Our Stew, Learning and Development Specialist, gives the lowdown on his time at this year's exciting CIPR Inside Conference, introducing eager internal comms professionals to a whole new perspective on change…
On Tuesday 31st October, I loaded myself up with the not-insubstantial weight of IC Field Guides, board games and goody bag fillers that even a packhorse would have complained about and made my way to our marvellous capital city in readiness for CIPR Inside’s annual conference the following day.
It was there that I was going to unleash A Game Changer – the insights from H&H’s new, surprising research into change communications – onto a room full of wide-eyed, open-mouthed internal communicators.
When I arrived at the Hilton Hotel in Wembley on the day of the event, there was a large crowd of people assembled outside. Initially I thought they were all there for the conference, but it turns out the popular boy band Real Madrid were playing at Wembley and by sheer chance they were staying at our hotel. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to bag an autograph. Maybe next time!
But once the wave of excitement at the fact that Ronaldo was in the building had subsided, it was time to get stuck into delivering a memorable workshop for all the internal comms professionals gathered to learn new things and discover revealing insights.
Changing the game
The overarching event, entitled Making It Count, was focused on a piece of important research conducted by CIPR with CEOs and internal communicators and championed the importance of IC practitioners engaging with Senior Leaders at a strategic level. It also explored the strategic value and effectiveness of internal communication in organisations.
The day was very slickly run I must say, and we were provided with an extremely nice room in which to run our workshop. A few initial technical difficulties were eventually sorted (much to my relief!) and we were then ready to begin!
We ran two workshops and were pleased to see a good turnout of excited internal comms professionals at both. They were 50 minutes long, but seemed to fly by!
We wanted to introduce an element of game play, as it's exciting, gets people involved and makes them think about the ideas and insights being presented. It’s a great way to get people talking and make your messages resonate and stick with them.
So we devised the ‘Game Changer’ – a new, exciting and engaging game to bring people up-to-speed with the findings from our research.
It's safe to say it got everyone buzzing during our workshop (and demonstrating some serious competitive streaks!).
A board game with a twist
For the Game Changer, we produced a slick-looking game board and crafted a series of multiple-choice questions based on our research, which people had to answer correctly to move down the board to the finish line. But it wasn't that simple – the IC professionals in attendance were totally unfamiliar with our findings, so they had to really rack their brains and test their own knowledge and perspectives to guesstimate at what they thought were the right answers.
I have to say that whilst no-one actually got to the finish line, some pretty good attempts were made. I was impressed by people’s depth of insight and perception skills. Seems we might need to make it a little more challenging next time!
The game went down a storm, and it was great to see everyone getting involved and engaged in what we were discussing. And in the lively rough and tumble as each team fought for the finish line, there were some really insightful and interesting conversations and debates being had about the questions and the statistics we were revealing, with plenty of ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ punctuating the presentation.
Everyone enjoyed the game and the visual presentation we’d put together to guide people through our findings. They were certainly all keen to know more about it. Luckily, I’d packed a healthy amount of our corresponding ‘Changing Perspectives of Change’ IC Field Guide to hand out at the end!
What did people think?
Overall, everyone seemed to come away from our session with smiles on their faces and new, interesting ideas filling their heads. And don’t just take our word for it – the feedback we’ve received has been outstanding, with 93% rating it as excellent or very good:
And here’s what individual internal comms professionals had to say:
“The H&H session was great – good insight and practical tools (handouts) to take away”
“Good balance of interaction and learning”
“I really enjoyed the H&H session and it felt like the allocated time was just right”
We’re thrilled that so many people were really invested in what we had to talk about (and of course, in the game too!).
At H&H we always strive for excellence in everything we do and we’re constantly investigating new and innovative ways of doing things in internal comms. This is reflected in the excellent feedback we’ve received over the years at the numerous workshops and sessions we’ve put together exploring key industry ideas and insights.
If you’d like us to hold a workshop for your team and organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love bringing new, innovative ideas to workplaces across the world. And if you’d like a more first-hand look at the sorts of workshops we’ve been delivering for like-minded professionals, give our BizWeek blog a gander, and check out the videos below:
Overall we were proud to be a part of such an insightful and successful event, and we want to give a huge 'Thank You!' to everyone who came to see us and took part in our session. It was great to meet you and walk you through what we’ve been uncovering through our industry research. And thanks to everyone at H&H who made it happen! I tip my hat to you all.
But of course, I couldn’t end this blog without thanking our friends at CIPR Inside for inviting us in the first place – so a massive thank you to you guys for having us there.
We can't wait for the next one!