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Gems: Continual Learning - A Must For Sustained IC Success

Suzanne Peck, IoIC president and managing director of the Sequel Group, gets the ball rolling on the Institute’s new initiative ‘the most important thing I’ve learned about internal communication’.


When I was asked to kick-off this series focused on ‘the most important thing I’ve learned about internal communication’, I thought it would be easy to answer. But do you know what? It’s harder than it seems.

It really makes you think and assess. It’s a personal thing: what’s important to me might not be important to someone else. So, after quite a few train journeys of thinking time, here’s my view.

The need for continual learning is the most important thing I’ve learned about internal communication. I started as a newspaper journalist, then went to work in-house in IC for nine years for organisations like Marks & Spencer and Alfred McAlpine, before going agency-side.

That’s around 27 years in IC. I’ve done a lot of stuff to do with comms in that time!

Continual learning and the need to adapt what you’ve learned is what’s kept my interest in internal communication as fresh today as it was then. I don’t know everything about IC: I never will. That’s why I love it.

It’s a growing profession that’s gaining more clout as the years go by. IC professionals are increasingly valued for what they can bring to an organisation. I’ve experienced the transition from being purely a messenger packaging and delivering information to being that trusted advisor, from siloed to more integrated, creative, collaborative communication, especially as technology continues to zap us with new challenges and opportunities.

My IC learning continues to come from working with good people and great clients, from being like a sponge, joining forums and reading all I can on – and around – a subject. It comes from meeting people with different skills and thinking, from accepting that organisations and businesses evolve, that you need to learn new skills and thinking to keep pace, from being prepared to listen, being inquisitive, having an ‘I can do’ mind-set and not holding onto ‘we used to do it that way’ all the time. That last bit is soooo tempting as it’s where I’m most comfortable, where my experience is.

Without continual learning, IC would be pointless. With it, it’s interesting, challenging, people-developing, motivating, different, engaging and a massive chance to influence and change things, doing it better.

Want to join in the discussion? Tweet about the most important thing you’ve learned about internal comms with#ioicgems or comment at LinkedIn company page

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