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IoIC Live 2016 got off to a futuristic start – by creating the internal communicator for the years ahead…

Delegates gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham for the two-day event and the first session – titled ‘Is IC, as we know it, dead?’ - ended with the creation of 10 types of communicator, all equipped them to deal with the rapidly changing world.

Following a peer-to-peer coaching session and some lively debate, each group came up with a differently named IC professional:

  • The Revolutionary – someone who’s bold and disruptive and able to connect people across an organisation.
  • The Connector – someone who can bring the voice of the employee to the boardroom and vice versa. The glue that holds an organisation together.
  • The Value Demonstrator – as IC competes with marketing, sales, finance and so on, it’s vital that someone proves the value of internal comms, so budgets become available for it.
  • The Educator – the ability to get everyone else in an organisation communicating is vital.
  • ‘Trevor & Trudy', The Trusted Advisors – ‘We know what we’re talking about, so listen to us, trust us, and it will help’.
  • The Interpreter – this is about facilitating two-way communication form the top down and the bottom up, and packaging those message sin the right way for the right audience.
  • The Engaged Collaborator – this character would start with the leadership, get them engaged and collaborating with everyone else.
  • The Enabler – someone who brings everyone together , facilitates conversations and encourages dialogue.
  • The Influencer – moving away from pushing messages out, this future communicator gets leaders to be engagers and employees to be communicators themselves.
  • Redundant – this communicator would create a workplace so collaborative and engaged that IC was no longer needed as a function…

The opening session was launched with four two-minute speeches from the facilitators: Belinda Gannaway from Brilliant Noise, IoIC president Suzanne Peck of Sequel Group, Laura Storey of IBM and Paul Thomas of Grant Thornton.

They each set the theme for the discussion in different ways, urging delegates to think about everything from putting the customer first and breaking down silos to adopting technology and being more human (the theme of the conference).

As well as naming the communicator of the future, delegates considered the qualities they would need and added them as notes to their thought boards. Themes started to emerge including a great ability to listen, to be trusted, well connected, agile, have great coaching ability, be full of ideas and be full of fun and passion!

All the ideas were collated on boards that will remain on show throughout the event to remind people what internal communicators must strive for.

Paul said: “Although we got 10 different names for our communicator of the future, there was a lot of crossover between them and many of the qualities discussed were the same from each group.”

The ideas also proved that, while IC as we know it might be changing beyond recognition, it is far from dead!
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