Three things I learned from our conference

1. Listen and learn. People and organisations don’t always listen and learn. Take hotels. There are only three things they need to do; 1) Give a warm welcome at reception and check you in straight away, 2) provide a comfy bed, and 3) make sure the shower works. Hotels have learned this, but still get it wrong. In the case of keynote speaker, Max McKeown, the hotel he stayed in before the event had not got his booking and the shower was stuck at knee height. In addition to quality processes, organisations should listen more to employees as they often know what’s going wrong. However, they are either not asked or ignored. As Nita Clarke said, we wouldn’t need whistle blowers if organisations got employee voice right.

2. Be brave. Max suggested that we could become communication and learning managers. Internal communication practitioners can be the honest broker between employees and management, picking up on what employees are saying and feeding it into the strategy making process.  But we have to be braver. This means stopping saying “yes sir (or madam)” to every request just to SOS (send out stuff).

3. Get creative. Ralph Cochrane showed how we can use crowd sourcing to produce creative content. We need to move away from an over reliance on the written word and be more visual. Everyone loves a good video.

Max McKeown at the CIPR Inside Conference

If you were at the event, we’d love to know what you learned and whether you agree with Max that we should re-name what we do to “communication and learning”.


  1. Pingback: The echo of conversations | Diary of an internal communicator

  2. There were some pithy phrases that stuck with me:
    1. @mgrafham mentioned ‘organisational maturity’. It succinctly summarises the challenges we often face as communicators – we’re ready, willing and able to move on. Are our leaders?
    2. Engage for Success “‘If you have a free flowing voice in your organisation, you don’t need whistleblowers’.
    3. Don’t be afraid to dream. “What if….? The question every business should ask when needing to change. And then put a plan together”

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