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Memo from Montréal

We eat feedback for breakfast, so imagine our excitement when we got word back from IABC on our session in Montréal at this year’s World Conference.

Here’s what people said:

– Can we have this session again at a future conference.

– This was a great session. If we are serious about shifting the industry to executive level then it should be compulsory training for all. It is not so much as instructional as exploratory in its exploration of the rationale behind players’ decision making. A great start to the conference

– A valuable session to help us think strategically.

– Fun, easy to play and learn from, challenging scenarios geared to both individual and collaborative learning.

And the mean score out of a possible 7? 6.61…

Maybe you should try this.

See if it is right for you.

Piloting your own way to the future

(by Stephen Welch)

I’ve been on holiday in a remote corner of Western Canada. It was great to get away, but like many people in I find it hard to sometimes disconnect completely. On my way back, I couldn’t help wondering….

While I was away I flew on a lot of airplanes all led by different types of people. Suddenly it hit me: the different types of pilots I encountered could be linked to business and how to solve business challenges as strategic advisers. I discovered four different roles, which I have archetyped into some of my favourite songs.

“The London radar”

My first pilot flew the Airbus 380 that jetted us across the Atlantic. There was a very clear and rigorous process, some of it visible and some not. We saw, of course, the safety briefing, and the seat belt rules. But behind the scenes there were a whole lot of other processes and checklists – invisible to us passengers. Our pilot was an expert and she followed the processes to the letter: such as the allocated great circle lanes in the sky, or the navigation rules on final approach. These are essential advisory skills that remain hidden to the customer.

It’s akin to hiring an expert to solve a business problem. In this case, the strategic adviser solves the problem through expertise and process. In fact we didn’t even meet the pilot but we trusted the (often invisible) process, methodology, and the reputation of the airline to get us from A to B in a safe and predictable manner.

“On the edge of seventeen”

I’m sure glad I didn’t meet my next pilot until after we landed. It was a great flight but sometimes credibility is in the eye of the beholder. When the pilot came out at the end of the flight to greet us and say goodbye, my first thought was that: he looked ‘on the edge of 17’ and too young to fly a plane. Probably it is unconscious bias, but sometimes the challenge of advisers is one of visual credibility. Do you have enough ‘grey hairs’ or ‘miles on the clock’ to be a credible interlocutor?

The real question, though, is not about grey-hair-ness or crow’s feet. It is about how you establish your credibility. I know organizations who have a habit of hiring external consultants to tell senior leaders unpalatable truths because in-house colleagues were not taken as seriously. In psychology this is called ‘face validity’. How do you make the right impression so your advice is taken seriously?

“Hey dude, don’t let me down”

That sub-headline comes with apologies to two of the world’s song-writing heroes, but if you had met my next pilot, you would understand. Everything was ‘cool, man’. Confident, chilled, calm, casual. It is hard to be formal when you are flying a seaplane from a dock: “hi there: chuck your luggage in the back and jump aboard … we’ve got a tail wind so plenty of time, do you want to see the beach? … oh look, a whale … let’s dive down and watch it … we’re gonna drop down to 500ft so we can see stuff and stay below the fog … hey check it out … some sea lions ….”

The dude abides

Sometimes advisers need to show their humanity. Was it the Airbus experience? No. But there is time and a place for process. And a time and a place for humanity. He abided by the safety standards: and also showed flexibility and humanity and understanding of what the customer wanted in that situation. Airbus would not have countenanced that behaviour, but it made sense given the context. As a strategic adviser, how much do you think about context: what works in one situation doesn’t always work in another.

“Drop the pilot”

I’m right on target, my aim is straight. I then spent a couple of days in a place called Prince Rupert. There we saw expert pilots in action. Harbour pilots, that is. Their job: take control and navigate to a successful docking. They need to be right on target for the dock and have a true aim. They are local experts who understand the specific situation: the Captain of a large ship hands the controls over to them for the final, tricky, manoeuvre.

In this situation their credibility is built on professional credentials and specific know-how. Sometimes as an adviser your job is to parade your expertise. The Prince Rupert pilots have degrees and certificates and professional credentials. Everyone accepts those. As an adviser, sometimes you can rely on credentials. If you are a lawyer this is often your playground. But for other advisers: parading your expertise can work in specific situations but there other times to wear it lightly. How do you balance professional expertise and personal credibility.

“Where the streets have no name”

https://open.spotify.com/track/4qgZs0RNjdzKAS22lP0QjY?si=TUEO-XOHQvazoQfZ-jOXEg

Ultimately, the challenge is about knowing what to do when there are ‘no named streets’. My holiday pilots showed some different approaches. Which appeals to you most?

If you’d like to explore other archetypes at work and how understanding them can help you and your team, get in touch. Also, do sign up for our regular updates via the sign up on the right.

“It was fun (which I didn’t expect)!” – A Carmen Q&A

Hundreds have played Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders around the world. In this series Carmen interviews some of them. Today’s conversation was with Alexandra Rodríguez Cifre. 

C: Hello Alex! Tell me a bit more about yourself…

A: I am originally from the Canary Islands. I studied journalism in Barcelona and after a few years of working, I decided I wanted a new challenge. So came to London and saved up for a Master’s. After much research, I decided that the one from London College of Communications was the best one for me.

C: What’s your focus at the moment?

A: Exploring the relationship between journalists and public relations practitioners. Specifically in the field of travel and entertainment I’m trying to get as many voices into my research as I can. Also, I really like dealing with the media, a part of me misses that connection with journalists.

C: Interesting! I’m sure some of our readers will want to help (see the end for that).

C: Meanwhile, can you tell me more about your experience of playing Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders?

A: First we had a session on careers with Casilda and Stephen, which covered how to apply for jobs, how to do an interviews etc. It was really interesting.

Our second session was the game. We didn’t know what to expect so when we got there we were really impressed with the materials. It made us feel like we were doing something important, that we weren’t just playing a game.

Some of the questions we didn’t know how to approach, so we tried using common sense.

I learnt a lot through the game. It was tough, but as Stephen reminded us: ‘In every job opportunity we always have something to learn and to progress’ and ‘don’t lose your passion’.

I learnt how to put myself in situations that I had never been in before. And it made me think of things I had never thought of before.

For example, when dealing with big budgets (which I haven’t yet), you need to think things through, check with people from different departments and so on. It has helped me have a more mature approach to future jobs.

The game showed me some gaps in my understanding, but also how I can fill those: work as a team. And it prepared my mindset for future challenges.

It was fun (which I didn’t expect)!

It gave us time to discuss in the different teams. Learning from other people, and different approaches was really useful. I wish we would have done it again.

Alex tried Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders as part of her Master’s programme at the London College of Communication. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter – and if you’re interested in helping contribute to her research, do reach out to her.

And if you’d like to try the game: see if it is right for you.

If you’re an alumni and you’d like to be interviewed by Carmen, let us know here.

The World Cup is over, the career lessons are here to stay.

In this post we extract some lessons from the stars of the World Cup.

As promised, here’s part 2 of the career archetypes we found watching the FIFA Men’s World Cup. In part 1, we focused on the archetypes the national teams helped us identify. Where you a Germany, a England or a Mexico?

In this edition, we will look at some of the personalities we met throughout the tournament and extract some career lessons from their participation. So, without further ado here are the five career lessons we learned watching the World Cup:

Be a cry baby, at your peril by Neymar

You can be a high performer, even an overachiever, but that is not enough to secure your place among the stars. Your reputation is also built on your behaviour and how you react to failure is key. Sure, if something doesn’t go the way you planned go ahead and throw a tantrum. Even roll in the grass for a bit, just don’t be surprised when the world looks elsewhere for a leader.
See: How Neymar’s diving stole the world cup

Dress the part, be the part by Gareth Southgate

The England coach did not only prove that you can take a young inexperienced squad and make them winners, you can also build a personal brand with consistency and class. The waistcoat was a masterstroke. Even John Cleese called him the ultimate example of a gentleman! So, take the time to think about your personal style and how it goes or clashes with your personal brand. See: Football, not rugby, is now the gentleman’s game

Props show your power by Vladimir Putin

In Moscow when it rains it pours and Vlad made sure he was the first one with an umbrella. While his peers (Macron and Grabar-Kitarovic) got soaked, Putin managed to show them up by simply managing to stay dry. So make sure your team likes you enough to keep you dry. See: Vladimir Putin gets umbrella as he hands out World Cup medals… while world leaders next to him get soaked

Go the extra mile, at the right moment by Yuri Cortez

Yuri who? You probably don’t know his name but if you watched the Croatia-England semi-final you saw him get run over by a celebratory Croatian team after the Mario Mandžukić’s goal. At a time when he could understandably have shielded his body and camera, the experienced photojournalist got to work. The lesson: rise to the challenge at the right time and you will make your mark.
See: Photographer proves a good shot after getting squashed by Croatia players

Act like a leader, become a leader by Didier Deschamps

Didier’s transformation from the ‘water-carrier’ as Eric Cantona called him to the leader of the world champions is an inspiration to all aspiring career people. He was an excellent player, a defender with leadership qualities who knew how to support the team stars. Fast forward twenty years and you can see a textbook example of how to move from being part of a high-performing team (France 1998) to leading a high-performing team (2018). His success story is full of talent and grit and an inspiration to all career people.
See: Why was Didier Deschamps nicknamed ‘The Water-carrier’ and when did he win the World Cup as France captain?

What are your takeaways from the month-long football world cup? These lessons combine fun and learning so they are very much archetypical in nature. However, if you object to any of our characterizations we welcome your feedback and even the chance for some rhetorical footie – here or on Twitter where @CarmenSpinoza11 is always up for a challenging match.

What happens when the lemonade turns to brine?

All of us who have been to business school know the classic case of the lemonade stand. But what happens when your lemonade sours – or becomes brine?

My friend Josie Bartlet had a dilemma recently and her challenge raised some critical issues about being a strategic adviser. It’s a dilemma we all sometimes face as strategic advisers. Stick or twist? Imagine this….

Put yourself in Josie’s shoes….

Imagine you are a senior adviser to your leader. You have clear divisional responsibilities. Your team supports you to deliver on a clear agenda. You think you know what is right.

Last week, you attended an away day at your boss’s country house. She gets paid the big bucks and so recently bought a Tudor villa in South East England. It’s full of draughts but that’s by-the-by. Your company faces a serious strategic dilemma for which there are no good answers.

Activist investors – such as ‘Go Mergers’ Capital – want a new plan, but getting top team alignment around the plan is proving difficult. Hence the top team retreat.

After a long, fraught, day, you finally come to an agreement on the future direction of your organization. Despite lots of opposition. Some leaders were happy with your strategic alliances, others want a more stand-alone strategy. But finally, the team agreed on an compromise approach. Everyone has nodded their heads in acquiescence. Or did they?

Your (Josie’s) challenge is this:

You are part of a management team and a key adviser to the leader, but you disagree fundamentally with the outcome of the team away day.

What would Josie do? What would you do? Which of these three is the ‘right’ answer?

Option A

Although you don’t agree, you have a collective responsibility as a member of the top team. You are not convinced it is the best outcome – but for the same of commercial interest and corporate harmony – you decide to toe the line. When it comes to strategic alliances with overseas partners, you think you could get a better agreement but decide to play for time. Besides your end of year bonus will be good.

Option B

The money may be good but you decide that your reputation would be best served by leaving. You have lots of allies in the market – headhunters have tipped you for a more senior role – so now is the time to go. You’ve been loyal for long enough but this is the final straw – when the CEO makes a decision you fundamentally disagree with you know that you can’t swallow your pride any longer. It is time to make a play for a new job and resign with panache.

Option C

The money is still good. But this time you feel uncomfortable taking it now that the new strategic direction has been announced. You’ve made your career on working to the IABC Global Standard – Ethics, Consistency… etc – and now the collective decision requires you to go against everything you stand for. You want to please the CEO (who is powerful but thin-skinned), but on the other hand that means being false to yourself.

You have 10 minutes to decide. Your time starts now….

Although the dilemma is not often put in such stark terms, we are often faced with the challenge of what to do when we don’t like a corporate decision. Or are forced to argue on behalf of something we don’t agree with.

Lemons - Creative Commons image with thanks to Liz West https://flic.kr/p/ck62LC
Lemons – (CC BY) – Liz West

As a strategic adviser, the challenge is to which battles we want to fight.

  • Which battles are worth winning?
  • When can we win?
  • When can we tactically lose?

And when do we want to make a stand for what we believe in, and metaphorically die in a ditch if necessary.

To return to Josie. As it happens she is one of my friends, so I can tell you that she would never choose the politically expedient option B. Option B is a good way of getting a short-term win and a long-term loss.

Option A is acceptable – she has a strong corporate responsibility and loyalty. We’ve probably all made a choice like this in our career.

I know I have.

But the really brave choice is, in my opinion, C.

The bravery, though, is not in choosing option C, but in avoiding the temptation of dressing it up as option B. In some walks of life there are a lot of “B” players who choose the “B” option but pretend it is choice C. This happens so often that when there is really a “C” resignation, some people are often cynical and think it is really a “B”. This is more common in some sectors than others.

What would you choose? Feel free to comment below.

What Wimbledon teaches us about being a strategic adviser.

Centre_Court_roof

When you are a strategic adviser to a senior leader, often the biggest challenge is knowing what type of behaviour is expected in a given situation. Get it right and you can really make an impact. Get it wrong and you can set back your career. To help navigate these complexities, in celebration of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship, here is a guide to the different types of advice senior leaders expect from their counsellors, and how to recognise each situation.

Wimbledon has a simple format: people battle it out for victory until there is only one left at the top of the tree. This person is usually called Federer or Williams. But there are plenty of supporting cast members – strategic advisers if you will – along the way who all contribute to making the tourney a success.

Here are 4 things leaders ask for and how you can react.

1. “Help me/us win in the marketplace.”

Your leader wants to win. Therefore you are Severin Luthi or Ivan Ljubicic – Federer’s coaches. Who? Exactly. Few outside the profession have heard of them. Yet, their skills as advisers have helped achieve what few realised was possible.

In tennis, ‘winning’ is easily defined. In the corporate world, you need explore what this means in practice, translate it into SMART goals, and develop a project plan to get things there. You’ll get buy-in from the leader and work to align the whole team around the agreed goals.

No doubt there are times when the coach has to communicate a tough message; or make Roger do something he doesn’t want. But if you have agreed the overall goal, and the steps required to get there, it is easier to deliver strategic advice.

2. “Make me/us look good.”

When you get a request like this, you need to channel Greg Cantin. He’s the Head Groundsman at Wimbledon. Again: an invisible hero.

There is so much more to this request than meets the eye. In effect, your leader is asking you to apply all of your experience. No one will notice if it goes right, but if suddenly – if something goes wrong – some weeds, a divot, a crack in the surface – you will get the blame. Your stakeholders expect perfection every time. Therefore, your challenge is two-fold.

First, you need to find a way to manage expectations. For example: everyone knows that the quality of the grass will deteriorate during the Championship. As an adviser, your role is to have the conversation about the likely outcomes and help have a discussion about the trade-offs involved: how much wear is acceptable?

Second, you need ensure that your team’s performance and contribution is recognised. Your team won’t automatically get the credit – expect maybe an ironic cheer when they take the covers off after rain. So your job is the ensure they feel connected to the wider mission so they say: “I’m not just mixing the compost, I’m helping create a successful Championship.”

3. “We need delighted customers.”

At Wimbledon, the answer is simple: strawberries, exciting tennis, and perhaps a plucky local hero who over-achieves. Only some is predictable. You need to be ready for the ambiguity and the unexpected.

The challenge is to be ready to take advantage of the situation as it arises. If our ‘plucky local hero’ surprisingly makes it to Round 4 and her match is originally scheduled for Court 22: ignore the plan or formal process / rules and move her game to Centre Court to keep customers happy. Sounds obvious.

But to do this successfully, you need trust with your leaders, and the willingness to take responsibility, knowing you will make some stakeholders unhappy. Remember: if you promote ‘plucky local hero’ match to Court 1, you will need have a hard conversation with ‘aging veteran, used to be good but a bit past his best and well-known for his temper’ about why his match is suddenly on Court 22 with an equal number of spectators. Being a strategic adviser is about making these trade-offs and having the hard conversation.

4. “Is that your professional advice?”

Now you get to play Umpire. Perhaps you work in Investor Relations or Public Affairs where there are strict rules on what you say or do. Your job is to know the rules inside out and make sure that others are following them.

At Wimbledon, the Umpires sit on high chairs. They have a different perspective. Sometimes as a strategic adviser you need to do this – take a step back from the hurly-burly of the day-to-day and go and sit in the high chair and see what things look like from there.

As ever, there are some challenges.

First is the “Dr. No” problem. If you always retreat quickly to the law or the rules, then you risk being seen as a blocker. The ‘rules’ are your ultimate backstop but if you use them as a first resort, then you will be seen as inflexible, unhelpful, and unreasonable. If you can, use other influencing approaches first.

Second is the “John McEnroe” problem. How do you deal with a leader with a temper who shouts “you cannot be serious” whenever you make a decision they don’t like? These leaders might think they are above the rules. Perhaps their track record makes them think they can get away with it. In tennis, the Umpire can impose fines. This is harder to do in real life so your role as an adviser is to be calm and help your leader back down – without losing face – from their impossible position. This requires high level influencing skills which is probably a topic for another column.

There are plenty of other corporate challenge and requests. Indeed, if you have other corporate challenges that you would like explained through Wimbledon archetypes, please get in touch or leave a comment and we will do our best to reply.

Meanwhile, if you want to play “Wimbledon” with your team – and help your Federer or Williams through to success, click here to find out how you find out what it takes to lift the trophy.

From football goals to career goals: lessons from the World Cup

When we developed Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders, one of our key premises was that people learn best when they have fun. So we invented the game starring Carmen Spinoza and all her colleagues as archetypes of senior business leaders. It’s been two years and have now run simulations helping professionals explore key issues in journey as strategic advisers.

But what if you took things from the other perspective and started with a game and then translated it back into business?

We give you the World Cup Strategic Adviser archetypes, part 1. Part 1 because this is written half-way through the World Cup. Part 2 will come near the end when we know which country makes it to the top of the football ladder, avoiding the snakes along the way.

The teams in the World Cup all embody a different corporate archetype. The question is: which team are you most like in your career?

Germany. You have already ‘won’ the World Cup Strategic Adviser game. In fact you are at the top of your career and are the incumbent. Maybe you have stopped being hungry. Maybe a long track record of success makes you feel that victory is routine. But it turns out that others are hungrier for your position and the ‘corporate snakes’ are after you. Your complacency is your downfall. Others want your job more and if you snooze you lose.

Mexico. You are a solid all-round corporate player who – when you are at your best – can best any champion (Germany). You have been routinely underestimated, so when you prepare and shine, you amaze the audience. You have flair, you have talent, you have loads of supporters. And then, you stumble. When you lose your focus, you can make basic mistakes and fall apart more quickly than a hastily constructed IKEA bookshelf (Sweden). Sometimes you are lucky, and you find unlikely allies (Korea).

Iceland. Maybe you suddenly find yourself at the top table on the back of some unlikely successes in previous jobs (tournaments). You are popular and endearing. People like you. On occasion you can hold your own (Argentina). But let’s be honest: the step up to the C-suite is more of a challenge that you realised.  Your big success in your previous job (England, European Championship) got you this one but unfortunately you are a small fish in a big pond and it shows. Turns out the Peter Principle applies to football as well.

England. Cruise to victory when the challenge is easy. You can score a big win in a simple situation (Panama) and then your fans get carried away thinking you are going to win it all. When faced with a tough test (Belgium) you make the strategic choice to sacrifice a short-term gain in order to improve your chances later by resting your best players. This is the business equivalent of keeping your best skills for the key opportunities. Of course only time will tell if this is successful or not so watch out for part 2 of the blog.

Japan. Perhaps unexpectedly you find yourself in a leadership role – a candidate for the next promotion. Some luck has helped you on your way (Colombia). You know what you need to do in your career: you have calculated your chances of progression and plot a course which will get you what you need, even if it isn’t popular (Poland). You play by the letter of the law, rather than its spirit. Will this help in the long term? Again stay tuned for part 2.

Russia. You have an opportunity. A time to shine. A chance to show the world what you can do. And, boy, do you take it. You raise your game to the right level just when you need to; and prove everybody wrong. Sure, a bit of luck came your way (Saudi Arabia, Egypt) but you had the pride and motivation to take advantage of the opportunity. Sterner tests will come (Spain) but so far you can say ‘job well done’. Give yourself a pat on the back and know that you have already done more than what people expected of you.

That concludes part 1 of our World Cup Strategic Adviser Review. Stay tuned for part 2 at the end of the tournament. We’ll probably review some different teams, or maybe our assessment will change as they move up the career ladder (win a game) or get fired (knocked-out).

In the meantime, we welcome debate and comment: which team do you think you are most like? @CarmenSpinoza11 is going to be watching the knockout phase so look out for her commentary.

Was #IABC18 a Sunday crossword puzzle?

Six months ago, IABC invited Stephen Welch and Casilda Malagón to take me to Montreal and run the Strategic Adviser Forum at IABC18. We were all delighted for the opportunity, after all I was created for an IABC conference. Immediately we got our heads thinking: what could we add to Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders to make it more fun, more useful, more helpful to the audience?

Over 50 senior communicators from around the world were giving up their Sunday to spend a morning with us and we couldn’t disappoint.

The premise behind Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders – that corporate training has to be fun to engage the brain – has been proved right again and again. Yet, providing experiential learning through an enjoyable experience is a bit like the Sunday crossword puzzle. It takes little bit of method, a little bit of art, and some luck. The good ones are liminal. They take you just to the edge of your comfort zone, sometimes a little over and then bring you back. That’s the space we wanted our strategic advisers to navigate.

On the day, my new group of advisers applied themselves to find the answers to real-life dilemmas and they tried out a couple of practical tools to understand personality archetypes, influencing styles and advising typology. Without realising it, they were taking in complex concepts of psychology, HR and communication.
After just one session, ten teams representing cities from Astana to Johannesburg, walked away with:

  • The standard version of Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders, with me – Carmen Spinoza (@CarmenSpinoza11) – at the helm.
  • A diagnostic on the four types of strategic advisor
  • A self-diagnostic on influencing styles
  • A guide to the eight personality archetypes one can find at work.

They had fun and dared to put the “work” back into “workshop”. They discussed, debated, self-reflected and took away cool tips from each other, making us learn a few things along the way.

Casilda and Stephen love facilitating intense and diverse groups like these, it energises them and confirms that continuous improvement requires passion, and hard work, but no one ever said it had to be boring.

At the end of the session, participants submitted the three words that described the session. I held my breath, we had a new system and had gone through a lot of material. When the screen showed the results, my heart skipped a beat. Success: they had learned and enjoyed. The combination we live for.

If you want to know more about me, subscribe to my blog and I’ll let you know where I will go next subscribe: corporatesnakes.org/blog/

Or follow me on Twitter @CarmenSpinoza11

The view from Montréal: Corporate Snakes & Career Ladders

One of the official bloggers for #IABC18 took part in our Corporate Snakes & Career Ladders session in Montréal. Here’s an excerpt from her round-up of the first day of the 2018 IABC World Conference

Strategic Adviser Forum: Corporate snakes and ladders

Elizabeth Krecker

Led by the entertaining British team of Stephen Welch and Casilda Malagon, the Strategic Adviser Forum was designed to enhance our ability to sit at the executive table. But this session did much more than that by launching all of us into entirely new directions.

We met our teammates at round tables covered with a colorful board game, beautifully designed cards, and a pocket of black beans. Welch and Malagon tag-teamed their presentation, leading us through a guided tour of the game interspersed with robust discussion.

But first, they opened by explaining that their goal for us was that we learn from our mistakes in this room and not at the office. As we make the leap from becoming skilled technical experts in our profession to becoming a strategic adviser to our executive team, an entirely new skill-set applies. This session was designed to combine core technical skills with consulting skills through team problem-solving of real life dilemmas.

And Welch and Malagon truly made our experience a real-life dilemma. My team did all the right things. And yet in the end we ranked barely above last place because we kept falling into the same trap. We were bold in our discussions initially, but after 10 minutes, we landed on the “educated communication professional” answer to the problem we faced. And that was always the answer that gave us the least possible points.

It’s not much consolation that none of the teams chose the highest scoring answer on the last question. The highest scoring answer was the boldest answer: The answer that propelled us all from our cozy chairs onto the exciting playing field shared by other executives.

This session demonstrated the value of being bold in our role as communicators by not sitting back and responding with tried-and-true tactics, but instead being willing to risk stepping out of our traditional role.

Read the full piece on the first day of the 2018 IABC World Conference.

Carmen climbs Montréal

Hello Montréal! We are delighted to be back at an IABC World conference after launching Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders in New Orleans two years ago. Yesterday, we had a chance to play with over 50 senior communicators looking to have fun, change their perspective and improve their advising and consulting skills.

Thank you to all who attended and gave us some nice feedback.

The game has evolved quite a lot in the last two years thanks to feedback from our amazing clients – the UK government, a few multinationals and UK universities. The dilemmas Carmen faces keep getting tougher and more real, we’ve added some practical tools like an influencing style self-diagnostic and an analysis of the different styles of strategic adviser. What has not changed is our passion for making learning something enjoyable and innovative. Yesterday we tried something new and launched an interactive voting system. And now we also have a brand new website blog for players to continue following us.

IABC is about making connections and #IABC18 is focusing on the communication crossroads. This outlook could not be a better fit with our philosophy and we have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Yesterday we connected Melbourne to Johannesburg, Ottawa with Dakar, and London to Regina. We realised that all over the world communicators make a difference, and will continue to do so. We are committed to helping them along the way.

Where will Carmen go next? We are very excited about branching out into the worlds of HR, diversity and inclusion and global business. And if you would like her to come and visit you, get in touch!