By Carmen Spinoza
You know, I’m a regular visitor to Singapore. Mostly for business, but sometimes just for the crab craic.
Late August, though, was different. I was at the IABC APAC regional conference Fusion 2017, running a Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders workshop. This is an innovative workshop designed to help communicators think through real-life dilemmas and how they impact on their career. What are the decisions you need to make, and the behaviours you need to adopt, to develop your career and become a strategic adviser and business leader in your organization?
In fact, the vast majority of the agenda for Fusion 2017 was on this topic. Unlike many communication conferences which are full of self-aggrandizing presenters talking about how many hits they got on Facetagramwitter for their latest campaign, this conference was full of people sharing knowledge, ideas and experience about how to grow and develop a career in communications. And what it takes to reach the top. This agenda was a refreshing change and I got a lot out of it. As I know many others did. Well done IABC APAC for such a fresh and zingy conference.
It is always fun running a Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders workshop, where participants navigate the ambiguity of tricky situations and learn about their own behaviour. We all sometimes
have natural ways of working or thinking patters than limit our success. The workshop challenges your thinking on what is the right thing to do in a specific situation.
But it is not just me saying this. It’s participants. Or at least, here is a word cloud based on their feedback after my workshop.
“Thought-provoking”. I love that. And I love fun.
What else did people say?
“Dissent, agreement + lots of debate at #FusionConf17 journey thru Corporate Snakes + Ladders. Brilliant fun.” Rita Zonius, digital communications expert from Melbourne.
“Stephen & Casilda’s Corporate Snakes & Career Ladders game is a unique way to get you thinking on how to transition from a managerial role to more “strategic advisor” position in your organisation. Whilst a powerpoint may be able to cover the same points – our participants certainly wouldn’t have had as much fun and laughter as they did during the board game. We are really glad that Stephen was able to come all the way to Singapore to present at the IABC Fusion Regional Conference … his session was a valuable addition to the event and received positive reviews.” Kristy Christie, Director at TheMalaysian and IABC Malaysia President.
“Refreshing take on a normally dry topic. My hats off to the Corporate Snakes & Ladders crew for pulling off a fun and engaging exercise that brought lots of learnings, robust discussion and sense of fun for all”. Mary Todorov, Stakeholder and Community Engagement Specialist, Melbourne, Australia
So next time you hear of an IABC conference, be sure to go. You’ll get insights, ideas and practical suggestions about how to improve your impact. And you might even get to meet me.
And, as for Singapore? Not only was the conference agenda zingy, the crab spicy, and the lime great (as my Trinidadian friends would say), but I also managed to meet some old friends and make some new ones.
Since Casilda Malagon and Stephen Welch developed this workshop last year, it’s played to three conferences, been used by three organizations as part of their corporate training programmes, and is also part of the course curriculum for the Masters in PR programme at a London University. My next appearance will be as part of the UK Chartered Institute of Public Relations Ethics Festival. If you happen to be in London and want to experience it for yourself, here is a link. www.bit.ly/CIPRGLG. Oct 12.
Carmen Spinoza is Globocorp’s Communication Director – a fictional character in a make-believe multinational company. She and the other members of the Globocorp Executive Team are part of the Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders simulation that helps you explore high level business issues.