That was the theme of the Heritage Region Conference 2016, held in Columbus, Ohio Oct. 9-11 — says so much about our IABC. The conference was the living, breathing epitome of what is at the core of our professional communication community. It is our never ending commitment to elevating our professional and personal growth and discovering the possibilities for driving communication as a force for good in business and society.
The #IABCHRCONF world class level of speakers, presentations, programming, networking, professional development and, of course, Dine Around, is a testimony to the dedication and commitment of the Heritage Region leaders and evidence of the impact IABC is and will continue to make for our profession and members.
I was amazed at the level of positive energy and enthusiasm of the region and chapter leaders in Columbus, Ohio USA!
I must give specific shout outs to conference co-chairs Forrest Hughes and Pat Frey — both long time IABC leaders on many levels.
Thanks and congratulations to everyone who made this conference one to be emulated; including Region Chair Amy Miller and Silver Quill Chair Alexandra Hichel and the indescribably inspirational ball of enthusiasm, Columbus chapter president, Lachandra Baker.
I want to share a bit of the spirit with you and so I grabbed a few minutes with a past Heritage Region chair, Gary Spondike from Detroit, veteran IABC leader and presenter, Cyrus Mavalwala from Toronto and two conference attendees.
I hope you enjoy the snippets, absorb the IABC ‘secret sauce’ and pass it along.
Tuesday afternoon, IABC Vice Chair Sharon Hunter and I wrapped up with our #IABC1720 World Cafe, part of our global conversation tour to build the next 3-year strategy for the association. Read more on this appreciative inquiry process here on the blog.
Thank you more than I can express for your dedication, leadership and support for our IABC.
I’d love to hear from you!
All the best,
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,
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.
These questions frame the appreciative inquiry approach we’re using to create a shared vision of the future into 2020 and beyond.
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.
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 email@example.com – we’re listening!
With appreciation for all that you do,
Sharon Hunter, Vice Chair
1000+ leaders around the world put their shoulders to the wheel in the last year. It is thanks to these hard-working practitioners that the association, and our shared work for the profession, has moved forward. So if you meet an IABC leader, please stop and say thank you. They’ll appreciate it.
In addition to the progress reported in the Annual Report:
We’re returning to growth and we’ve overcome the show-stopping issues.
We have conducted the comprehensive portfolio review we promised at last year’s AGM – and this has enabled us to:
First and foremost on Strategic Advisors – the strongest segment in the IABC Career Roadmap – because we can’t be all things to all people. This was further to a global consultation (Council of Regions, Regional Conferences, and LIs etc.). And it has been validated by the recent survey (results literally just in!).
Which in turn means we’re now obsessing about:
A member wall is kicking in just after World Conference – increasing membership value overnight + the Membership Task Force has made further huge strides (stand by for survey insights for chapters and regions!) – and a pricing review under way working with the Finance Committee.
Which in turn leads us to our secret advantage as an association:
We clarified and aligned Who Does What and our Theory of Change – and a re-designed Leader Centre is on the way. We have also reaffirmed the continual investment in leadership – including our commitment to a competency-based Open Call – and much much more…
All in line with our brand platform… and our commitment to be:
In conclusion: thank you leaders. You made it happen. You created connection like never before.
Here’s to the 2016-17 board – and our 1000+ leaders around the globe who will take things to the next level. Stand by for much much more on the year ahead from Dianne and the team.
But first: #IABC16. Let’s make it heard around the world.
P.P.S. If you want to do a deep-dive, you may also want to check out some of the other posts on this blog. Here are the key categories and what you can find within them:
Notes from IABC International Executive Board meetings.
Q&A and more from the 2015-16 Leadership Forums.
Notes from the Annual General Meetings.
A range of reflections – some examples:
Does exactly what is says on the tin. We always need more of these.
It is all about the intersect…
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.
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.
Wednesday 17 February: 2pm PST / 5pm EST / 10pm London / 9am Sydney (Thur)
Click here for time zone conversions in your part of the world.
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.
The fourth IABC Leadership Forum was pulled together from across three continents: Carlos was in Montréal, Dianne in Clinton, Ginger in Tulsa and Priya in Toronto. I was in London – and Melissa helped with the Q&A from Melbourne.
On this edition we were joined by IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan, ABC.
Ginger has been working closely with Carlos Fulcher to create a balanced 2016 budget for IABC – including essential strategic technology investments including:
Additional strategic investment is going into better serving our Corporate Members – and short-term improvements are also being made to the current member management system (MMA).
Our association is still working through the aftermath of ten years of underinvestment in this area. Progress is being made.
One further major financial item to note is the $300K+ cost reduction we will be realising through moving our offices. Carlos briefly spoke to this at the end of the call.
Past Chair of the IABC Brand Task Force, Priya Bates, ABC, MC, joined for a Q&A on the brand roll-out.
Priya’s key messages:
A practical, actionable element of the latter which you can RT:
— Michael Ambjorn (@michaelambjorn) December 16, 2015
…and, also topical – a reminder from the Past Chair:
Question from Sheila Carruthers from Calgary: In addition to IABC working on corporate discount offerings, will there be consideration to offer discounts at LI and conferences for independent consultant members and individuals who pay their own membership fees?
Answer: Check out the scholarships for LI in the first instance – Ginger also offered to connect offline to talk more.
Question from Maliha Aqeel from Toronto: Are there any plans for HQ to conduct a brand compliance audit?
Answer: The recent Leader Survey had a set of questions around brand adoption – we will share more on that early next year.
Question from Gay Flashman from London: Is there any way in which we can share our original blog & social content between chapters for use on local IABC channels?
Answer: The Editorial Committee has been charged with creating a global conversation calendar that can help facilitate this. Watch this space.
— Michael Ambjorn (@michaelambjorn) December 6, 2015
Thanks to all who connected – and you don’t have to wait until next month to get a question answered. Just head over to the IABC Chapter Leaders Group on LinkedIn and pitch in.
Let’s #createconnection – like never before.
The IABC International Executive Board – aka #IABCieb – recently held its seventh 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 definitively but 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”.
At this board meeting the board reviewed the Finance Committee’s proposed 2016 balanced budget – including a set of strategic investments in:
The latter will ultimately yield a saving of $350,000 in its first year.
The first two are essential steps in our continuing work to make up for ten years of underinvestment in technology. I am pleased to report that the board unanimously adopted the budget. Big thanks to Treasurer, Ginger Homan ABC, Executive Director, Carlos Fulcher MBA CAE and Finance Director, Brook Yciano – and all of the hard working Finance Committee.
Once a year we bring IABC’s top international leaders together. IABC Vice Chair Dianne Chase shared an update on the preparations for this with help from the Council of Regions and Micayla Felicion on staff.
See the full programme – and register.
In line with the focusing in on Strategic Advisors as the core audience for IABC, the board was pleased to learn that the Global Communication Certification Council has decided, after considerable deliberation, to pursue that level as the next Certification. Stay tuned for more on this in 2016.
I reported how, as Chair, I was honoured to join 32 IABC Leaders from across Asia-Pacific who met for the first Leadership Institute in the APAC region since 2012 – and the first since the formation of the APAC Region Board. The event was hugely successful and offered a balanced mix of workshops, educational sessions, networking opportunities and social events.
— Michael Ambjorn (@michaelambjorn) December 6, 2015
This was in addition to 40+ engagements in 7 cities across 14 back-to-back days on the road. Our leaders in APAC are nothing if not ambitious on behalf of IABC’s leadership. This included advocacy opportunities with:
You can read what I learnt on this – and other trips – in the Field Notes section of this blog. So many to thank – esp: Leanne Joyce, Zora Artis, Monika Lancucki ABC, Damien Batey, Mike Shaw, Kathryn Britt, Yvonne Densem, Jennifer Andrewes and John Tulloch + the amazing and unstoppable Kirsten Peterson.
Let’s #createconnection like never before.
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.
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.
Conferences run throughout the world and across the year – London and Johannesburg earlier this year and here are three more coming up:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Leaders from across the world connect regularly to advance the global profession of communications. Two groups that are at the forefront of advancing IABC’s work for the profession are the Academy team, led by Theomary Karamanis – and the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC), led by Sue Heuman ABC.
The latter has been getting some extra attention thanks to the successful pilot of the world’s first global Communication Management Professional Certification exam at the 2015 World Conference. Well done to the practitioners who took the bold step and tested their mettle – and big thanks Janet McCormick and the inaugural GCCC and the staff team, without whom this would not have happened.
But how does the Academy team, the GCCC and many other global work groups and committees connect and collaborate to advance the profession – considering that the teams are distributed across the a panoply of timezones? The Tuckman stages of group development still apply.
To form, storm, norm and perform I suggest that…
For that to happen you need two things: clarity on when to meet, and ideally something that can bring you face-to-face without necessarily jumping on a plane (with that said, I do hope to see you at #IABCLI in February!).
Let’s cover the face-to-face tech first – there are two favourites amongst senior leaders at IABC:
Here’s the 2014-15 #IABCieb in action on the latter:
— RussellGrossman-IABC (@RussellAtIABC) May 19, 2015
timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html – quick and dynamic and covers all timezones (as opposed to my cheat-sheet table which only has a few), and especially useful if you’re just trying to co-ordinate with one or two other people
doodle.com/ – when more people are trying to find an optimal time it can get very confusing quickly… doodle makes this a doddle.
Got something even better? Let me know @michaelambjorn – and if you’re one of IABC’s 1,000 leaders across the globe, thank you for all you do.
Let’s #createconnection – like never before.
P.S. Looking to step up to serve the global communication profession? We have opportunities to lead – and as always, here’s a ready-made Tweet for you:
— IABC (@IABC) August 25, 2015
‘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.
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.
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.
Associations sit naturally in the intersect between the ‘gig’, ‘sharing’ and the more ‘traditional’ economy.
Let’s dive into each in a bit more detail:
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…
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).
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…
Please help #createconnection – share your story.
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:
— IABC (@IABC) August 15, 2015