My first boardroom experience didn’t feature a killer robot!

Do you remember the scene in the original Robocop movie where the deliciously villainous Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) reveals his Ed 209 police robot and says "It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the future of law enforcement."

My first experience as a fully-fledged member of the Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) Board was not quite as dramatic but it was one I found both inspiring and left me in no doubt that the future of the internal communications profession is as innovative as the future depicted in Robocop – minus the murderous robots of course.

Passion, warmth and uncrumpled cushions
I have always found that 'the Board' in most organisations is often shrouded with this hidden and mysterious aura. A shadowy and powerful group, only seen together a handful of times a year yet wield so much power over the organisation they represent.

I can confidently say that I experienced none of these shadowy or mysterious traits in the inner workings of the IoIC Board when I made my debut as a Director last week.

Rather than being shadowy and powerful we were all warm and human. The meeting opened with us introducing ourselves and explaining our motivations for being part of the IoIC Board. A range of colourful personal interests were shared – fly fishing, love of nostalgic hotel experiences, vegetable growing, aspiring singing careers and a love/obsession of uncrumpled cushions! 

But what heartened me the most was the passion and sincerity with which everyone in the room spoke about wanting to continue to raise the professional status of the internal communications function. Across all industries we need to be alive to the critical role importance internal communications plays in making people feel they matter and helps theme excel. #WeMatterAtWork

Honesty and challenge will help us progress

I have been at Board/senior executive meetings before where it gets so bogged down in the weeds. So it was refreshing to be involved in a genuinely high-level strategic conversation about the future direction of the organisation.

It was an open, honest and sometimes challenging conversation. That is a good thing. Without challenge and disagreement there is no progress (I'm sure I've plagiarised a famous quote there but can't remember whose). It shows me that people care about the IoIC and where it needs to be heading. I would much rather have challenge than apathy, although unlike another futuristic boardroom scene from Star Wars I don't want to end up having my 'lack of faith' questioned by Darth Vader!

One of the frank discussions centred on the diversity of our members and the Board. For IC professionals to deliver internal communications that effectively engages diverse workforces we need to represent that diversity in our profession and our leadership.

Continuing to raise the game and understand the needs

There is no doubt that the IoIC has raised the game for the IC profession. A recognised Masters qualification in Internal Communication (applications open until end of August), the FutureNet career support for internal communicators and the #WeMatterAtWork initiative are just a handful of new offerings the IoIC has introduced.

The changing nature of 'work places', the continued advancement of technology and the changing consumer grade expectations of employees are just some trends that will place even greater importance on internal communications and engagement. We, as the IoIC Board, need to be alive to the changing landscape and needs of our members.

And at the end, you'll have a fantastic academic q...
What difference does an IC qualification make?


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