Our Kirsty reveals all about the exciting launch of the IoIC’s Humber Hubs – bringing internal comms professionals from across the region together to put the industry’s stamp on Hull and East Yorkshire…
Where do all the Humber IC folk hang out?
That was a question on the lips of Andy Holt, the IoIC’s Northern Region Director, in 2017. He called our Helen and explained that the Humber region was a gap, a black hole in the national internal communication landscape. So, in true Yorkshire (and H&H) spirit, we weren’t going to let that be the case.
No way José.
We were going to do something about it.
And so, raring to go, I set off on a mission to plug this conspicuous gap – and bring internal comms professionals together at the heart of the Humber.
So, what’s the point of the IoIC Internal Comms Hubs?
The IoIC Hubs are designed as informal get-togethers for regional internal comms professionals across the country, where they can share ideas, anecdotes, and insights about the industry all while expanding their network of IC peers. It’s all about enhancing collective knowledge of internal communications and raising the profile of IC as a profession nationwide.
It was my job to raise the profile of IC in the Humber region, and provide a space where internal communicators in and around Hull could meet and greet each other and discuss the challenges they were facing within their organisations.
My first port of call was to join my industry peers at the Hub Leaders’ Gathering, where I met with the northern contingent as well as Jen Sproul, Chief Executive of the IoIC, to learn from those who had already set up successful Hubs of their own.
For the well-versed of the group, it was a chance to reflect on their experiences so far and pick up some tasty food for thought for future Hubs. And for the newbies of the group (that was me, as well as folks representing Merseyside, Sheffield and South Yorkshire) it was a useful session which gave us some valuable ideas for what we could explore in our own Hubs.
By now there was just one thought at the front of my mind – that we simply had to get the internal communicators of the Humber connected! I came away from the session feeling energised and determined to launch our first Humber Hub in a way that would really stick in people’s minds and keep them coming back for more.
Bringing the IoIC Internal Comms Hubs to the Humber – starting off strong
Duty-bound, I rendezvoused back at H&H and drafted in a competent team of my colleagues to get our heads together on exactly which direction the first Hub could take. With brains picked and the anticipation bubbling, we set the date for the very first Hub – a breakfast meeting over croissants and coffee on Wednesday 27th September at Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI).
Building on a suggestion from my new network of supporters, this first Hub was designed as an ‘exploratory meeting’, where the IC professionals in attendance could get to know each other while exploring each other’s thoughts and experiences of internal comms. We also debated on the direction and content of future Hubs – so that what they discussed would be truly valuable for them – and when they thought would be best to meet, in order to find a format that worked for everybody.
Guests were also treated to an illuminating and engaging presentation by our Helen, who shared the findings of our recent eye-opening study into organisational change. Participants discovered why the way in which change has been communicated in organisations for many decades has been weakening its chance of success – and learned new strategies and tactics to truly get employees buzzing about change. You can find these out for yourself by downloading our ‘Changing Perspectives of Change’ infographic.
It was great to bring likeminded IC professionals together and see them leaving energised and bright-eyed for the day ahead. It really felt like we’d taken the first step towards strengthening the Humber’s IC community, and amplifying the voice and presence of internal comms in the region.
The feedback we received from the session (as well as all the beaming smiles) was confirmation that the Humber really was crying out for the Hubs!
Building momentum with IoIC Internal Comms Humber Hub Number 2
With a second Hub already in sight, it was agreed that morning was the best time to host them, and that their most useful and valuable selling point was the opportunity to network with fellow IC practitioners to gain insightful knowledge and different perspectives on the profession. We also gained some insightful suggestions for discussion topics for future Hubs. Winner!
It was safe to say that by now, ‘Operation Hub the Humber’ was truly a-go.
Building on the momentum from Hub number one, and with eyes set firmly toward the future, the second Hub was swiftly booked into the diary for the 29th November, at H&H Headquarters in Hesslewood Hall.
This time round we’d be taking the plunge into our first big industry topic – how innovation has changed communication, from the invention of the printing press in 1440 to the present day.
This was facilitated by a series of fun, interactive exercises which delved into how we consume and interpret information. It proved to be a fascinating topic, as delegates debated the impact of Fake News, took a tour of their own minds in a revealing psychology experiment, and explored different approaches to organisational change and their impact on the bottom line.
They even got to draw some pigs! (we assure you, this was relevant). Check out the artistic skill below:
And we finished with a rib-tickling, tongue-in-cheek video demonstrating how complex and difficult communicating change can be. Why not give it a gander?
This Hub went down a storm too, with delegates commenting on how engaging and enjoyable the session and presentation were. And true to form, they got to contribute their own ideas, anecdotes, and opinions and share personal insights along the way.
It was nice to see some fresh faces showing up too – proof that the word was spreading around the region that they’re the place to be if you practise IC.
Why you should come along to the IoIC Humber Hubs
With 2017 having drawn to a close and 2018 only just beginning, we’re excited to build on the success of the Humber Hub launch and bring even more illuminating insights to the local IC community this year.
It’s been a smashing start, and we’re hoping to see even more IC professionals at future Hubs, to further connect the community and bring a wider variety of inspiring and innovative ideas to the world of internal comms.
It’s the perfect chance to share your internal comms knowledge and expertise with others in the industry, and learn from them in return. We discuss the most persistent and challenging of IC issues – using new theories, personal industry anecdotes, and engaging presentations to raise new ideas and ways of thinking about internal communications.
So if you’re an internal comms maven who just happens to be based in the Humber region – then this is where you should be hanging out.
So – will we see you there?