Archive for the ‘Program’ Category

Mario Mousso, co-author of The Art of Woo, faculty member at Wharton, and founder of Moussa Consulting wrapped up day two of conference, speaking to us about persuasion. A critical part of persuasion is self-awareness and situational awareness, which he illustrated through a personal story about his kids.


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Mary Boone got our afternoon sessions under way with an extended interactive workshop on “Tapping Collective Intelligence.”  Mary in president of Boone Associates and an award-winning communication consultant and writer.

Mary sees a paradigm shift in progress in the communication world — from the Information Age to the Collaboration Age.  “This change is taking us away from storing, accessing, manipulating and transferring,” Mary explained, “to sharing, integrating and co-creating.”

The Information Age is characterized by smart machines, traditional organizations, stovepipes and a need to know.  Its metaphor is process and its context is complicated.  The Collaboration Age is marked by smart networks, fluid networks, permeable boundaries and high transparency.  Its metaphor is the network and its context is complex.  This means a shift from broadcast communications, with its emphasis on “tell and sell,” to interactive communications, with its emphasis on “ask and engage.”

In the organizational environment, this has brought about a rethinking of meetings — events where things are not just discussed but work actually gets done.

The old approach to meetings had top-down formats, control from the stage, a largely face-to-face experience, and an emphasis on talk and messaging.  In the new approach, meetings include peer-to-peer discussions, power sharing, an integrated pre- and post format, and an emphasis on engagement and action.

“To get to this new kind of meeting,” Mary said, “I think we need a new discipline.  I’m combining the various skills that I have to help bring about this change.  I think we need a balanced combination of all types of information sharing to make this work: intrapersonal, lateral, interpersonal, broadcast, and feedback.”

Mary talked about the “unconference” approach that uses the well-established large-group methods of “crowd-sourcing.”

“For these methods to be effective,” she said, “you need an understanding of your purpose and an understanding of your participants.”

To give the workshop participants the hands-on experience they need to fully appreciate the effectiveness of this new approach to meetings, Mary invited them to break into small groups to address current communication issues that were selected  by CCM members in a survey Mary ran prior to the conference.

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In this morning’s second session, Terilyn Monroe showed us how one company is looking to take its employees beyond engagement, all the way to inspiration.

Terilyn is Director, Global Employee Engagement at Intuit, a supplier of financial software for consumers. Intuit knows that high commitment and high performance by employees are critical to success. But how, they asked themselves, can a company maintain that during difficult times — like the recent recession, times of job eliminations, an so on?

“We started with reviewing how the experts define engagement,” Terilyn said, “and then asked our employees for their views. There were some clear differences.”

The experts defined engagement as being how employees think, feel and act. It manifests itself in high enthusiasm, a willingness to contribute, in being a company advocate, and loyalty. Employees offered more down-to-earth descriptions — things like ownership of your work, having fun on the job, and having an impact on success. There were two big lessons learned from their effort. First, they found they needed to think about the complete, end-to-end employee experience. Second, they need to learn what’s really important to employees, not just what the company thinks is important to them.

With this input, Intuit then developed its four-level Engagement Model. The four levels are: Basic (security and justice); Worth (accomplishment and esteem); Connection (relationships and belonging); and Inspiration (identity and meaning).

To get to the top level — inspiration — Intel has undertaken a program that has focused on encouraging inspiration by getting people to tell stories about what inspires them and allowing them to be themselves. A video contest that asked employees to tell their stories was very successful, involving nearly half the employees in the company. Every video was posted on the company website and 15 videos won prizes. Intuit feels this has taken the company forward in its attempt to build capabilities through story telling.

What’s next? The company is now starting a program for Inspiration Awards. The goal is to recognize inspirational employee role models. Nominations will be made and awards determined by employees. They expect to support the company’s growth goals and improve the employee experience.

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Ryan Travis, senior manager, web and digital communications at Walmart, was part of a social media panel that wrapped up day one of conference. We caught up with him later to ask him more about how Walmart uses mywalmart.com to build community and inform associates.

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We’re very excited for what you’ll soon be experiencing: stimulating conversation; informative, cultural, and fun evening events; and superb interactive sessions. With only a few days until the conference kicks off, you’ve probably popped onto weather.com to see what to pack. If not, rest assured—the weather’s going to be brilliant.

To get the most from the three days, please make note of these bits and bobs:

  • We posted arrival tips on the conference blog. Go to https://ccm2010.wordpress.com. You’ll find a link to the information right on our home page.
  • We’ll be live-tweeting throughout the conference using the hashtag #10CCM. Follow our commentary and add your own.
  • We’ll also be publishing a daily rundown on the blog and posting information and video to our Facebook group: Council of Communication Management.
  • We have terrific events planned for each night:
    • Wednesday: Expo and cocktail gathering at The Four Seasons Philadelphia
    • Thursday:  Museum tour and dinner at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
  • Unlike last year, there are no planned dine-arounds. This doesn’t mean you can’t dine around on your own. You’ll find plenty of restaurant recommendations on our blog under “Food & Entertainment.”
  • It’s not too late to sign up for a spectacular pre-workshop deal. For $99, you can attend a three-hour pre-conference workshop on change communication with a senior leader from Deloitte. Register online at http://ccmconnection.com.
  • Dress: business casual
  • Daily start times:
    • Wednesday, May 5: 9 a.m. for pre-conference workshop; keynote at 1 p.m.
    • Thursday, May 6: 8:30 a.m.
    • Friday, May 7: 8:30 a.m.

While you’re with us, we’re at your service. If you have a problem, send a DM to @CCMers. Or find Fred Droz. Fred knows all.

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What if I were to tell you that it’s possible for you to walk in one room and meet and talk with some of the most highly regarded corporate communication professionals and thought leaders in the country?

That’s exactly what you can expect when you attend the CCM Reception and Sponsor exhibit on Wednesday, May 5 at the annual conference.

When CCM professionals gather it is truly a meeting of the best minds in the business. CCM members all have at least 10 years of experience and more than 50% of them have over 20 years in the business!  In addition to talking with corporate communicators from companies of all industries and sizes, you can also talk with consultants from The Grossman Group, Towers Watson, Gagen MacDonald, Spring International, Swanson Communication, Connect Consulting Group, Bridge Consulting, On the Same Page and Vitiello Communications Group to learn what they have been working on and what best practices and trends they are seeing.

Bring your questions and greatest challenges and be ready to engage in conversation. If you’re a nonmember joining us for the evening, we look forward to welcoming you and sharing our expertise.

The reception kicks off at 6:00 pm, with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and snacks. I’ll see you there.

Chris Gay, Conference Chair

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Income statements, balance sheets and cash flow, Oh My!  It may not be as sexy as Lady Gaga or other hot topics of 2009, but financial communication is no longer limited to top management and the nerdy investor relations folks.  It’s hot for business.  Companies are discovering that there is a distinct competitive advantage to be gained by communicating financial information with all of their employees.

Study after study has demonstrated that actions and words of leaders are the biggest drivers of employee engagement, morale and productivity.  So if the language of leaders is accounting, why are senior communicators constantly translating these messages into cute, condescending, ‘What’s In It For Me’ campaign speak under the pretense of making it more meaningful?

Employees aren’t stupid- they create budgets, balance their bank accounts, negotiate home and car purchases, and make sophisticated 401K decisions.  They aren’t toddlers either, and are more than capable of spotting corporate smokescreens. So all the cutesy and clever acronym G.O.O, goo, GaGa, Ra Ra Change Management talk really does nothing other than create bigger barriers and greater distrust.

If the Why for change is based on numbers, it’s better to save your creative interpretation for Karaoke night and communicate the core financial information directly with your employees.

Don’t take my word for how steamy this topic has become… Ethan McCarty, editor-in-chief of IBM’s global intranet, will be sharing solutions in effectively communicating financial information with employees in over 100 countries at the Annual 2010 CCM Conference May 5-7 in Philadelphia PA.


Rick Spratley (member since 2009)

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