I was born to boomers, I’m a mother to centennials and a generation X myself. When you consider that our sense of ‘purpose’ is defined by the time we are 13, it’s no wonder we all find it hard to understand each other’s viewpoints at times. Just think about being 13 in the 1950s, 1980s, 2000s and 2020 and beyond for a minute… The contrast is huge, with different experiences, technologies and work. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to ‘Simon Sinek in conversation with Reggie Yates’. They discussed purpose, millennials in the workplace and some of the criticisms following that now infamous video.
While writing a blog about continuing professional development (CPD) and professional memberships for communicators this week I had a small revelation about myself. Not only do I love learning, but I actually ‘need’ to keep learning. I don’t mean ‘need’ to with regard to keeping my communication expertise and knowledge up to date, that’s a given. What I mean is, I realised I’m happiest when I am learning something new. Working independently in communication allows me to learn in two fundamental ways:
OneI take charge, fund and make my own time for my learning and development by working independently. I go to the events I want to attend, read up on the topics I want to learn, join webinars and more as my schedule allows to develop my knowledge and skills (which of course my clients benefit from too).
TwoBecause I get to research, analyse and understand my clients’ businesses in a deep way I’m always learning something new about the businesses I work with and finding solutions to their challenges. Good communicators spend time learning about the business strategy, stakeholders, culture and purpose. This is essential to help clients and employers to communicate and listen effectively to be more successful and I really enjoy this process.
Rarely Impossible is a Mobile app development studio based in Bournemouth. I have met Lee Mallon, the MD at different events like Silicon Beach and most recently All About People in June 2016. Lee has a great approach to business and is never afraid to try something new. Rarely Impossible is a very social business, with an open culture. Lee takes inspiration from other successful businesses he’s learned about on his travels. We have great conversations about work and people doing their work over coffee at these events. Lee’s most recently featured on BBC Radio 4 and BBC South Today where his approach to work email has been the focus – he’s banned it internally. Lee’s business is a technical partner, solving clients’ problems with digital solutions. Currently there are 11 people in the team and they are tech savvy and creative group. And it’s easy to say “Well that’s why he could do it”. And yes, you would be right. But it’s his wider approach to his business that I believe means that even as it grows, he’ll keep a cap on email and make its use the exception rather than the norm. So I went to meet him to find out more. We hoped to natter over coffee in the rooftop garden on the building he shares with a group of other small businesses. We got rained off and headed to the high-gloss ‘boardroom’ shared by all the businesses in the building. What a difference a space makes. Immediately you can feel the change in the way you connect in a different location. Lee is definitely more at home in the relaxed astro-turfed roof garden.
Last Thursday (19 May) I organised a #asktheguru event, one of CIPR Inside's small, informal and popular events, at the offices of Ruder Finn UK. As one of CIPR Inside's lead sponsors the team hosted the event for us in their fantastic new offices in Finsbury Circus, London.
Katie Marlow recently went to Futurecomms15 and as she works with CIPR Inside to help us communicate what we do, we asked her to share her thoughts on futurecomms. Over to Katie: Thursday 18 June saw the second Futurecomms event, take place in London at the Crystal. It was a bright day. Glimmering in the summer sun, the Crystal overlooks the docks, with cable cars gliding overhead between the Emirates Royal Docks and Emirates Greenwich Peninsular.
It’s refreshing to see that businesses are beginning to take a different approach to their strategic focus. On 19 March I joined 50 or so other interested folk and attended Once upon a time, an event which set out to share examples of storytelling in brands. I aim to go to an event or workshop once a month. It feeds my inspiration and gives me a new perspective – it’s never wasted time. I really enjoyed this event and was disappointed I could only stay for the first two speakers:
Wow, not sure where they went, but the last few years have been a heady mix of my children growing older and starting school, and my new-found independence as a freelance comms professional. August is a special month for me, kids off school, birthdays, wedding anniversary and my business anniversary too. This year, it’s been four years since starting my freelance life and Little Bird Communication. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.
On Thursday 5 and Friday 6 June a group of like-minded people gathered in a seafront hotel in Bournemouth for the All About People conference. I find the culture of organisations and the shift to people focussed business fascinating, so I joined the event and I’ll share some of the insights from the two days here. Andy Swann, the creator of the event first wanted to just bring a few people together to share ideas and have some fun, but it soon grew into the All About People event. In Andy’s words from his welcome: “I’m not going to tell you want to expect from #aapcon14, the opportunity is there to create your own experience. Informal yes, idealistic maybe, human certainly.” And that nicely sums up exactly what the event turned out to be.
I spent 5 and 6 June 2014 in the company of some really brilliant people in my home town of Bournemouth. The All About People [caption id="attachment_517" align="alignright" width="228"] What was the creative brief for this image?[/caption] Conference, organised by Andy Swann, Head of Ideas and Mistakes at My Amazing Team @AndySwann was really inspiring. There was so much great stuff covered, my head is still buzzing with ideas to take to my clients and beyond. It was great to see Bournemouth hosting an innovative and provocative event. As a local passionate about great communication, internal comms and the way we work it was a great opportunity.
To follow from the part one blog post of #ioiclive14 here’s part two which I've written for cirinside.co.uk and sharing here. It covers the introvert extrovert debate, neuroscience, Bupa and the extra mile, and Peer 1 Hosting and their approach to providing an environment and culture that enables engagement to flourish…
Wow it's been a crazy few months. I've been working on some really exciting stuff, and just recently enjoyed a bit of quieter time to recharge my batteries. It's that time which has allowed me to re-focus on what's important to me. Afterall time's precious, none of us has enough of it, and numerous clichés remind us of time trickling away before our eyes.