaired by ABC and IABC Fellow, Brad Whitworth, made a recommendation that a permanent Fellows Committee be established and:

  • Increase the number of IABC members on the Fellows Committee from five to seven to include two members who are not currently Fellows.
  • Move from the current chair/past-chair governance structure to a more consistent vice-chair/chair/past-chair structure to provide continuity. This is in line with the broader succession strategy IABC is pursuing.
  • Establish a new Fellows Committee Terms of Reference that offers clear governance as well as guidelines for the work of the Committee in supporting IABC year-round.

The unanimously adopted these recommendations – and also took agreed to deliberate on a number of further ideas brought by the Fellows Task Force. Some of these have also been passed to the Membership Task Force.

A big thanks also goes to IABC Fellow, Anna Willey ABC MC and IABC Past Chair, Robin McCasland for their contributions to this work.

Better brand positioning

World Conference

Stacy Wilson

Stacy Wilson

The board charged this year’s World Conference Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) with taking things to the next level.

Stacy Wilson, the chair of the PAC, reported strong progress on the preparations for #IABC16. It is a tough job, and I am grateful for all the hard work being put in by Stacy, staff and the wider PAC.

I’m also encouraged by the number of sponsors and exhibitors signing up to support. We have room for more though! Please help spread the word.

Greater interaction

Up next we have the monthly Leadership Forum. In addition to #IABCLI and the usual Q&A will cover:

Hope to see you there!

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

ByMichael Ambjorn

2016 Leadership Institute: #IABCLI

IABC Leadership Institute - inspiring the leader in you

It seems like the New Year is already racing away! We’re mid-way through January and there are already 2016 deadlines behind us. But there’s still time to book for this year’s Leadership Institute.

Haven’t decided if you’re attending yet? Here are some great reasons to get yourself to California in February:

Unmissable opening and closing sessions

Every year, Leadership Institute starts with the celebration of the annual Chapter Management Awards. The CMAs are a recognition of all things excellent in IABC’s chapters around the world, and the CMA presentation is also a great opportunity to connect (and reconnect) with IABC leaders near and far.

This year’s closing keynote on Saturday will be delivered by the energetic Michelle Ray, author of Lead Yourself First!. Michelle’s presentation, “Leadership: It Starts with Me,” will include strategies to re-energize your chapter leadership and build yourself a leadership blueprint. Her advice will give you tools to use within your chapter – and beyond.

An unbeatable program

Friday and Saturday’s programs will provide an opportunity to learn, contribute and connect. You’ll be able to:

  • attend presentations and that will provide insights into how other chapters are getting results. Topics will include chapter finance, member engagement, board management and more.
  • hear from International Executive Board members, committee leaders and staff on the progress of key initiatives in IABC’s strategy.
  • take part in collaborative sessions that will help to contribute to IABC’s future development.

View the complete program on Leader Centre. Once you’ve registered, don’t forget to download the Guidebook app for iOS, Android or desktop, where the LI 2016 program will be posted soon. 

Global networking

Our host chapters, Los Angeles and Orange County, will be hosting this year’s Dine Around – sure to be yet another legendary IABC night out! Like World Conference, Leadership Institute provides an exceptional opportunity to meet with likeminded global professionals who represent the best of IABC’s diverse community.

Hotel and Registration

The Leadership Institute is taking place at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach, just outside Los Angeles and only 30 minutes from LAX. The hotel is on the waterfront, set in a lush tropical landscape of more than 400 palm trees. The hotel style is inspired by the land and sea, and a fusion of Latin American and Southern Californian styles. If you can extend your stay for the weekend, there are plenty of things to do in the area.

You must book your room by Thursday 21 January to secure the group rate of $179 per night. Online registration for LI also ends on 21 January.

If you’d like to connect with other attendees before arriving in Long Beach, use #IABCLI – or checkout the event Facebook page and, as always, the Chapter Leader LinkedIn Group.

Let’s create connection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn