The Inside Scoop on the International Association of Business Communicators Conference

IABC Communications Conference 2

In June, I traveled to Washington, DC for my first International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) conference. I discovered the organization several years ago when they invited me to write an article for their flagship e-magazine, Communication World. An invitation to present gave me the opportunity to learn more about this energized, exciting organization. Here’s the inside scoop on what happened at the IABC DC World Conference.

Ethics are Hot

When alternative facts and fake news grab headlines, ethics are more important than ever. IABC took a stand earlier this year by opposing alternative facts. The organization reiterated communication professionals’ obligation to speak honestly, share accurate information, and correct mistakes promptly.

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Dispatch from the 2017 Association of Change Management Professionals Conference

ACMP Change Management Dispatch 1

My first time in New Orleans didn’t disappoint! The annual conference of the Association of Change Management Professionals was lively, friendly, and fun. Didn’t attend? Scroll down for my take on what was new and hot at the 2017 conference. Prefer visuals to text? See the Visual Dispatch at the bottom of the page.

What’s Hot: Using Neuroscience for Change Management

Using findings from neuroscience to help guide change is still hot. Speaker Josh Davis of the NeuroLeadership Institute spoke to a jam-packed room about how our brains respond to threats. Change management professionals can minimize those threats with a little education and foresight.

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New Leadership Tools: Finding Direction through Network Maps: Mini Case #1

Network Maps as Leadership Tools - Star Performer Expertise

Companies create organization charts that show hierarchies and reporting relationships. But work rarely gets done as it appears on an org chart. Instead, people operate through networks: informal webs of relationships that people instinctively form in the workplace.

Traditionally, leaders have used organization charts to understand their boundaries and spheres of influence. Network maps provide new and helpful information about how people actually perform work, make decisions, and solve problems. Network thinking and network maps can help leaders gain a holistic perspective and uncover unseized opportunities, identify lurking risks, and address unarticulated needs.

In this series, we look at how several different leaders used network knowledge to advance their company’s strategy.

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NEW ARTICLE: Realizing the Benefits of True Globalization

Image of world in hands

By Aussiegall on flickr.

Many organizations say they’re global. Few achieve the benefits of globalization.

Bayer CropScience (BCS) experienced this conundrum several years ago. Their Global Public & Government Affairs (GPGA) division had offices all over the world, but they usually worked independently. Regions reinvented materials and programs created elsewhere. Lessons learned in one area weren’t shared with others. The benefits of globalization weren’t apparent.

In 2012, BCS hired a new leader, Lisa Coen, who was charged with creating a truly global GPGA organization. She was asked to align headquarters and regions around priorities, goals, strategies, and roles. A new article, “From Regional to Global: Using a Network Strategy to Align a Multinational Organization,” describes how Coen proceeded to transform GPGA into a global organization.

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Sorry? (Not Sorry): Guest Post on the Art of Apology by Amy Yeager

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay.

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay.

After several days at a conference, I found myself woefully behind on email. “I’m sorry about the delayed response,” I wrote again and again. But what was I really saying with that apology?

There are actually six different types of apologies, according to Corentus Director of Client Engagement and Partnering Resources Affiliate Amy Yeager. Amy writes about the art of apology in this fantastic new article, Sorry (Not Sorry). As she says:

When does saying we’re sorry help or hurt, or just keep us stuck? As we think about the impact of saying we’re sorry, it can be helpful to distinguish between (at least) six different types of sorry.

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NEW ARTICLE: The Art of Quiet Networking

Image: <a href="http://www.quietrev.com/author/liz-fosslien-and-mollie-west/"Liz Fosselien & Mollie West</a>

Image: Liz Fosslien and Mollie West

For many introverts, Susan Cain’s TED talk about introversion was a much needed affirmation of the value of the quiet style. She articulated what many of us needed to hear: there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. In fact, introverts have much to offer.

Susan Cain started two organizations–Quiet Revolution and the Quiet Leadership Institute–to support introverts, their families, and their work environments. I am delighted to announce that our new article, “The Art of Quiet Networking” has been published on both sites.

The Art of Quiet Networking tells my story. It shares how I progressed from an anxious, unhappy networker to someone who actually likes the process.

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Chocolate at Work: A Lighter Post for August

Maya Hosts a Chocolate Tasting

Maya hosts a chocolate tasting

If you know me, you know that I love chocolate. You also know that I’ve taken that love beyond simply hoarding bars in my chocolate chiller (yes, I bought a chiller to keep my chocolates safe from heat). I’ve created a curated guide to artisan chocolatiers in Paris and New York, led professional tastings, and facilitated industry conversations about cacao standards.

I recently had the chance to talk with John Garrett about what this hobby has to do with work. John calls himself a “recovering CPA.” Freed from cubicles and spreadsheets, he now tours the country as a corporate comedian and hosts the Green Apple Podcast.

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NEW ARTICLE: Transform Your Network with Three Simple Practices

CW Blog Post Photo - Transform Your Network

Would you rather go to the dentist than to a networking event? If so, then this article is for you.

Here’s an excerpt from our recently published article, “Transform Your Network with Three Simple Practices,” on Communication World:

Networking is considered a professional necessity. Conventional wisdom states that if we don’t build and sustain our networks properly, we’ll lose out on opportunities like promotions, new jobs, and important information.

The bad news: The conventional wisdom is right. The good news: Most of us are networking all wrong. Read on for three simple practices to transform your networking experience.

To transform your networking practice, read the Communication World article now.

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100+ Tried & True Problem-Solving Tools

Sense making illustration by Kelvy Bird.

Too many leaders choose the wrong tool for the problem at hand. Our infographic, “What’s Your Problem,” explains the four different types of problems leaders face. Once you’ve read it, you may be left thinking: OK, I know what kind of problem I have. What tool do I use?

In this post, we share over 100 tried-and-true problem-solving tools. These are effective and elegant methods that you can use to address the four types of problems.

Simple Problem-Solving Tools

SOP from UCLA.

Simple problems have easily seen cause and effect relationships. Your job is to assess the facts, categorize the facts, and then apply the appropriate best practice.

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Are You Solving the Right Problem?

What's Your Problem - Top

Problems come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small (“I can’t find space for my 2pm meeting”). Others are large (“I can’t get forty coalition members to agree on goals”). All have the capacity to drive you nuts, especially if you’re not solving problems using the right tools.

If You Have a Hammer, Everything is a Nail

Once you find techniques that work, it’s tempting to use them over and over again. Maybe you’ve had great success using Gantt charts. You might like performance charting, root cause analysis, or group dialogue sessions. Perhaps business ecosystem maps rock your world.

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