Monthly Archive February 2016

ByMichael Ambjorn

February ’16 board meeting

The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its ninth 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

In addition to the regular report from our Treasurer, Ginger Homan ABC, the board also reviewed:

Customer Service

The board reviewed the latest dashboard, and within that a set of proposed additions related to how the board tracks the quality of our organisational customer service. It is a top priority.

Read More

ByMichael Ambjorn

#IABCLI leadership advice from your peers

Paper airplanes…

Take flight: some great concise advice from your peers.

Have a flick through – then share…

Reflective blogs…

If you’re looking for something slightly longer-form, then here are some great reflective blog posts from leaders who attended – do help spread the word:

Want to absorb more of that energy?

Check out the official photography:

2016 Leadership Institute

2016 Chapter Management Awards

and the winners are.

There are lots more pictures on Instagram and Facebook… just search for #IABCLI – and be sure to add the hashtag if you’re uploading your own.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

P.S. If I’ve missed your #IABCLI post, tweet me @michaelambjorn and I’ll add it here.

ByMichael Ambjorn

Using Appreciative Inquiry to grow as a leader

A subset of the 140+ leaders attending the 2016 IABC Leadership Institute got together to explore the power of Appreciative Inquiry – and how it can help you grow as a leader.


Organizations are created, maintained and changed by conversations. It is how connection is created.

In this session we explored how you can use a tool like Appreciative Inquiry to identify opportunities for change, how to mobilize leaders – and maintain shared momentum. 

Here, below, is the hand-out – including a word cloud (slide 2) which you’ll see more about on this blog in coming weeks.

Also, keep an eye on the IABC Leader Centre for hand-outs from all the other breakouts.

Top tweets

It was a wide-ranging discussion – and it is not too late to add your appreciation for some of the key points-turned-into-tweets – by RT/liking below:

Thanks to all who contributed.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

ByMichael Ambjorn

February Leadership Forum: Editorial + Academy + Eurocomm

The sixth IABC Leadership Forum was pulled together from across three continents: Carlos was in Philadelphia, Dianne in Charlotte – and special guests Ruth and Theomary were at large, but crucially, with internet. I was in London – and Melissa helped with the Q&A from IABC’s newly relocated offices in San Francisco.

Quick recap of key topics covered

Carlos Fulcher

Carlos Fulcher

Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE also reported a set of initiatives to step up customer service. These include a feedback loop for those getting in touch with HQ – and a hunt group for phone calls, ensuring you get to a person with a smile more easily.

Dianne Chase

Dianne Chase

Dianne Chase shared the work underway by the Council of Regions to make the IABC Leader Centre for leaders, by leaders. If you have suggestions or recommendations, do get in touch with Dianne. And don’t forget that there are lots resources in the library already including the brand toolkit, guidance for awards programmes, marketing resources and more.

Special guests

Ruth Kinzey

Ruth Kinzey

Rutz Kinzey checked in on behalf of the Editorial Committee, chaired by IABC Fellow John Clemons ABC.

Natasha Nicholson

Natasha Nicholson

Ruth talked us through the work the group has done with Natasha Nicholson on staff to develop a new Editorial Calendar for IABC that can be used across all levels of the organisation. The aim is to drive a global conversation to advance good practice in specific and the profession in general. If you’re working on professional development plans for your chapter, do align with the calendar – it’ll massively increase timely resources around your local initiatives.

Next they’re looking to widen the diversity of contributions from across the world – and longer term how to ensure IABC’s flagship publication  If you know of a thought leader who has insights to share – please direct them to the editorial guidelines and encourage them to pitch.

Big thanks to the team of leaders and staff advancing this work.

Theomary Karamanis

Theomary Karamanis

Theomary Karamanis shared the latest from the IABC Academy and how it ties into the IABC Career Roadmap – specifically focusing on the Strategic Advisor level.

Theomary also talked through the work to help professional communicators get the skills they need in order to certify – and what’s next for the Academy more broadly – including plans for self-paced learning.

Check out the upcoming workshops –  and meet the full Committee working with staff to advance this work. Big thanks to all involved.


Klavs Valskov and his Europe, Middle East and North Africa team is bringing you a Regional Conference in Rotterdam this April.

#Eurocomm 2016 | 18-19 April | Rotterdam

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

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

ByMichael Ambjorn

#CommChat: Social media analytics & reporting

I missed this week’s #CommChat on Social Media Analytics & Reporting. I was busy prepping for the February Leadership Forum – but the great thing about these good-practice exchanges is that they stick around even after they’ve finished…

This week’s topic was one that is close to my heart. As a past head of digital for a big corporate, and also in my current practice, it is a top topic for the C-suite. Often people get carried away on a wave of ‘big data’ – in reality it is about focusing in on measuring the effect of your actions. Actions that align with your strategy and objectives.

After all, you wouldn’t report to your board that the sun is rising and setting, would you? If  you’re unlikely to deliver value to a board – or indeed win a Gold Quill

All the 100+ tweets from the #CommChat can be found in the Storify from the session.

For the time pressed, here are a few key ones:

And if you want to improve your skills in this area…

Thanks to all who participated and shared – and do look out for next week’s #CommChat – and find recaps of earlier ones here.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

P.S. In a future Weekly Venn I’ll share some of the tools I use myself for analytics and reporting.

ByMichael Ambjorn

2016 Annual General Meeting

This year’s Annual General Meeting will be at 3:30pm (CDT) Saturday, 4 June at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, the day before the World Conference begins.

Because the AGM will take place just prior to the Leaders Reception, it is hoped that it provides easier scheduling, enabling leaders to attend these two key events on the same day.

This change reflects a desire to allow dedicated time to the AGM and avoid placing this important meeting at a time when it competes with other conference activities and programming.

We are looking to make the format more engaging – and welcome input or suggestions. 


Expect the meeting to include proposed bylaw changes, ratification of the 2016-17 International Executive Board slate of officers, IABC financials, including the audit report, and potential revised Code of Ethics. If you want to propose additional items for the agenda, please get in touch.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn


ByMichael Ambjorn

2016 #IABCLI in numbers – and immediate next steps

The 2016 International Leadership Institute brought together IABC leaders from around the world. Some 150+ in-person at the scenic Hotel Maya in Long Beach, CA – and hundreds more around the world who tuned in virtually:

Participation up 25% on 2015

…and it is not too late to pitch in – have a look at #IABCLI and RT/like you favourites.

Launch of quarterly report

Help spread the word – RT.

Why we invest in leaders

And the winners are…

See all the 2016 winners.

Great Q&A – and next steps…

Here’s the IABC Chapter Leader Group on LinkedIn – pitch in. If a question isn’t answered already, just ask and we’ll cover it. We’d also love to see you on the next Leadership Forum – where we also do Q&A.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

ByMichael Ambjorn

#IABCLI Thanks – and an invitation to attend the February IABC Leadership Forum

We just closed the 2016 International Leadership Institute. Thanks to all who came in person, from near and far. And all who engaged via #IABCLI. It is great to see such global connection in action.

Micayla Felicion-Davin

Micayla Felicion-Davin

Dianne Chase

Dianne Chase

It was a highly interactive, engaging – and ultimately inspiring event. I’m extremely grateful to the Council of Regions, chaired by Dianne Chase – and Chapter Relations Manager, Micayla Felicion-Davin, for their work putting together the programme. An effort that couldn’t have been pulled off without our hard working staff. Big thanks to them too.

Now with fond farewells come an opportunity for a fresh hello. We’re getting the band together again–and soon: the February Leadership Forum is upon us. We’ll recap what happened at the Leadership Institute and take a quick look at the latest Quarterly Report.

Plus special guests

When & Where

Wednesday 17 February: 2pm PST / 5pm EST / 10pm London / 9am Sydney (Thur)
Click here for time zone conversions in your part of the world.

How to connect

The Leadership Forum will be a Google Hangout. If you have a Google+ account, just join IABC there to participate. If you don’t have a Google+ account, just tune into YouTube, where it will be broadcasting live.

The video will be available to view after the call on the Leadership Forum Playlist on IABCLive if you’re unable to watch at the time.

We also always post notes from these sessions.


You’re welcome to submit questions prior to the call on the IABC Chapter Leader Group on LinkedIn. During the call, if you’re in Google+, you’ll be able to participate through the Q&A feature. If you don’t have a Google+ account, you can add a comment to the YouTube view, or you can tweet using the hashtag #IABCieb.

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn


ByMichael Ambjorn

And the winners are…

At the opening reception for the 2016 Leadership Institute we unveiled this year’s award winners – big thanks to the Toronto chapter members, who were the evaluators for this year’s awards. Thank you to all the leaders and staff who worked hard to ensure we have another year of fantastic work to recognise. 

Chapter Leader of the Year

Sherry Boyd

Sherry Boyd

Leading a Chapter takes a lot of work and commitment. Our chapter leader of the year has taken on various chapter leadership roles, and has developed strategies that have contributed to the success of the chapter. This member’s passion for IABC has inspired others to take on leadership roles within the chapter, which have been critical to the chapter.

This members has provided guidance to board members, and spearheaded a volunteer appreciation program to keep board members engaged. She has been instrumental in planning conferences and events. With her leadership, the chapter has begun seeing a profit from each program, and has built strong relationships within the community in order to ensure chapter success.

She drove the rebranding for the chapter and has been instrumental in revitalizing the website and newsletter communications.

This chapter leader is an outstanding ambassador for IABC. I’m proud to congratulate our Chapter Leader of the Year: Sherry Boyd, Colorado 

Regional Leader of the Year

Leanne Joyce

Leanne Joyce

In reviewing nominations for Regional Leader of the Year, one of the things we look for is someone who has gone above and beyond. It is someone who has the ability to rally leaders from around the region, to work together effectively.

The 2016 Region Leader of the Year is someone who has taken a struggling region and built foundations that have allowed the region to grow and prosper. Engagement within the region from chapters, their leaders, and members is extremely high, due to her enthusiasm and passion.

Under her leadership, the region was able to have its first successful regional Leadership Institute in over three years, and coordinate a visit with the IABC Chair to various chapters throughout the region.

The visit programme has received great feedback from chapter leaders and members throughout the region, and has established a stronger engagement among them.

She understands that there are cultural differences among chapter leaders within the region, and has developed relationships with leaders in each chapter in order to ensure she is giving them the support that they need.

Recognizing that not all chapter leaders would have the opportunity to attend the region LI, she organized reports, video and blogging so that chapter leaders would still benefit from the event even in their absence.

This leader has devoted time to creating a connection among chapter leaders in a region that is culturally diverse and geographically challenging, which has led to regional growth. I’m very pleased to announce that our Regional Leader of the Year is: Leanne Joyce, Asia Pacific

Small Chapter of the Year

Newfoundland & Labrador did a fantastic job with Financial Management in 2015. For a small chapter, the team does a good job at setting measurable objectives and goals. The chapter leadership has set policies and practices to ensure transparent reporting, which is an excellent way to build member trust and confidence in board management. Congratulations Newfoundland & Labrador!

Medium Chapter of the Year

With an Excellence Award in Leadership Development, and Merit Awards in Sponsorship, Student Involvement, and Community Involvement, Kansas City had an amazing year in 2015! The chapter has strong practices to develop volunteers, with an aim to prepare them to serve in more senior leadership roles. Leadership is a priority of this chapter, which has paved the way to successful endeavours and a strong overall chapter.

Congratulations Kansas City!

Large Chapter of the Year

The Dallas Chapter did a fantastic job with Communication and Professional Development in 2015. The chapter does an excellent job at reaching outreach. Dallas has implemented strong plans to offer affordable Professional Development opportunities with valuable subject matter for attendees.

Congratulations Dallas!

International Chapter of the Year 

While all our Chapters of the Year are highly deserving of their awards, one chapter did stand out in terms of the scope and comprehensiveness of their approach in 2015.

Please join me in congratulating the International Chapter of the Year: Kansas City.

See all the winners here:

Please join me in congratulating these exceptional leaders: see pictures and more by following #IABCLI – and you could always drop the winners a note, or simply hit like / RT one of the tweets above. 

Let’s #createconnection – like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

ByMichael Ambjorn

Your ABCDE Checklist for #IABCLI Success

This week I’m heading to a IABC’s annual leadership institute and I thought I’d share my basic high-level pre-attendance checklist in case it is useful to anybody else:

A is for Align

Take a moment to clarify what success looks like.

Think of it like a countdown:

  • 3 for the organisers
  • 2 for the people you’re representing
  • 1 for you

Confused? Read why Venn anyway.

B is for Briefed

You only get out what you put it. Arriving well informed tends to help. Here’s my knowledge packing list.

C is for Connect

Tap into the community.

Most likely people have already started the conference well before it kicks off – say, via Twitter. The hashtag is #IABCLI – get stuck in. Like a good library, there are more shelves though, have a look below for some of the going-on-elsewhere / coming-up-soon topics:

2016 #IABCLI hashtage reference sheet

…and here’s one for the competitively minded:

D is for Develop

Conferences are all about developing what you’ve got into something more. A great way to do that is through sharing your insights and learning (hint, refer to C above).

E is for Engage

Engaging without a purpose is pointless. Right?

2016 #IABCLI hashtage reference sheet - share

Be sure to follow through: say thanks to Council of Regions and the staff who put this together (they’ll appreciate it), as well as any speakers you found inspiring.

Also, connect to relevant people you met via LinkedIn and otherwise follow up on any actions you agreed and promises you made.

In conclusion:

A for Align
B for Briefed
C for Connect
D for Develop
E for Engage

What does your checklist look like? Let me know @michaelambjorn

P.S. Hat tip to Jane Mitchell for the 3-2-1 thought.
P.P.S. A humourous venn that might be helpful if you’re checking up on your LinkedIn (and other social) presence(s) prior to travelling – be human, banish the buzzwords: