To Lead Authentically, Leaders Must First Know Themselves

Early in my career, I was fortunate to work with some incredibly inspiring leaders who brought out the best in me. I gravitated toward them because of how they made me feel. I trusted them because they were genuine, authentic, and because they demonstrated much more confidence in me than I had in myself. They stood for my potential, which was incredibly motivating for me as a 20-something professional, and only spurred… Read More

Exercise courage

This article from World Conference Program Advisory Chair Stacy Wilson, ABC, is the next in a series which offers reflections on issues and innovations to be explored at the IABC World Conference. Webster’s simple definition of courage is “the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous.” Dig deeper and you’ll see: Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. Firmness of mind and… Read More

The next big communication thing is plain text

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on the Holtz Communications + Technology blog. The next big organizational communication frontier could be plain text, with an occasional emoji thrown in. Chatbots—or just bots—are the technology behind these text missives that may—and should—become part of any company’s communication toolkit. I have grown increasingly convinced that bots will become vitally important. Bots aren’t new. Twitterbots have been around for almost as long as Twitter has. Now, bot… Read More

Features work for emails too

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Wylie Communications’ Reach More Readers blog. Concrete details make great invitation leads When I teach the feature-style story structure, communicators nod. It seems reasonable that readers would prefer concrete, creative stories to a hierarchical blurtation of facts. BUT—and as Pee-Wee Herman said, there’s always a big but—they wonder, is the feature-style story structure for everything? Even emails? Even event invites? Yes, Virginia, the feature-style story structure… Read More

Where do great ideas come from?

This article from World Conference Program Advisory Chair Stacy Wilson, ABC, is the next in a series which offers reflections on issues and innovations to be explored at the IABC World Conference. Years ago, a client asked me to help them generate more patents through improved communication with employees. For that organization, patents were an important part of business success. The more patents, the more new products they could sell and the… Read More

Create results that stick: Leverage a continuous improvement process

Many leaders try to improve results through short-term programs that have little to no sticking power. How do you improve in a way that embeds employee engagement as a routine, continuous improvement habit for everyone? One way is to use the small wins I discussed in an earlier CW Observer article. Small wins enable you to use lower-risk experiments to improve performance and then replicate them throughout your organization. It’s important to… Read More

Body language and cross-cultural communication

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Carol Kinsey Goman’s blog. When I traveled from the United Arab Emirates to China to India to Malaysia to the Philippines to Indonesia on a speaking tour, it seemed to me that the audience was arriving later and later. In Jakarta, with my program scheduled for 7:00 p.m., I was advised: “Just ignore that announcement. We tell people to get here at 7, hoping they… Read More

5 ingredients for a successful employee ambassador program

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Avery Dennison’s blog. I’m dating myself, but remember when “digital marketing” was called “e-commerce marketing?” To say things have changed is an understatement. With 90% of American adults having a cellphone and Facebook hosting 1.35 billion active monthly users, the digital landscape and the way we conduct commerce is forever changed. That’s why it’s becoming more critical than ever for communicators and marketers to leverage all possible… Read More

Have a big request? Facilitate your way to a “yes”

This article from World Conference Program Advisory Chair Stacy Wilson, ABC, is the next in a series which offers reflections on issues and innovations to be explored at the IABC World Conference. It’s far easier to say no than yes. Saying no can be done with little thought or consideration. Saying yes pushes so many other boundaries—real or artificial—that often constrain us. This is the magic of what Helen Marriage does through… Read More

When it comes to change: Go slow to go fast

When implementing change, one of the best ways to launch a system-wide overhaul is with small wins, accompanied by a healthy dose of bureaucracy busting. Attacking a small part of your organization first can get results fast and prove that taking the business to the next level is doable. Starting small enables you to go after the easy stuff by way of controllable experiments. It enables you to try new things, learn… Read More

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